Living with Elvis Presley inspired classic Whitney Houston song

I Wanna Dance with Somebody: Trailer for Whitney Houston film

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Elvis Presley inspired many artists throughout his career and continued to do so long after he died in Graceland on August 16, 1977. Whitney Houston had a powerful connection with the King of Rock and Roll, in particular. She became known for covering Dolly Parton’s iconic song, I Will Always Love You, long after Elvis begged the country star to sell it to him. And in the 1990s, he continued to influence her career when she started writing the soundtrack for her movie with Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard.

Whitney’s soundtrack (The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album) included such massive hits as the aforementioned I Will Always Love You, Someday (I’m Coming Back) and I’m Every Woman. But her powerful ballad, I Have Nothing, was originally inspired by having an intimate relationship with Elvis at his enormous Memphis mansion, Graceland.

Linda Thompson, Elvis’ ex-girlfriend, wrote the song, and recently spoke out about penning the heart-wrenching song.

Linda said: “That song was definitely inspired by my living with Elvis. I knew what it was like to live with the biggest male diva of all time. I had to write this lyric around Whitney Houston who was the female diva in The Bodyguard.”

Linda went on to add: “So I took some of the happenings and some of my feelings about having lived with Elvis and wrote about it in The Bodyguard.”

The star was in a loving relationship with Elvis for four years after meeting him just six months after he split from Priscilla Presley in 1972. However, his constant drug use and infidelity led her to leave him in 1976. Less than eight months after their split, Elvis was found dead in his bathroom. Linda drew parallels between Elvis and Whitney’s big-screen character, Rachel Marron, a diva who required Costner’s protection.

She said: “Like [the lyrics say]: ‘Stay in my arms if you dare or must I imagine you there.’ Because it was a challenge to be with someone who was that larger than life, someone who was such a huge rock star.”

I Have Nothing obviously resonated with audiences, as it reached number one in five countries around the world, and reached multiplatinum status in the USA. This success spurred Linda on, as well. She confessed she wanted to begin writing more songs after working on The Bodyguard.

“I wanted to carve out my own position in life,” she confessed. “Write my own songs, carve out my own career, have my kids and my family and then write about my life and where he fit into it, which is, of course, the greatest love imaginable.”

Of course, Linda’s life didn’t end up this way, but she did go on to find success in love. She married Caitlyn Jenner (while she was still known as Bruce Jenner), before divorcing him five years later. She later married musician David Foster.

Linda did pen another song for a major motion picture: Pretty Woman. The Richard Gere-led romantic comedy included the hit No Explanation in its soundtrack, performed by Peter Cetera.

After The Bodyguard was such a success at cinemas, Costner pitched bringing Princess Diana on for the second movie in the series.

This would have, however, meant he had to cut Whitney from the follow-up picture. The film never went ahead.


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