Okay so if I’m completely honest with you all…I’ve barely ever listened to Whitney Houston. Like yeah I, and everyone in the UK, will’ve heard all of her big hits be absolutely murdered in X Factor auditions at some point. But I’ve never really sat and actually listened to her music. That’s most likely because I’ve never been big on ‘ballad-y’ singers. But you can’t deny the fact that Whitney Houston was an incredible talent. Which is why I couldn’t miss her out of this series. Even if she isn’t someone who’s music I’d typically listen to.
Whitney Houston: A Brief History
Born in 1963 in Newark, New Jersey, Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. One of the best-selling recording artists of all time, Whitney Houston has amassed sales of over 200 million records worldwide. Throughout her 35-year career, Whitney released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums and each of them have been certified either diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold. Her first two albums both reached number one on the Billboard 200 and, to this day, are still among the best-selling albums of all time. She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
As well as her amazing music career, Houston also made a name for herself as an actor. Her acting debut was with the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992) which she not only starred in but also recorded six songs for, including the Grammy Award winning song I Will Always Love You. The song went on to be the best-selling physical single by a female in music history, and the album was awarded a Grammy for best album of the year.
‘Whitney Houston’ (1985), Whitney Houston.
Despite her incredible career and talent, unfortunately Whitney Houston’s personal struggles overshadowed her career at times. During the late ’90s and early 2000s, Whitney received huge negative media coverage as a result of her marriage to singer Bobby Brown. Her personal life became very public and she was caught in many media scandals relating to her and her husbands drug use. Following her personal struggles she took a six-year break from recording music, at which point her and Bobby Brown divorced. She returned to music with a bang in 2009 with her album I Look To You which reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart.
On 11th February 2012, Whitney Houston sadly passed away at the age of 48. Her cause of death was drowning as well as the effects of heart disease and cocaine use. It was listed as ‘accidental’.
Fancy learning a bit more about Whitney Houston? You can check out her full Wiki page here.
The Legend Slot: Whitney Houston
I usually stick exclusively to studio albums for this series (and the occasional one off big hit track that didn’t make it onto a studio album, *cough* Earth, Wind & Fire’s September and Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U *cough*). Seriously, why can’t legendary musicians put their best hits on their studio albums?? What’s that about ‘ey? So, since Whitney only had 7 studio albums I decided to include her two film soundtrack albums as well. This was mostly because I couldn’t bare not featuring I Have Nothing from The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack (1992). That song is just absolutely incredible. Anyway, onto the playlist.
A Few Of My Favourites…
Let’s kick off the favourites then shall we? We’re starting with the ones that everyone knows and loves, as always. So we’ve got Saving All My Love For You from Whitney Houston (1985) and I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me), Didn’t We Almost Have It All and So Emotional which are all from her second album, Whitney (1987). Then there’s the absolutely iconic song that is I Will Always Love You from The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack (1992). I do, of course, love Whitney’s version of the song but my favourite version will forever be the Dolly Parton original. It was written by Dolly after all!
‘Whitney’ (1987), Whitney Houston.
A song of hers that I have such great memories of is When You Believe from My Love Is Your Love (1998). When I was younger it was a song that always made a feature at dance shows that I went to. For anyone who doesn’t know, I was actually a tap, jazz and ballet dancer throughout my entire childhood. With dance comes dance shows and competitions and I will forever think of dance competitions when I hear When You Believe. I swear at every single dance competition I went to as a child there was a dance team that performed a contemporary/ballet routine to When You Believe. If any of you have a dance background let me know if it’s a song that you associate with dance shows. It can’t just be me!
‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ (1990), Whitney Houston.
My all time favourite Whitney Houston song, however, would have to be Greatest Love of All from her second album. Also I just wanted to take a moment to give a shoutout to One Moment in Time. It’s not on any of her studio albums but it deserves a mention. Oh, and bloody hell how much of a tune is I Didn’t Know My Own Strength as well!?
A song that I genuinely didn’t know was by Whitney was It’s Not Right But It’s Okay from My Love Is Your Love (1998). In my head that was a Jennifer Lopez song and I have absolutely no clue how I’ve only just discovered that it is, in fact, a Whitney Houston song. It’s an absolute tune nonetheless. Another ‘omg I had no idea that was by Whitney’ song that I found was Million Dollar Bill from I Look To You (2009). Honestly this month’s playlist has be an absolute revelation. There were so many songs that I had no idea Whitney sang. There were also a few songs that I’d completely forgotten existed. The first was Where Do Broken Hearts Go from her second album, Whitney (1987) and the other was You Light Up My Life from Just Whitney (2002). Very happy to have rediscovered both.
‘The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack’ (1992), Whitney Houston.
New Discoveries: Completely New To Me
Okay so for the ACTUAL new discoveries. The first was Run To You which is from The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack. This just feels like classic Whitney to me. It’s absolutely beautiful and I feel like I love it even more because it’s part of a film soundtrack. You know how much I love a good film soundtrack after all! The second was You Give Good Love, which is the first song on her first album. It was a great track to kick off this months listening with and it really set the tone for the rest of my listening.
‘My Love Is Your Love’ (1998), Whitney Houston.
Not going to lie, I may have been converted to a Whitney Houston fan after putting together this playlist. I’ve never thought of myself as someone who would go away and listen to ballads on the regular but Whitney was just the most incredible talent that I think I might’ve turned into a ballad lover.
Have you listened to much of Whitney Houston’s music before? What are some of your favourite Whitney songs? Let me know what you thought of this month’s playlists and if there are any artists that you’d love to see featured in The Legend Slot. And if you want EVEN MORE music content then make sure to go ahead and sign up to my newsletter below. Anyway, I’m off to watch The Bodyguard…see you next time!