"I'm Your Baby Tonight" is the lead single and title track from Whitney Houston's third studio album of the same name. The song was written and produced by L.A. Reid and Babyface. The single features a B-side, "Feels So Good," which has not been featured on any Whitney Houston album. While the original version, written and produced by L.A. Reid and Babyface, was released in the United States, the Yvonne Turner mix (also known as the "European Version" or the "International Version"), was released in other countries. Houston was nominated for "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female" with this track at the 33rd Grammy Awards in 1991.
The song received mixed reviews, being named as a stand-out track from the album by allmusic, while Entertainment Weekly said it "tries too hard to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jackson's 'The Way You Make Me Feel.'" Nevertheless, it became a huge hit for Houston, reaching the top 10 worldwide. It reached number one on the BillboardHot 100 chart, her eighth single to do so; "I'm Your Baby Tonight" is her fifth biggest hit in the US.
Following Houston's death in 2012, Entertainment Weekly published a list of her 25 best songs and ranked "I'm Your Baby Tonight" at number 18."BET placed it at number 23 in their list of "The 40 Best Whitney Houston Songs" writing that the producers "deliver a streetwise production" which gives Houston "a perfect launchpad for one of the funkier, harder-edged performances of her career".
The music video (directed by Julian Temple) features an edgier, rougher Houston - very different from in videos such as "How Will I Know" (1985) and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (1987) - paying homage to the sounds of black music that have helped define her sound, paying tribute in simulation of the Harlem Renaissance (with Houston as Marlene Dietrich), Motown (most notably The Supremes as Houston uses cloning imagery to create two clones of herself), and Hollywood's Golden Age (with Houston dressed as Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face), finally returning to present day by the video's end. The video uses the single edit of the song rather than the album version, whereas all of Houston's subsequent greatest-hits compilations have used the album version.
"I'm Your Baby Tonight" hit the Top 10 in several major markets including Australia (#7), France (#4), Italy (#2), Switzerland (#4), UK (#5), and Germany (#5). After having charted ten Top 10 hits (and seven consecutive number ones) on the Billboard Top 100, Houston continued her chart momentum as "I'm Your Baby Tonight" would become her 11th Top 10 hit and eighth number one. The song had an impressive debut at number 42 the week of October 20, 1990. Six weeks later, it hit number one, ending Mariah Carey's three-week run at the top with "Love Takes Time." "I'm Your Baby Tonight" spent only one week at number one, being knocked out by Stevie B's "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)". Altogether, the single spent 14 weeks in the Top 10, 19 weeks in the Top 20, and 23 consecutive weeks in the Top 40. It also reached number one on the BillboardR&B singles chart for two weeks. "I'm Your Baby Tonight" was Houston's eighth number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, sixth number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart and fourth number-one single on the Billboard R&B singles chart. The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.