I Look to You is the seventh studio album by American R&B and pop singer Whitney Houston. It was first released on August 28, 2009 through Sony Music in Europe, August 31, 2009 through Arista Records/Sony in the US. In the UK, it was released in CD format on October 19, 2009 with RCA Records/Sony, although it had been available to download since August 28, 2009.
The album contains uptempo and mid-tempo R&B, dance music, and ballads.Writing and production from the album includes contributions from Swizz Beatz, Johntá Austin, Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, Danja, as well as Houston herself, who is accredited as co-writing two songs. Akon also has production credits on two of the album's songs as well as being a featured artist on one of the songs.
Upon its release, I Look to You received favorable reviews from music critics, based on an aggregate score of 70/100 from Metacritic.. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 1 with sales of 305,000, beating her previous career best of 205,000 with Just Whitney in 2002. This also gave her a fourth chart-topping album and extending her lead as the female artist with the most cumulative weeks at the number 1 position.
The title song "I Look to You" was released as the first single in July 2009 reaching the top 20 hit on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The second single "Million Dollar Bill" is currently making its impact as the worldwide lead single.
I Look to You had first been conceived in 2006 and production began fully in 2007, as stated by Houston herself at her Los Angeles album listening party in 2009. Rumor of Houston's return to music were first circulated at the start of 2007 and were then substantiated when record label boss and close mentor Clive Davis confirmed that he would personally be involved in the project in an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show. In February 2009, Houston made her official public comeback at Davis's "Pre-Grammy Gala", her first major live appearance since 2004. Houston performed a four-song set comprising of, "I Will Always Love You", "I Believe In You And Me", "It's Not Right But It's Okay" and a rousing version of "I'm Every Woman". Onlookers included her mother Cissy Houston, musicians Paul McCartney, Jamie Foxx and Barry Manilow as well as actors Antonio Banderas and Sylvester Stallone
Speaking about why the album has been named after the song "I Look to You" Houston said: "The last several years spiritually, this song says all I wanted to say. There are times in life when we go through certain situations - some not so good. You have to reach for a higher strength, you have to reach deep inside yourself, spend time with yourself to make some corrections that go beyond your own understanding and lean on a higher understanding, for me [this] song puts it all in check. If I did not have my faith I wouldn't be as strong today. Additionally she told press in London that her latest album will reflect her emotional state and chronicle events in her personal life since her last musical release in 2002. She said "That makes it real. The changes that we go through, the transitions that we go through, the tests that we go through, being a mother, becoming a single mother. It all had its ups and its downs, but for the most part, I kept my faith and I kept my head up... I took my time. All the triumphs and the ups and downs and stuff, it's all incorporated on the album, and hopefully not only does it inspire me, but inspires a whole lot of other people." - Wikipedia