Following The Bodyguard, Whitney would star in and record songs for the films Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife,, collectively racking up over 10 million album sales stateside alone. With her focus having shifted to acting and soundtracks for much of the '90s, many questioned if Whitney could make a "comeback" with her next studio album, 1998's My Love Is Your Love. She soon silenced all doubts when the album achieved quadruple-platinum status in the U.S. and scored five worldwide hit singles: "When You Believe" (which paired her with a singer she greatly influenced, Mariah Carey), "Heartbreak Hotel," "It's Not Right But It's Okay," "I Learned from the Best," and the title track.
By the time Whitney was into worldwide touring and support of My Love Is Your Love, tabloid commentary on her personal life began to take unfortunate precedence over her music. Beginning with her 1992 marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown, there was increasing attention to her affairs outside of the entertainment industry—a habit which prompted her to record "In My Business" on My Love. Negative publicity peaked with embarrassing interviews during which an often rude, sometimes seemingly under-the-influence Whitney struggled to keep her private life out of the limelight. She remained quiet on the entertainment front for several years after, in attempts to sort out some of the personal issues on her own time. It wouldn't be until late 2002, in fact, when she would finally release her next album, Just Whitney. Some of her negative experiences with the media were reflected in the lyrics to songs here, including "Whatchulookinat." To many critics and some fans, this was to the detriment of the album's musical merit. Many journalists wrote that Whitney had passed her vocal prime. Missed gigs and live performances in which she didn't seem to give 100% also had fans wondering if she had lost the magic.
In 2004, many of Whitney's personal travails became even more public by way of the reality TV show, Being Bobby Brown. Episodes of the series showing Whitney behaving erratically, coupled with a growing list of cancelled concerts and speculation by industry insiders, were part of a downward spiral for her. Family and friends intervened, with cousin Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole joining Whitney for the "Soul Divas Tour" in 2004 as a sisterly, therapeutic effort to help her get her life back on track. In 2007, after 15 years of marriage to Bobby Brown—which she would later describe as abusive and drug-laden in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, her petition for divorce was granted. Although health struggles continued as a result of drug abuse, intervention by her mother, Cissy, seemed to help get her back on track. Finally, by 2009, she was back in the studio, recording I Look to You, which marked the comeback of a sober Whitney who seemed more in control of her career again. Aided by her mentor, Clive Davis, she went on to promote and tour in support of the album worldwide, with singles such as "Million Dollar Bill" and "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" reconnecting her with her loyal fanbase.