Whitney Houston Video Playlist

Whitney Houston was an American singer and actress whose first four albums, released between 1985 and 1992, amassed global sales in excess of 86 million copies.

Who Was Whitney Houston?

Whitney Houston released her debut album at age 22 and scored three No. 1 singles. Whitney (1987) delivered four more No. 1s and earned Houston a Grammy, with later albums including I’m Your Baby Tonight (1990) and My Love Is Your Love (1998) as well as soundtracks to The Bodyguard (1992) and Waiting to Exhale (1995).

With her marriage to singer Bobby Brown in 1992 and ensuing drug use, Houston’s career got off track. She eventually made a comeback with 2009’s I Look to You and also co-starred in the musical film Sparkle. Houston died from accidental drowning in a hotel on February 11, 2012.

Early Years

Born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, Houston almost seemed destined from birth to become a singer. Her mother and cousin were both legendary figures in American gospel, soul and pop music.

Cissy Houston was the choir minister at New Hope Baptist Church, and it was there that a young Houston got her start.

Even as a child, Houston was able to wow audiences; she later told Diane Sawyer that a rapturous response from the congregation at New Hope had a powerful effect upon her: “I think I knew then that [my singing ability] was an infectious thing that God had given me.”

By the time she turned 15, Houston was performing often with her mother and trying to get a record deal of her own. Around the same time, she was discovered by a photographer who was awed by her natural beauty.

She soon became an extremely sought-after teen model, one of the first African American women to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. But music remained her true love.

When she was 19, Houston was discovered in a nightclub by Arista Records’ Clive Davis, who signed her immediately and took the helm of her career as she navigated from gospel to pop stardom.

In 1983, Houston made her debut on national television, appearing on The Merv Griffin Show to sing “Home” from the musical The Wiz.

She and Davis spent the next two years working on her debut album, finding the best producers and songwriters available to showcase her amazing vocal talent.

Albums and Songs

‘Whitney Houston’ Album: “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know”

In 1985, the artist released her debut album, Whitney Houston, and almost immediately became a smash pop sensation.

Over the next year, her hit singles “Saving All My Love for You” and “How Will I Know” helped the album reach the top of the charts, where it stayed for 14 non-consecutive weeks.

Houston won a Grammy in 1986 for “Saving All My Love for You”; the award was presented to the singer by her cousin Dionne Warwick.

‘Whitney’ Album: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

Houston followed the monumental success of her first album with a second release, Whitney, in 1987. That record, too, went platinum many times over and won a Grammy for the single “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” with a successful world tour following.

During this time, the singer also appeared at a concert for Nelson Mandela’s birthday and founded the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, a nonprofit organization that funds projects to help needy children over the world.

By 1992, Houston was on top of the world, but her life was about to get very complicated very quickly. That year she married the R&B singer Bobby Brown, formerly of New Edition, after a three-year engagement.

At first, the marriage was passionate and loving, but things turned sour as the decade progressed. Both Brown and Houston battled substance abuse and increasingly erratic behavior, with Houston later alluding to emotional abuse from Brown and domestic violence.

‘The Bodyguard’ Album: ‘I Will Always Love You’

In spite of these growing personal troubles, Houston continued to progress in her career, crossing over successfully into acting in 1992 by starring opposite Kevin Costner in the wildly popular movie The Bodyguard.

With this project, she set a trend for her films to follow: For each movie she also released hit singles, creating sensational record sales for the soundtracks.

Her smash single from The Bodyguard, a cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” from 1974, proved to be Houston’s biggest hit ever, spending a record-breaking 14 weeks atop the U.S. charts.

The soundtrack album went on to win Houston three Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Later in the 1990s, Houston also starred in Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife, both accompanied by hit soundtracks as well.

‘My Love Is Your Love’ Album: ‘It’s Not Right But It’s Okay’

In 1998, Houston released My Love Is Your Love, her first non-soundtrack studio album in many years, and it earned her another Grammy for the single “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,” The album was not as successful as her previous full-length releases, though her collaboration with Mariah Carey in the animated film The Prince of Egypt produced a hit single, “When You Believe,” which won an Academy Award.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Houston’s increasingly rocky marriage, struggles with drugs and health problems threatened to derail her career. Several concert cancellations and a notorious TV interview with Sawyer in 2002, in which Houston appeared far too thin and in poor health, led many to speculate that she was on the verge of a breakdown.

‘Just Whitney’ Album

In 2004, when production began on the TV reality series Being Bobby Brown, Houston received substantial airtime. The show aired during the worst years of the couple’s crumbling marriage; drug use, lifestyle excess and bad behavior were all caught on tape and Houston’s reputation sunk to new lows. Houston tried to ignore the controversy, charging ahead with her music by releasing Just Whitney… to combat her detractors, but it did not match the success of her earlier works. In spite of her troubled relationship, Houston was still celebrated as a singer, being named the most-awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records in 2006.

Over the next few years, Houston attempted to repair her marriage and to break her drug habit, but after several relapses, Cissy had to step in. As Houston explained to Oprah Winfrey in 2009: “[My mother] walks in with the sheriff and she says: ‘I have a court injunction here. You do it my way or we’re not going to do this at all. You’re going to go on TV, and you’re going to retire. And say you’re going to give this up because it’s not worth it.'” Houston took a break from her career, divorced Brown in 2007 and won sole custody of Bobbi Kristina.

‘I Look to You’ Album

After almost a decade of struggling with her personal life, Houston seemed to be pulling herself together. She released a new album, I Look To You, in 2009. “The songs themselves will speak to you and you’ll understand where I am and some of the changes I’ve gone through for the better,” Houston told Entertainment Tonight. The recording received a warm welcome from music fans, making it to the top of album charts. Her live shows, however, garnered mixed reviews, with some complaining about the quality of her voice.


In early 2012, Houston was rumored to be experiencing financial trouble, but she denied this claim. Indeed, the artist seemed poised for a career upswing: Houston worked on the musical film Sparkle with Jordin Sparks, a remake of the 1976 movie about an all-girl musical group similar to The Supremes, and also reportedly had been approached to join the singing competition series The X Factor as a judge. Unfortunately, Houston did not live long enough to see the latest comeback reach fruition.

Houston died at the age of 48 on February 11, 2012, in Los Angeles at a Beverly Hilton hotel where a Grammy party was being held by Davis. Houston had been seen out in the days before her death, including at one of the pre-Grammy parties. According to a report released by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office on March 22, 2012, the official cause of her death was an accidental drowning. The effects of heart disease and cocaine found in her system were contributing factors as well.

With her passing, the music world lost one of its most legendary stars. Davis once said that Houston “is in the great tradition of great, great singers, whether it’s Lena Horne or Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan or Gladys Knight.”

Daughter Bobbi Kristina

Daughter Bobbi Kristina dealt with much tumult after the death of her mother. She was hospitalized immediately after the passing of Houston due to emotional trauma but later spoke with Winfrey about returning to her mother’s home and feeling her mother’s presence. Houston left everything to her daughter, but eventually the singer’s sister-in-law Pat Houston became the executor of the estate.

Bobbi Kristina had public conflicts with her grandmother, Cissy, over the publishing of the Houston biography Remembering Whitney. In early 2014, she was reported to have been married to Nick Gordon, who had been taken in by Houston during his childhood and raised with Bobbi Kristina, yet later reports stated that they weren’t legally wed. In another confrontation, she made disparaging comments via Twitter about Angela Bassett after the actress/director opted to cast a trained actress in the lead role of a Houston biopic instead of Bobbi Kristina.

On January 31, 2015, nearly three years to the date of her mother’s death, Bobbi Kristina was discovered face down in a bathtub in her Roswell, Georgia, home by associate Max Lomas. After being admitted to North Fulton Hospital, she was eventually taken to Emory University Hospital, having been placed into a medically-induced coma.

Her father and grandmother visited her bedside amid calls for public support and prayer, with a candlelight vigil held on February 10 in suburban Atlanta. Bobbi Kristina Brown died on July 26, 2015, at Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia. She was 22 years old.

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You’ll Never Stand Alone – Whitney Houston (1998)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: My Love Is Your Love Released: 1998 Lyrics If there’s a time when the tears should fill your eyesAnd you can’t see past the shadows to the sun on the other sideDon’t despair, because there always will be someone thereDon’t lose faith, love won’t let you lose your way, because You, you’ll never […]

You’re Still My Man – Whitney Houston (1987)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: Whitney Released: 1987 Lyrics On the day that you left meYou said you had no regretsThere’s a bond between usThat hasn’t been broken yetAnd the feelings between usWill never disappearHow can you be far awayWhen your spirit’s here You’re still my manNothing can change itWe still belong togetherYou’re still my manNothing can change […]

You Were Loved – Whitney Houston (1998)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: When You Believe Released: 1998 Lyrics We all want to make a place in this worldWe all want our voices to be heardEvery one wants a chance to be someoneWe all have dreams we need to dreamSweeter than any star you can reach’cause when you reach and find, you’ve found someoneYou’ll hold this […]

You Light Up My Life – Whitney Houston (2002)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: Just Whitney Released: 2002 Lyrics So many nights I sit by my windowWaiting for someone to sing me his songSo many dreams I kept deep inside meAlone in the dark but nowYou’ve come along And you light up my lifeYou give me hopeTo carry onYou light up my daysAnd fill my nights with […]

You Give Good Love – Whitney Houston (1985)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: Whitney Houston Released: 1985 Lyrics I found out what I’ve been missingAlways on the runI’ve been looking for someone Now you’re here like you’ve been beforeAnd you know just what I needIt took some time for me to see That you give good love to me, babySo good, take this heart of mine […]

Worth It – Whitney Houston (2009)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: I Look to You Released: 2009 Lyrics This is for the lovers holding hands in the carThis is for the lovers, no matter where you areThis is for you (it’s for you, it’s for you, it’s for you)This is for you (it’s for you, it’s for you)Baby .. This is for the lovers […]

Why Does It Hurt So Bad – Whitney Houston (1995)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: Waiting to Exhale Released: 1995 Lyrics Why does it hurt so badWhy do I feel so sadThought I was over youBut I keep cryingWhen I don’t love youSo why does it hurt so badI thought I had let you goSo why does it hurt me soI gotta get you outta my headIt hurts […]

Who Would Imagine a King – Whitney Houston (1996)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: The Preacher’s Wife: Original Soundtrack Album Released: 1996 Lyrics Mommies and daddies always believeThat their little angels are special indeedAnd you could grow up to be anythingBut who would imagine a king A shepherd or teacher is what you could beOr maybe a fisherman out on the seaOr maybe a carpenter building thingsBut […]

Who Do You Love – Whitney Houston (1990)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: I’m Your Baby Tonight Released: 1990 Lyrics Who do you love do you love love loveWho do you love do you loveI got a feeling you’re the boy for meI bet your love can set me freeI feel a love thing goingIt started weak then got oh so strong Strong enough to rock […]

Whitney Houston Dub Plate – Wyclef Jean Ft. Whitney Houston (2000)

About Artist: Wyclef Jean Album: The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book Released: 2000 Lyrics Yo wanna thank y’all for coming out tonight to see meRight now put your hands togetherFor original, original diva, original dub plateNo one can play this but Refugee’s on the number 1 tourNow listen to Miss Whitney Houston (come with it)Yo, this is […]

Where You Are – Whitney Houston (1987)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: Whitney Released: 1987 Lyrics I saw the news this morningAnd saw your face across the screenAnd as I poured my coffeeI picked up a magazineBut as I turned the pageAnd looked insideThere you were again (there you were)Oh these lonely timesThey never seem to endYou’re too farI know I should be there where […]

Where Do Broken Hearts Go – Whitney Houston (1987)

About Artist: Whitney Houston Album: Whitney Released: 1987 Genre: R&B/Soul Lyrics I know it’s been some timeBut there’s something on my mindYou see, I haven’t been the sameSince that cold November dayWe said we needed spaceBut all we found was an empty placeAnd the only things I learnedIs that I need you desperately So here I amAnd can you […]