Whitney Houston is a woman of phenomenal talent that transcends music, television, and film. On the anniversary of what would have been her 58th birthday, we have ranked her 10 best songs as her profound impact has left a mark on the entertainment industry.
From the 1997 film, 'Cinderella,' Houston lent her voice as the famous fairy godmother the film starring Brandy, making her the first Black Cinderella. Houston and Norwood's vocals blend perfectly in their duet as Cinderella whisks off to the ball. Houston also co-produced the film which won three Emmys and received 22 nominations.
The song "My Love Is Your Love" is from Houston's fourth studio album of the same name. The soulful reggae-inspired song was released in 1998 as the album's fourth single. It also earned international success as it topped the European charts and hit #1 in New Zealand. Wyclef Jean acted as the song's co-composer and co-producer.
"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" was featured in the film 'Waiting to Exhale' where Houston acted alongside her superstar castmates, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Robin Givens. Babyface wrote the song to express the women's emotional state in the film. The song won a Grammy Award in 1997 for Best R&B Song and was nominated for Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
Houston won her first Grammy Award for this song, taking home Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1986. The song is about infidelity which was rumored to be about Houston's personal life. The video directed by Stuart Orme nodded at a rumored affair between Houston and Jermaine Jackson since the male lead looked similar to Jackson, as The Sun reported back in 2012. Jermaine Jackson is featured twice on Houston's debut album in, "Take Good Care of My Heart" and "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do."
Originally released by Chaka Khan in 1978, this song might go down as one of Houston's best covers. The song is featured in the film 'The Bodyguard' which starred Houston. This version brought a whole new meaning to female empowerment. The song hit No. 4 on the Hot 100 per Billboard (higher than Khan).
Whitney's performance set the gold standard at the 1991 Superbowl with the New York Giants taking on the Buffalo Bills, Giants winning 20-19. At the time, the United States was in the Gulf War and Houston was quoted per TODAY, "It was an intense time for our country. A lot of our daughters and sons were overseas fighting. I could see in the stadium, I could see the fear, the hope, the intensity, the prayers going up."
Houston's cover of George Benson's 1977 hit became her third No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1986 per Billboard. The sweet ballad is a reminder of how Houston's vocals stunned the airwaves on her rampant path to stardom.
"I Will Always Love You" from 'The Bodyguard' spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and is still the best-selling single ever by a female artist per Billboard. The emotional ballad is a cover of Dolly Parton's classic which made it No. 1 Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart twice. Parton said Houston's cover "took it and made it so much more than what it would ever have been."
The breath control and passion Houston makes in this track easily makes this one of her greatest songs of all time. When you listen to this beautiful ballad, you can feel the emotion and pain as she belts out every note. This song is featured in 'The Bodyguard' and stands out at a monumental time of pain and despair. "I Have Nothing" was nominated for Best Original Song at the 65th Annual Academy Awards but lost to Disney's Aladdin "A Whole New World."
The pop-tune makes you want to get out of your seat and dance along with Houston in "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and that's exactly what Clive Davis wanted. The hit brought Houston her second Grammy in three years for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, per Billboard.