David Byrne is a huge fan of Whitney Houston. Specifically, the late singer’s 1987 mega hit “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” And on Thursday, June 1, the Talking Heads co-founder led a rousing karaoke rendition of the song at a variety show celebrating a new edition of his 2012 book How Music Works.
The show, held at New York City’s Town Hall, was announced early last month, and is inspired by a new chapter in the latest edition of the book, all about “the four ways we discover music in the digital age: recommendation by experts, by the music itself, by social and cultural forces, and by narrative and context.”
In video captured by audience members at the show, the legendary singer and guitarist can be seen swaying and clapping along with an entire ensemble of musicians and performers onstage while donning a suit (but no tie). Byrne enthusiastically belts out the verses while the entire stage joins in for the chorus.
This isn’t the first time that Byrne has covered Houston’s upbeat single, however. In 2007, he included it on his album Live in Austin, TX, and he has been known to perform it at his shows.
At present, the musician is at work on a new solo album that will drop early 2018, and it’s rumored to feature collaborations with Brian Eno and Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin.
Last month, Talking Heads made headlines for a younger generation when Selena Gomez sampled their 1977 classic “Psycho Killer” for her new track, “Bad Liar.” Songwriter Justin Tranter, who collaborated on Gomez’s single, told Variety at the time that Byrne had given the song his blessing. “He heard it, loved it, and approved,” he said. “To have David Byrne listed next to our names is just so cool.”