What are whitney houstonhis best songs? Scroll through our gallery of his top hits and hidden gems. Does your favorite make the cut? And do you agree with our pick for number one?
Houston is one of the most iconic and influential singers in pop music history. Born into a family with deep gospel roots, she began strict vocal lessons with her Grammy-winning mother, cissy houstonat 13 years old. Cissy is from the popular gospel group The Drinkard Singers before forming the highly sought-after team of background singers called The sweet inspirations. Cissy’s voice can be heard on hundreds of songs for artists such as Elvis Presley, dusty springfield, Van Morrison and Luther Vandross. Most notably, Cissy provides the booming soprano backing Aretha Franklin in the Queen of Soul’s classic hit, “Ain’t No Way.”
In 1983, the president of ARISTA Records Clive Davis signed Whitney to his label and the rest is history. The carefully crafted launch of a pop princess with a soulful twist was set, and Whitney’s self-titled debut became the best-selling debut album in history. It was the first of many records she would set during her illustrious career. She became the first female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart when her second album, “Whitney”, hit the shelves. She became the first artist to have seven consecutive No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 – a feat no other artist has achieved to date. She is also the only black artist with three Diamond-certified albums.
In 1992, the already world-famous pop singer saw her star propelled into a whole new stratosphere. Whitney starred in her first film, ‘The Bodyguard,’ opposite the Oscar-winning actor Kevin Costner. Along with the film which grossed over $400 million at the box office, the soundtrack went on to become the best-selling motion picture soundtrack of all time, with sales of over 42 million worldwide. The first single, a remake of At Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” spent 14 weeks atop the Hot 100 singles chart and earned Whitney two Grammys for Best Pop Female Vocal and Record of the Year. She won a third trophy for album of the year.
Throughout her storied career, Whitney sold over 200 million albums and, according to the RIAA, became the best-selling R&B artist of the 20th century. She has also starred in a number of movies and TV shows, becoming the highest paid black actress when she won $10 million for starring in ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ with Denzel Washington. At the time of her death on February 11, 2012, Whitney was the most awarded singer in history. She broke down barriers and was named a major influence by artists such as Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Brandy, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Jennifer Hudson and much more.
But his real legacy is his music — and here are just 35 of his best songs that we’ll always love.