The Unlikely Shout Out Whitney Houston Got In American Psycho

Whitney Houston was one of the reigning pop stars of the 1980s and 1990s. According to Biography, she became a massively successful singer almost instantly upon the release of her very first album when she was only 22 years old. Some of her most famous songs include "Saving All My Love for You," "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," "I'm Your Baby Tonight," and "All the Man That I Need." While the early-2000s saw her experience personal problems and erratic behavior, she made a grand return in 2009 and remained a popular artist until her tragic death on February 11, 2012.

As one would expect from such an icon, Houston has been referenced or had her music featured in numerous films and TV shows. However, one of the more interesting movies to include a nod to the illustrious icon is the 2000 film "American Psycho." The scene features the main character Patrick Bateman — an investment banker who's also a serial killer — waxing poetic about his love for Houston while the song "The Greatest Love of All" plays in the background. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the scene circulated widely in the wake of Houston's passing, with many commenting on the song's bizarre use in the violent and darkly satirical thriller.

That's not actually Whitney Houston's song in the movie

There's a fascinating detail about the inclusion of the song "The Greatest Love of All" in "American Psycho," however: It's not Whitney Houston's version of it, despite the fact that she did cover the tune and is mentioned in Patrick Bateman's monologue. The song was originally written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed and was first recorded by George Benson, and has been covered numerous times. But the film's soundtrack used a version recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Houston's agent Lynn Volkman clarified that the version of "The Greatest Love of All" used in the film was not hers, stating that "since they're not using Whitney's version, and she didn't write the song, they didn't need to come to us. ... If the public perceives this to be a Whitney song, I think I'm going to call her lawyer and see what his thoughts are." While there was no specific reason given as to why her cover of the song was not used, it could be that she didn't want her music to be associated with a film that had so much graphic violent and sexual content, especially considering her largely family-friendly reputation.

Bret Easton Ellis' dislike of Whitney Houston

Complex states that the novel that "American Psycho" was based on was fairly controversial when it was first released in 1991 due to the extreme violence committed by its main character, Patrick Bateman. However, despite its more lurid content, the book is also a scathing critique of the superficial obsessions that dominated so much of the culture and trends of the 1980s and includes many references to the era's popular music.

In Complex's interview with the novel's author Bret Easton Ellis, he reveals a surprising detail about the musical artists he referenced in the book: he didn't like any of them. Ellis said, "I knew these music chapters were going to exist and it was really a chore, and I really wasn't a fan of Whitney Houston, and everyone else in the era was. That, and Genesis, and Phil Collins, and Huey Lewis and the News." The author further states that because he was not a fan of the artists, the chapters that referenced them were the most difficult part of the book's creation.