When Whitney Houston died last weekend, she left behind an incredible and highly influential body of work, including several Number One singles. Last week, Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield named his 12 favorite Houston hits, but over the weekend we asked you to tell us your favorites. Click through to discover your Top 10 Whitney Houston tunes.
One of the most amazing things about Eighties pop is that some of the biggest hits of the decade were released as the fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh single from an album. "How Will I Know," one of Houston's best-known pop hits, was the fifth single from her debut album and hit radio nearly a year after the record was in stores.
Out of Houston's four hits from the Bodyguard soundtrack, "Run to You" is the least famous, though it's clearly still beloved by many of the singer's fans.
The title track and lead single from Houston's third album is slick and stylish, bridging the gap between the singer's early dance pop hits and the more mature tone of her later material. For many fans, "I'm Your Baby Tonight" represents the best of both worlds.
Houston's virtuoso vocal talent has long been compared to the prowess of star athletes, so it makes a lot of sense that one of her biggest hits would be a tune intended to be the inspirational anthem of the 1988 Summer Olympics. "One Moment in Time" rises to the challenge, with Houston delivering one of the most triumphant climaxes of her career.
Houston's rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" is considered by many to be the definitive recording of the National Anthem. Her version was released as a charity single and ended up topping the pop charts. Charity or no charity, it's pretty amazing to get so many people to pay for a recording of a song that is performed at pretty much every sporting event and ceremony across the country on a daily basis.
Though Houston had a squeaky-clean image at the start of her career, her first Number One hit was nevertheless a tune sung from the perspective of a woman having an affair with a married man. Her performance lends the lyrics a tenderness and pathos that is heartbreaking, even if you're inclined to side against a homewrecker.
Houston's third single from The Bodyguard is one of her best show-stoppers, a high-stakes ballad that gives her plenty of space to show off the full power of her formidable voice.
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody" is Houston's dance-pop masterpiece. It's a bubbly, ultra-Eighties confection that would be thrilling if a singer half as talented sang it, but is pushed over the top to true greatness by Houston's euphoric phrasing.
Houston's cover of Dolly Parton's gorgeous ballad is one of the biggest-selling chart smashes of all time, and her performance – which alternates between subtlety and soaring grandeur – is utterly gutting. It's amazing this song was ever a radio staple, given that it's basically an express train to Tearsville. How did people hold it together in 1992?
Houston's signature hit is an expression of monumental self-belief in the face of great adversity. Some have interpreted it as an anthem of self-centered yuppie culture, but most folks embrace it as a sincere message of self-acceptance.