The soundtrack album, Waiting to Exhale (1995) built on the commercial and cultural success of its book and film versions.
The movie is based on Terry McMillan’s 1992 best-selling novel. One reason why it has particular historical significance is because it features a star-studded, all-black cast. The Academy Awards are once again being criticized for a dearth of black artists and films receiving nominations, despite outstanding performances. Angela Bassett, one of the four leading actresses in Waiting to Exhale, earned an Oscar nomination in 1983; Forest Whitaker, who directed the movie, won the Best Actor award in 2006.
Several performers in Waiting to Exhale have become known for signature roles in film and television, including Dennis Haysbert (24), Lela Rochon (Ruby Bridges), Wesley Snipes (Blade), and Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Treme). Gregory Hines was a legend on stage, screen, and records. And then there was Whitney Houston.
The soundtrack also featured an all-black cast. Throughout 1996 songs composed by Babyface scored hits for Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Cece Winans, and Sonja Marie, while Chaka Khan revived a Rogers and Hart classic.
Waiting to Exhale is available in various formats from major vendors. Please consider purchasing it from a local independent record store.
Every record has particularly fascinating facts behind it; here are some for this one. Oscar Micheaux responded to the exclusion of black performers from Hollywood by starting his own film production company. From 1919 to 1948 Micheaux produced nearly 50 movies featuring all-black casts.