Legendary Artists: Whitney Houston

Intro By @TrueGodImmortal
-I'll be honest. As a child, music was a big part of my life, and of course it still is today. While I loved hip hop of the late 80's and early 90's, R&B music and melodic music period captivated my attention during this period. One woman who I instantly grew a liking to based on her voice was Whitney Houston. I remember seeing her sing and being amazed by her vocal talent. Younger Whitney was nothing to mess with, as her vocals were usually flawless and she touched souls with her sound. Before all the drama and drugs, Whitney was simply the greatest voice we had heard in music. Today, we look back at the woman who not only captivated the world, but changed the standard in music.

Whitney Houston. The woman with a touch of gold, one who would at the age 22, record her first studio album and wow the world. The one who would take the entertainment/music industry by storm and essentially set the bar so high that future artists would strive to achieve her level of greatness. If I had to sum her career up in one word it would be “platinum” as nearly everything she recorded and released was certified platinum on worldwide charts and her singles did several consecutive weeks in the number 1 spot. Whitney Houston’s powerful vocals, stage presence and on-screen talent would leave such an imprint on music and become a favorite of many. Her catalog is extensive and her hits are plenty. I wish I could say I’ve always been a fan, but truth is, I wasn’t, I caught on to her greatness in the very early ’90’s, but her older songs would become favorites and then 1998 would be when I was truly a fan through and through.

Up until the release of her studio album “My Love Is Your Love”, my absolute favorite song was “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” from her “Whitney” album, as it is just an all around fun song. It’s super high energy, sensual and respectfully provocative. I don’t know anyone who can hear that song and sit still or not sing along. It’s fantastic. This is pretty much the only song I really ever liked and it would hold me over for 11 years despite the 3 albums/soundtracks that were released. I was never into her soundtrack work, although she maintained her momentum and saw several successes from each and definitely brought about some classics.

When 1998 hit and Houston released “My Love Is Your Love”, I think the R&B world was revolutionized. This is a 13 track album and each and every song is perfect and truly flawless to me. This album had a duet with Mariah Carey, who would be the another powerhouse, she featured Faith Evans and Kelly Price also which was a nice bonus. She had Lauryn Hill, Wyclef, Babyface and Missy Elliott on production, like everything about this album was executed well and it definitely paid off. This was truly Whitney Houston’s most emotionally raw and consistent album that also displayed the maturity in her vocals. Her tracklist was brilliant because it showed the good and the bad within relationships. I remember hearing each track and thinking this would be the ultimate album, every song deals with something you could experience inside of relationships. This is definitely a timeless classic to me. I can honestly say that to this day, every single one of the songs on this album are my favorite of hers and all are equally ranked.

And then just when I thought I had heard the very best, summer of 2000, Whitney Houston would release “Can I Have This Kiss Forever” as she teams up with Enrique to make a song that is incredibly sappy but wasn’t the typical slow song. There was still an upbeat tempo and these two voices would be comparable to silk and satin. I loved the incorporation of spanish and the enormous vocal range that we knew we could expect from Whitney. The high notes, the octave changes, everything and she had Enrique’s voice to compliment all of that. Another flawless song and easily became one of my all time favorites.

Whitney Houston really epitomized everything that we love about a performer. She was beautiful, incredibly talented, had fantastic stage presence and truly wowed audiences whether in concerts or behind the screen. She worked tirelessly to cement her rank as the greatest female artist of all time. In 2012 when she passed away, the world truly lost, however she left a legacy that will always be appreciated and never matched.


After a couple of years, we finally make it to The Voice. We make it to the artist who changed both pop and R&B forever. We can all go home now. Before Whitney, there were vocal powerhouses. For instance, you had your Arethas, your Dianas, your Pattis, and your Gladyses. However, Whitney Houston was, for me, the pinnacle of greatness when it came to voices.

From her legacy, we get the Mariahs, the Toni Braxtons, the Beyoncés, the Jazmine Sullivans, the (sigh) Ariana Grandes. Her ability to use her voice sent execs scurrying to find multi-octave hitting artists who could switch from silky smooth to power ballad on some 0 to 100 stuff. I mean, even on airy, feel-good pop songs like "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," she brought out her big voice and straight-up killed the track. Whitney was a woman who, on her final album (that was released after she went through, well, a lot), she still showcased excellence. She could bring feelings of love, pain, and satisfaction to your ears just by a turn of a phrase.

Will there be another Whitney? No. She was one of a kind. Will there be vocalists who owe their successes to Whitney for years to come? Oh, you better bet your ass.

The Voice. There aren’t enough words to truly describe how awesome Whitney Houston is. Despite her passing, her legacy stands. When she comes on, you know it’s her. The way she floated between falsetto and powerhouse is simply amazing.
I don’t even want to discuss how many awards she accumulated because right now it’s a moot point. Sometimes I just enjoy basking in her voice control. Whitney had so much passion in her voice. I believe many singers carry that trait with them because they grew up singing in a church, much like Whitney did. I remember having her debut album on vinyl when I was younger. My sister would play “How Will I Know” over and over. It’s crazy that we don’t appreciate certain music until we get old enough.

Whitney embodied the 80s R&B sound on this album. “You Give Good Love” and “Saving All My Love for You” are my two favorite tracks from that project.
Her second album, Whitney, was just as special. She was bolder on this one. Still keeping that 80s flair, she had a perfect blend of pop and R&B songs. The track “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” sends chills up my spine every time I hear it.

In 1991, Houston sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl in a way that will remain unmatched to millions of people. It was flawless. I’d be content if the NFL decided to just play that track at a future game.
Whitney’s cover of “I’m Every Woman” stands as my theme song. I understand Chaka Khan recorded it first. But Whitney’s sass made her version so much better to me.

Whitney tried her hand at acting as well. She starred in The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale, Cinderella, The Preacher’s Wife, and Sparkle. I most enjoyed her on the soundtrack to The Preacher’s Wife. She returned to her church roots and I enjoyed every moment of it. Additionally, “I Believe in You and Me” is one of the most beautiful songs to ever grace my ears.

Whitney teamed up with another diva many call Mariah Carey for “When You Believe” on the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. By this point, Whitney solidified herself as a powerhouse. She was America’s sweetheart in spite of her marriage to Bobby Brown. Even in sharing the spotlight, she stood on her own. One of my favorite songs of hers is a duet with Deborah Cox, whose vocal ability is SICK!! Their song “Same Script, Different Cast” showcased just how special both the women were.

I've learned not to say when someone was taken from us too soon. Whitney served her purpose on this earth and we’re forever grateful for the gift she shared. She battled her own personal demons but she was so tremendously loved. I know when I have kids, they'll be familiar with the one and only Whitney Houston.

Outro by @TrueGodImmortal 
-Whitney is a legend, and personally my favorite female artist of all time. While not the gifted writer like some artists, and more so just a voice, she brought so much life to songs that would not have been as great if she hadn't sung them. She's truly a treasure in music and I think her best album remains her self titled first album. The album is flawless, features nothing but hits and classics, and she displayed her vocal range. Her other solo albums featured nothing but hits as well, but her other best work seemed to come from soundtracks, which says a lot about her ability. She took songs from her movies The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale, and The Preacher’s Wife, and made them classics. Her career was unparalleled and despite her untimely and sketchy death, Whitney is forever remembered as one of the greatest. If you aren't a huge fan of Whitney, check out some of her music, I'm sure that will change.



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