"Could I Have This Kiss Forever" is a duet performed by American singer Whitney Houston and Spanish recording artist Enrique Iglesias. It was written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster, Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling. The song first appeared on Iglesias's debut English-language album Enrique (1999) as a slow Latin-styled ballad. It was also included on Houston's first compilation album, Whitney: The Greatest Hits (2000). It achieved chart success in many countries, including Switzerland and the Netherlands, where it reached number one.
Houston and Iglesias had never actually met in person, as both of them originally recorded the song in separate studios: Houston in Hamburg, Germany and Iglesias in Los Angeles, California. The two eventually met in the studio when the song was being re-recorded for single release by Metro, resulting in the new version being mid-tempo. The new version was released by Houston's label as the first US single (second UK single) from her greatest hits collection Whitney: The Greatest Hits (2000). For Iglesias, the song was the fourth single (third in the UK) from his album Enrique. It is also available on his Greatest Hits compilation released in 2008.
"Clive Davis and I were talking about this song that I'd heard a demo of and loved. And he says, 'Why don't you do it with Whitney?' So we did, and it turned out fantastic. Clive was very nice about letting Whitney sing with me — I'm not even an Arista artist.", Iglesias explained.
Billboard wrote that "While the pairing of evergreen pop/R&B superstar Houston with blossoming Latin sensation Iglesias may seem a curious combination at first, go once through this midtempo Spanish guitar-laced crowd-pleaser and the magic is crystal clear. Iglesias is, of course, right at home, sounding as sensual and breezy as ever, while Houston delivers a restrained performance that perfectly captures a romantic moment made just for champagne and dancing."
LA Weekly in its review for Whitney: The Greatest Hits commented that "Iglesias pants and sighs his way through his lines, trying to smolder but whimpering instead".
Jim Farber of the New York Daily News wrote that the song "makes cynical use of the Latin crossover craze."
Elysa Gardner of Vibe said that the song is "sinuous" and "latin-flavored" and that "Houston easily outclasses" her duet partner.
Christine Galera of The Orlando Sentinel was of the opinion that Houston's "bad" duet with Enrique Iglesias "sounds like every other Iglesias single I've heard".
NME wrote in reference to the song title that there might be "hygiene issues" but "if it puts a stop to their singing, then it should be encouraged - although, as someone appears to be strangling Enrique here, yet still he ploughs on, an eternal kiss with Whitney would probably be no barrier to song". The review continued negatively stating that "it's rather disappointing to hear that this Latin-tinged, sickly-stringed sob of a ballad is where she's at musically", "we get an insipid drip of romantic gormlessness and a catalogue of cliche as deep as a river, as high as a mountain, that you'd have to be really serotonin-deficient to find affecting".
Digital Spy in its review for Iglesias' Greatest Hits collection wrote that Iglesias has recorded "truly horrendeous" duets, "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" being "the worst offender".
In 2012, it was placed at number 1 on Idolator's list of "Whitney Houston's 10 Best Songs That Radio Forgot" because "this slow-burning mid-tempo number brims over with a sexy vibe, thanks to the singer's duet partner Enrique Iglesias and an understated-but-effective remix by then-hot production team Metro".
The song was successful internationally, hitting number one in several countries worldwide, including the Netherlands and Switzerland. It also hit the top ten in many other countries, and attained Gold status in Australia, Germany, and Switzerland. It reached the top ten European chart. It had minor success in the US, reaching number 52 on the BillboardHot 100. This song would be Houston's last top-ten hit in Germany. In Finland, it spent two weeks on the singles chart, peaking at number 17. In Iceland, it peaked at number two and also in Sweden, where the song spent 19 weeks on the chart. It was certified platinum by the Swedish Recording Industry Association. In Ireland, it peaked at number eight and spent seven weeks on the chart. In Austria, it peaked at number eight and spent 20 weeks on the chart. In Ireland, it debuted and peaked at number 8. As of 2012, the song had sold 140 000 copies in the United Kingdom.