August 9, 2022
Photo by: David Corio/Redferns
Today, August 9th, we sing happy heavenly birthday to one of the greatest icons in pop culture history!
It’s no secret that late songstress Whitney Houston undoubtedly possessed one of the best voices of all time. And on what would have been her 59th birthday, we celebrate her legacy.
“We will always have the music,” Mariah Carey remarked during the late singer’s memorial section at the BET Awards following her passing. “We always have that voice we all fell in love with.”
Taking her gospel roots and infusing them with an era-defining pop sound after being discovered by the revered producer Clive Davis, this legend gave us some of the most phenomenal records that the world has ever heard.
Here are some of our favorite Whitney Houston moments through the years!
1. Her Breathtaking Rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” in 1991
No one had ever performed the Star Spangled Banner quite as Houston did at Super Bowl XXV in 1991! Many fans consider her performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” to be the best ever after she sang it with such power and elegance.
Thanks to her legendary performance, she became the first artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 Singles list with the National Anthem.
2. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is one of the songs that immediately springs to mind when thinking about Houston.
The singer released the catchy song as the lead single on her second studio album, surprising millions of fans after tapping into her pop side.
How can you NOT sing along to this iconic song when listening to it?!
3. The Release of Whitney Houston
Houston’s self-titled debut album, released when she was 22 years old, propelled her to worldwide stardom.
“Saving All of My Love for You,” “Greatest Love of All,” and “How Will I Know” are three of the album’s singles that peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 lists.
Whitney received four Grammy nominations for the album in 1986; she won the award for best female pop vocal performance for “Saving All My Love for You” at the ceremony.
4. The Bodyguard
The film The Bodyguard might have been Houston’s most memorable piece of popular culture!
She co-stars in the movie with Kevin Costner as a pop diva who hires a bodyguard to defend her from a stalker. The breakthrough soundtrack hit “I Will Always Love You,” a re-recording of a 1974 Dolly Parton song of the same name and the ballad of all ballads, may have had the largest impact on the movie.
The record achieved a platinum certification 17 times, making it the best-selling movie soundtrack ever.
5. Her First Grammy Performance of “Saving All My Love for You”
The Newark native earned her first Grammy for the beautiful track “Saving All My Love for You.”
At the 1986 ceremony, she sang the song, which later won her an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.
6. “My Love is Your Love”
The superstar’s fourth studio album was titled “My Love is Your Love.” The same-named fourth single from the album enjoyed success all around the world.
The song reached its highest point at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, number two in the UK, and number one in New Zealand, despite not being as popular as some of Houston’s earlier singles.
In twenty markets worldwide, the single debuted in the top 10.
7. The Incredible Comeback of the Late ’00s
Houston stayed under the radar for the majority of the 2000s, going through several rehab stays and divorcing Bobby Brown.
Her return album I Look to You came at No. 1 and contained a lot of under-appreciated treasures like “Million Dollar Bill,” and “I Look to You.”
By playing the Fairy Godmother to Brandy’s princess in 1997, Houston improved the already timeless story of Cinderella.
Houston received multiple awards for the production, which saw the team reimagine the classic musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
It was also notable for having one of the broadest ranges of cultural representation of any fairytale ever released.
9. Joining Forces with Mariah Carey
Houston and Mariah Carey responded to rumors of a diva feud in the greatest way they knew how.
At the MTV VMAs in 1998, when they were supposed to present Best Male Video, they came out wearing matching “one-of-a-kind” costumes before ripping them off to show two completely different outfits.
After showing solidarity, the two singers continued their effort to get along by writing the song “When You Believe” for the Dreamworks movie The Prince of Egypt.
Happy heavenly birthday, to The Voice herself, Whitney Houston!