TheRoot.com, By Shanelle Genai, Posted August 11th 2023
The popular 1993 hit featured cameos from powerful women such as Chaka Khan, Valerie Simpson and TLC.
Over 30 years after the Whitney Houston smash hit “I’m Every Woman” took over airwaves and pop culture, Gospel music legend Cece Winans is opening up about her decision to turn down an appearance in the now iconic video.
As you may or may not know, Houston’s version of the song was released in 1993 and featured a handful of musical greats in the video such as TLC, Valerie Simpson, her mother Cissy Houston and Chaka Khan—the latter of which sang the original version back in 1978.
Winans discussed why she turned down the opportunity to appear in the video in a viral clip trending online, describing how her “dear sister” and friend Houston called her and asked if she’d do it, even though she felt like she wouldn’t.
“I said, ‘You’re absolutely right.’ ‘Cuz it started off with ‘I can cast a spell.’ I’m not singing that,” Winans explained. “But notice how that message was all wrapped up in a beat, right? Y’all get so hooked up on these beats and it’s like demonic. You’re listening to demonic stuff and you’re wondering why you don’t know what’s going on. You can’t listen and look at everything. God says, ‘You’re either for me or against me. You’re either with me or you’re not.’”
“The biggest deception is [that] the devil makes you think there’s an in between. Show me a scripture that says there’s an in-between. There is no in-between, guys. So a lot of stuff is cut out. Y’all worried about stuff that shouldn’t even be in your life. It says, ‘You’re either for me or against me.’
So she was like, ‘I know you’re not.’ I said ‘No, you’re right.’ It’s cute though, cute video. But then she called me back for “Count On Me.” She was like ‘Sis, I got the song.’ I was like ‘This is great. [It’s about] Friendship, this is gonna work.’ Because it lines up with my faith. You see, I’m a believer first. I’m a believer who happens to sing.’
I can respect Winans’ stance, it seems she’s took the other Christian phrase that about “being in the world but not of the world” to heart. However, I’d be lying if I said I wholeheartedly agree with turning down a small cameo over one line in a song that’s about women empowerment. We know Houston wasn’t talking about literally casting a spell but everyone has their own standards and the right to govern themselves by it however they see fit.
I am happy they collabed later in 1995 for “Count On Me,” though. That’s arguably one of the best songs on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. In fact, that whole album is amazing! Let me go run that back. But before I do, let us know what you think about Winans turning down “I’m Every Woman” in the comments!