Celebrated as the “greatest singer of her generation,” Whitney Houston’s accomplishments in music are unparalleled. Dive into the late singer's sonic history in Inductee Insights, powered by PNC Bank.
Inductee Insights: Whitney HoustonHear the Story
Inductee Insights: Whitney Houston
Inside the Episode
Houston’s musical upbringing is one of the most storied in the business, and she seemed destined for greatness. Her mother, soul singer Cissy Houston, and cousin, Dionne Warwick, provided Whitney with expert training from a young age. “When I started singing,” she once said, “it was almost like speaking.”
Houston’s effortless vocal skill attracted interest from multiple record labels and at age nineteen, Clive Davis signed her to Arista Records in 1983. Her debut album netted three #1 singles. “Saving All My Love for You,” “The Greatest Love of All,” and “How Will I Know” topped the Billboard 200 for fourteen weeks.
Houston’s awards—numerous enough to achieve a nod from Guinness World Records—included an Emmy and six Grammys. Her ability to connect with audiences set dozens of industry records. She was the first artist to have seven consecutive #1 hits and the first woman to enter the Billboard 200 at #1 with her album, Whitney. She earned the longest reigning #1 single on the Hot 100 with “I Will Always Love You.”
Houston’s voice was as versatile as it was powerful, and her catalog shows a unique ability to incorporate a range of stylistic elements spanning pop, rock, gospel, R&B, funk, soul, and hip-hop. She moved from ballads that showcased her vocal range like “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” to dance tracks like “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me).”
Her sound expanded through collaborations with a wide array of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Babyface, Missy Elliott, Bobby Brown, and Mariah Carey. Covers of her songs and tributes since her passing in 2012 have come from all corners of the industry, and her voice lives on through the younger generations inspired by her work.
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