Whitney Houston: A Musical Retrospective
RIP, Whitney Houston. You will be missed.
As we saw on the Grammys last night, the music world is mourning the loss of Whitney Houston. Undoubtedly she was one of the most important R&B artists of all time. But words aren’t really the way to drive home her legacy, are they? So we here at BettyConfidential are going to let her speak for herself—through her music. This retrospective is by no means all-inclusive, but it contains her best moments—the way we want to remember her. RIP, Whitney.
1. “Saving All My Love for You”
This tune from Whitney’s 1985 self-titled album won the singer her very first Grammy: In 1986, she took the award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song also took the Favorite R&B/Soul Video award at the AMAs that year.
2. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”
Expectations were high for Whitney’s second album, entitled Whitney and released in June 1987. Even though critics complained that the material sounded very similar to her first album, this one saw great commercial success, with Whitney becoming the first female artist in music history to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The album’s first single, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart—and also won Whitney her second Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
3. “One Moment In Time”
Recorded for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, “One Moment In Time” became a worldwide hit. Shortly thereafter, Whitney founded The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children, a non-profit organization geared towards raising funds for children in need around the world. More than just a pretty voice? Definitely.
4. “National Anthem”
Hands down one of the best renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in history. No lyric flubs, no squirrely notes—this one, sung at Super Bowl XXV during the worst of the Persian Gulf War on January 27, 1991, might just be perfection. It was so well-received that it was released as a commercial single. Whitney donated all of her share of the proceeds to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund. Then, later in 1991, she put together her Welcome Home Heroes concert with HBO, who descrambled the concert so that it was free to watch all over the country. The acts speak for themselves.
5. “I Will Always Love You”
In 1992, not long after she tied the knot with R&B great Bobby Brown, Whitney starred in her first film, The Bodyguard opposite Kevin Costner. The film is notable for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is that it didn’t need to explain the interracial aspect of Whitney’s and Kevin’s characters’ romance. Audiences were able to view the film through a color-blind lens. Whitney recorded “I Will Always Love You,” which was written by Dolly Parton in 1974, for the film’s soundtrack; over the years, it has become her best-known song and her signature. It went Platinum four times in the US, twice in both Canada and the UK, and once in each of Germany and Sweden. Huge.
Read on for more memories of Whitney’s best moments.