“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”, written and produced by Babyface, was the first single taken from the soundtrack to Whitney’s second movie “Waiting to Exhale”. The song was released on Novemver 7, 1995. The camera mainly focuses on Houston with close-ups as she sings in the Video. The video is also cut with intermediate scenes from the Waiting To Exhale movie. Directed by Forest Whitaker. Houston entered the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at the #1 position with “Exhale”, becoming only the third single in U.S. history to enter at number one and Houston’s eleventh and to date last number one single on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed at number-one for just one week as Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s duet “One Sweet Day” debuted at the summit the next week. This in turn led to “Exhale” settling into the number-two position where it resided for eleven weeks, becoming the single with the longest stay at number two on the U.S. Hot 100 in Billboard history. The single was certified platinum, and remained in the Top 40 for twenty weeks.
The music video for “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” was directed by Forest Whitaker, who also directed Waiting to Exhale. The video focuses mainly on close-ups of Houston, sporting a short and mature coif, as she sings. Scenes of the movie are inter-cut between her scenes. In a Making of the Video segment of “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”, which aired on Japanese satellite television channel NHK-BS2, Houston explained:
“I wanted him [Whittaker] to do it. And he said ‘yeah’. I said ‘are you sure you can? Because you’ve got so much to do.’ He said ‘I think I can do this.’ I kinda got afraid because I knew he was working so hard.” According to Houston, the song was direct, so she wanted the video to be direct and concentrate on her face and on the lyrics. Whittaker also expressed a same opinion of the song. He said, “I’ve seen the video [...] It’s like a thing she has, you know, that I guess people would say is like a charisma kinda thing that it zooms, you know, comes up. It’s beautiful [...] It’s magic, it’s spirit.” The video aired on MTV on October 10, 1995. According to Marla Shelton, a writer for Camera Obscura, a journal of feminism and film theory, “the video concept’s originality stops with Houston’s hair style as its stark simplicity underscores the ‘straight and narrow’ politics of the film.” When the film was released, the video was shown as a trailer prior to the beginning of films on 450 General Cinema screens in some major US media markets.