Remember Whitney Houston On Her 50th Birthday: My Favorite Tracks (According to My iTunes)

In honor of Whitney Houston’s would-be 50th birthday and her remarkable career, I thought it was appropriate to re-post this article from years ago on Whitney’s best singles. Rather than arbitrarily ranking them on what I thought was the best, I decided to let my iTunes play count stats determine the ranking. Numbers don’t lie right? Let’s be real, if I ranked them solely based on my favorites the entire list would be made up entirely of all her amazing ballads. I know power ballads and Whitney are synonymous, but I’d thought I’d take a different approach.

I have to admit I was surprised by some of the outcome. A couple of years ago, I made a conscious effort to clean up my iTunes library and properly tag each song with the correct information and downloaded the respective cover art. It was a lot of work but well worth it in the end. Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane.

Editor’s note: I originally compiled this list before Whitney’s last album. If I were to base the countdown on today’s stats, “Million Dollar Bill” would rank in the Top 5. Hope you enjoy my list.

15. Heartbreak Hotel

Album: My Love is Your Love – Released 1999

The lead-off single from Whitney’s fourth studio album featured Faith Evans and Kelly Price. To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of this song with exception to the “Heartbreak Hotel, Heartbreak Hotel” chant. I thought the whole video premise was ridiculous with them in various versions of baby-blue attire cavorting around some South Beach hotel. If you’re going to look ridiculous Whitney… go all out. You look like a cheesy chauffeur for Elton John in that baby blue double breasted suit.

14. Same Script, Different Cast

Album: The Greatest Hits – Released 2000

Okay, you should know by now that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ballads and LOVE THEM EVEN MORE if it’s a duet. How can this song not be in my top played list: Deborah Cox and Whitney Houston on the same track! YOWZA. It’s like finding a hot boyfriend with the perfect body and brains. Unfortunately, they never made a video for this song. I’m sure whatever they filmed would’ve paled in comparison to my high expectations. I love the part when Deb sings “la la la, I’m not listening” then Whit commands “uncover your ears”. Brill.

13. Queen of the Night

Album: The Bodyguard Sountrack – Released 1992

When I first saw The Bodyguard in theatres, this was my least favorite song from the film, but as the years have passed I’ve grown a certain appreciation for Whitney’s attempt at rock and roll. In hindsight, I had no idea why I was so against the video as well. Whitney rocked that silly metallic getup like no one’s business. Speaking of rocking it, recently during a wicked night of partying in Portland, a few of the Seattle boys and myself were “singing” this song at the top of our lungs as we drove to the club. Cheesy? Yes. Fun? Hell yeah.

12. My Name Is Not Susan

Album: I’m Your Baby Tonight – Released 1990

A few years back, I purchased a DVD which contained all of Whitney’s music videos up to that point. I was so annoyed when the only video missing from the entire collection was for “My Name is Not Susan”. I loved this video- not because it was a cinematic masterpiece but rather loved it’s unintentional comedic value. If you’ve seen the video, you know what I mean. First off, you get a rap prelude then at intermittent points of the video you get Whitney gangsta style complete with a backwards baseball cap, undone overalls and baseball jersey. It’s early 90s chic at it’s finest. Watch the video below. You won’t be disappointed. Promise.

11. I Have Nothing

Album: The Bodyguard Soundtrack – Released 1992

Currently, this song has the distinction as the most performed song on American Idol. This is by far my favorite track from The Bodyguard Soundtrack. I vividly remember watching The Bodyguard trailer for the first time in the theatre waiting for Sister Act to begin. When the trailer started with the first opening notes of “I Have Nothing” playing in the background, I was hooked. I needed to see the film the minute it came out.

10. My Love is Your Love

Album: My Love is Your Love – Released 1999

This Wyclef-produced track is probably one of Whit’s better attempts at branching out into the hip-hop world. With her Lauryn Hill inspired hairdo and fierce tan leather jacket. She looks absolutely gorgeous in this video. That is, until she tries to get down with her reggae dancehall bad self. Okay I’m being a bit harsh here. In all actuality, Whitney probably danced better here than in any of other videos. The girl can saaaaaaang but the girl can’t dance.

9. I Will Always Love You

Album: The Bodyguard Soundtrack – Released 1992

The song that no one should EVER, EVER, EVER cover again. Though it was written and performed by Dolly Parton first, “I Will Always Love You” is the epitome of the Whitney power ballad. For 14 weeks, this song ruled the charts and garnered a whole whack load of awards at the various year-end shows. Love it or hate it, this song left it’s mark on music history.

8. Could I Have This Kiss Forever

Album: The Greatest Hits – Released 2000

I was obsessed with this song when it first came out. My friend Indira and I would sing the duet all the time on the way to the tennis courts. Of course I took the Whitney parts. LOL. Even though I loved the song, the video kinda creeped me out. There was something quite unnatural about watching Whitney and Enrique be sexy with each other in a dewy-Britney-i’m-a-slave-4-u kinda of way.

7. I’m Every Woman

Album: The Bodyguard Soundtrack – Released 1992

It’s true what they say about women glowing during their pregnancy. Almost ready to pop, Whitney looks absolutely adorable in the video with her little black maternity wear. And for some miraculous reason, she even looks like she has rhythm dancing with TLC and Chaka Khan. If you’ve ever tried singing this song on Singstar, American Idol (Xbox) or at karoake, you know this is one mother of a song to sing- especially the excessive wailing at the end. Good thing our girl, Whit has the chops for it.

6. I’m Your Baby Tonight

Album: I’m Your Baby Tonight – Released 1990

The Babyface produced track caused controversy when the video first came out. At the time, Whitney had never been linked romantically to any man so of course rumors swirled that she was a big ol lesbian. Some reports were even saying that she was having relations with her friend SLASH assistant Robyn Crawford. Entertainment Tonight even did a slo-mo analysis of the music video trying to decipher if the person Whitney grabs hands with in the video was a man or woman (namely Robyn). Oooh scandal. Despite everything, Whitney scored yet another number one with this mid-tempo track.

5. How Will I Know

Album: Whitney Houston – Released 1984

The slinky grey dress, the matching arm-warmers and that huge grey bow on her head. This was so classic 80s, I can’t even stand it. I can’t even put into words how much I love this cheesefest of a video. Out of curiosity, when did the mid-song saxophone solo become tired and obsolete? It seems like every song during this decade had a saxophone solo and then BAM no one ever used it again. I blame Kenny G for making saxophones synonymous with elevator music. Did you know that Aretha Franklin is Whitney’s godmother and that’s why she appears in the video?

4. Where Do Broken Hearts Go

Album: Whitney – Released 1987

Oh, this song reminds me of when I broke up with one of my high school girlfriends. After dumping her and giving the old “It’s not you, it’s me” speech, I heard this song. Til this day, I associate this song with that day. LOL. Recently, I’ve reconnected with her and we laugh about it now. On a note more relevant to the song, I remember every wannabe Whitney girl wearing that white-off-the-shoulder top she sports in the video. Even Lisa Bonet wore it on an episode of The Cosby Show.

3. It’s Not Right But It’s Okay

Album: My Love is Your Love – Released: 1999

Though the normal version is pretty good in it’s own right, it’s the dance Thunderpuss remix of this song that makes it FRIGGIN’ A-MAZ-ING. Any self-respecting homo knows the lyrics to this song and proudly lip syncs it when the club DJ puts it on. If you don’t know this song, I’d keep that a secret, otherwise you might lose your gay card for that.

2. I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Album: Whitney – Released 1987

I’m so glad this song made runner-up status on this list. I absolutely love this cheesy song and the even cheesier video. Houston is in all her rhythmly-challenged glory in this video. You can’t but help wanna dance when you hear this song at a wedding or 80s inspired club night. You gotta admire a song that can withstand 20 years and still be as enjoyable as when it first came out.

1. Saving All My Love For You

Album: Whitney Houston – Released 1984

I can’t believe my favorite Whitney ballad ended up being my most played Whitney track on iTunes. Quel surpris. Okay, I hope you can tell I’m being a tad sarcastic. Ever since I heard this ballad about Whitney being the other woman I immediately fell in love with it. This song is so good that I even enjoyed hearing Tatiana del Toro (American Idol 8) butcher this song twice on the show. You can’t hear it now, but I’m literally singing this song while I’m putting the final touches on this post. “A few stolen moments is all that we share, you’ve got your family and they need you there….”

Hope you enjoyed another one of my music countdowns. I know sometimes I don’t always pick the popular choice or “correct” song as my number one but I hope you managed to agree with a few of my selections and enjoyed the ride down memory lane. Rest In Peace, Whitney. I will always love you and grateful for providing me with a great soundtrack to many milestones in my life. In parting, I leave you other music videos that were released after this list was initially made or just missed the cut.

  • love her!
    waiting to exhale (shoop shoop) has to be my favorite whitney track.

  • KC

    The Greatest Love of All…

  • Aqua

    RIP … I Will Always Love You

  • Marck

    The Thunderpuss remix of INRBIO it’s the best club track EVER! I

  • wiliam dickson

    got whitney the greatest hits love it…..