The video captures one of the most iconic performances in music history: Whitney Houston’s rendition of “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The turn of the millennium marked a time of change, uncertainty, and excitement, and this performance encapsulated the era’s zeitgeist.
In 1999, the world transitioned from the analog to the digital age. The Y2K scare loomed over us, but so did the excitement of new possibilities brought by technology. The internet was still in its infancy, changing how we communicated and consumed media. The music industry was revolutionizing as Napster, and other peer-to-peer file-sharing services threatened the traditional business model. In this context, the MTV Video Music Awards were more than just an awards show; they were a cultural event that shaped our collective imagination.
Whitney Houston’s performance was the highlight of the night. She took the stage wearing a silver sequin gown and a sassy attitude, ready to show the world she was back and stronger than ever. The song “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” was a hit from her album “My Love Is Your Love,” which marked a departure from her ballad-heavy repertoire and embraced a more upbeat and contemporary sound. The song’s lyrics tell the story of a woman who discovers her partner’s infidelity but decides to move on with her life. It’s a powerful anthem of self-empowerment and resilience that resonated with many people at the time and continues to do so today.
Houston’s performance was electrifying. She danced, strutted, and belted the lyrics with a raw emotion that only a few artists can muster. Her voice was still in its prime, and she used it to convey various emotions, from anger to confidence to vulnerability. The audience was on their feet, cheering and clapping, and Houston seemed to feed off their energy. It was a moment of pure magic that transcended the boundaries of the screen and became a cultural touchstone.
What makes this performance so special is the technical prowess, energy, and sense of nostalgia and Americana it evokes. Whitney Houston was not just a musical icon but also a cultural icon, a symbol of a bygone era when music was still a unifying force that brought people together. Her voice was constantly present in our lives, from movie soundtracks to radio hits to national anthems. She was the voice of a generation, and her untimely death in 2012 was a tragedy that shook the world.
But despite the tragedy, we can still celebrate her legacy and the music she left us. “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” is a timeless classic that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit. It’s a song that reminds us that we can overcome any obstacle and emerge stronger on the other side. And Whitney Houston’s performance at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards is a testament to that spirit. It’s a performance that will always be remembered as one of the greatest moments in music history.
One interesting fact about the song is that it was originally written for Janet Jackson, but she turned it down. It was then offered to Toni Braxton, but she also declined. So it was after Whitney Houston heard the demo she decided to record it. And we’re glad she did.
So, if you haven’t watched the video yet, do yourself a favor and click play. And if you have watched it, watch it again. Share it with your friends and family because this performance deserves to be remembered and celebrated. Share it because Whitney Houston’s legacy deserves to be honored. Share it.