Today is Whitney Houston’s birthday, and the legendary singer would have been 53 years old. To celebrate, we compiled a list some of her most memorable songs, which is hard to do considering her impressive body of work.
Whether the New Jersey native belted out one of her heartwarming ballads, or whether she delivered a dance tune, no one has come close to filling her shoes, and that has a lot to do with her incredible vocal range.
1. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”
Released in May 1987, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” was the first single off the New Jersey singer’s second album “Whitney,” and it cemented the fact that she could get people on the dance floor with the best of them. Not only did the feel good tune win the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1988, it also achieved the No. 1 spot on Billboard, making it Whitney’s fourth No. 1 single of her career at that point.
2. “You Give Good Love”
This classic cut off Houston’s 1985 debut album is about the singer finding the perfect mate after searching high and low for him.
“Never stopping I was always searching for that perfect love / The kind that girls like me dream of / Now you’re here like you’ve been before, and you know what I need / It took some time for me to see that you give good love to me, ” Houston sang.
3. “Heartbreak Hotel”
Of course not all of the singer’s hits came from the ‘80s. In 1998 Whitney collaborated with R&B stars Faith Evans and Kelly Price to deliver a sultry tune about being jilted by a lover. In February 1999 the song reached the No. 2 position on the Billboard Hot 100 and received two nominations at the 42nd Grammy Awards one year later.
4. “Greatest Love Of All”
Easily one of her most beloved tunes, “Greatest Love of All” was actually a major hit for singer George Benson in 1977 and was re-recorded by Houston eight years later. Both artists were signed to Arista Records, so it’s possible the label’s founder Clive Davis suggested the song for Houston, because he’s known for picking out hit singles. At it’s peak, “Greatest Love of All” scored the No.1 chart position in the United States, Canada and Australia, which definitely an impressive feat.
5. “Saving All My Love For You”
Just like “Greatest Love of All,” “Saving All My Love For You” was released before Houston ever recorded it, and it gave singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis some recognition in the ‘70s. Penned by songwriters Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser, the song became Houston’s first No. 1 single, and to this day it’s known as one of her more popular ballads.
6. “Million Dollar Bill”
This song celebrates all the good boyfriends and husbands out there, as Whitney paints the perfect picture of being deeply in love and finding the ideal mate.
“If he make you feel like a million dollar bill say oh, oh, say oh, oh / Makes you go left, right up, down, got you spinning ‘round and ‘round, say oh, oh,” she sang.
The cut is off her seventh studio album “I Look To You,” released in 2009.
7. “I Will Always Love”
Written by prolific and legendary singer-songwriter Dolly Parton, “I Will Always Love You” became a hit for Houston in 1992 when it was placed on the soundtrack for the movie “The Bodyguard.” Although Parton achieved plenty of success when she released her version in 1974, Whitney’s rendition spent a whopping 14 weeks as the No.1 song on Billboard, and to this day the tune is a true fan favorite.