Brand | Impact | Whitney Houston | 22nd November 2021 | Virtual Wire
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on August 9th, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. In the early 80s, she started out as a model at the age of 17 & became the 1st woman of colour on the cover of Seventeen Magazine.
She also appeared in Glamour & Cosmopolitan & even did a commercial for Canada Dry Ginger ale soda. She was even considered to play the role of Sandra Huxtable on The Cosby Show, but she ended up declining the role because, you know, she would become Whitney “THE VOICE” Houston, The Greatest Vocalist Ever & One of the Biggest Popstars in Music History! Whitney got her to start singing with her mother, Gospel singer Sissy Houston. She also did duets with established artists like Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass & Adult Contemporary crooner Jermaine Jackson, before getting signed to Arista Records by her mentor, Clive Davis. In 1985, Whitney would release her debut single, You Give Good Love, which went to peak at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
She would release 2 albums in the mid-80’s Whitney Houston & Whitney, which would go on to receive DIAMOND status, selling over 10 Million albums each. She would become the first African-American artist to release 7 consecutive #1 singles on the Hot 100: 1. Saving All My Love, 2. How Will I Know, 3.The Greatest Love Of All, 4. I Wanna Dance With Somebody, 5. Didn’t We Almost Have It All, 6? So Emotional & 7. Where Do Broken Hearts Go? With that much success, just 2 albums in her career; that would have already been enough to cement any other artist, but for Whitney, that was just an appetizer, for the musical & business feast she would provide in the 90s.
The Historic Soundtracks of Our Lives: Executive Produced by Whitney “Nippy” Houston from 1992-1998!!!
On November 17th 1992, Whitney Houston would go on to release The Bodyguard Soundtrack, in which she recorded 6 songs, half of the album. The huge hits from the album included a cover of Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman”(#4),” I Have Nothing”(#4), “Run To You”(#31), & the cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”, which peaked at #1 for 14 weeks & sold over 20 Million Worldwide, becoming Houston’s biggest hit song ever.
The Bodyguard Soundtrack would sell over 45 Million Worldwide, becoming the biggest-selling soundtrack of all time, the biggest selling album by a female artist, biggest selling album of the decade & it went on to win 3 Grammys including Record Of The Year for I Will Always Love You & Album Of The Year. The success of The Bodyguard Soundtrack was so massive, that Whitney was highly demanded by the general public to do a 120 date tour for the album, which grossed over $34 Million.
On November 14th 1995, Whitney would reunite with singer-songwriter & Co-CEO of LaFace Records, Babyface to curate the Waiting to Exhale Soundtrack album. The biggest hit song from the soundtrack, Exhale (Shoop Shoop), sang by Houston, would become the biggest hit from the album, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. This time, however, the soundtrack would include an All-Star Collection of Black female singers including SWV, Patti LaBelle, TLC, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Faith Evans & Chante Moore.
However, the other smash hits on the soundtrack would come from a young rookie of the year Pop & R&B Princess named Brandy with “Sittin Up In My Room”(#2) Toni Braxton’s “Let It Flow”(#1), a duet by Houston & Gospel royalty CeCe Winans’ “Count On Me”(#8), but the undisputed heart & soul of the entire soundtrack was recorded by the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon’ Cry” which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it her biggest hit song of the 90s. The soundtrack album would go on to sell over 12 Million Worldwide & receive a Grammy for Best R&B Song for Exhale (Shoop Shoop).
On November 26th 1996, Houston executive produced another hit movie soundtrack, this time it was a Gospel soundtrack for the film “The Preacher’s Wife”, starring Houston & Denzel Washington. The hits from the album include Houston’s “I Believe In You & Me” which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, ”Step By Step”(#15) & “My Heart Is Calling” (#77). The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack would become the biggest selling Gospel album & soundtrack of all time, selling over 6 Million Worldwide.
To end her soundtrack run of the mid-90s, Houston would release a duet with fellow top-tier Pop Diva, Mariah Carey called “When You Believe”, for the soundtrack of the film “The Prince of Egypt” on November 2nd 1998. The song produced by Babyface peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 & went to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The brand of these Whitney Houston Soundtracks displayed The Business-Minded Brilliance, Beyond Her Voice! She released & executive produced more soundtracks in the 90s, the official solo studio albums.
Also, the soundtracks made more money in sales, than the actual movies made at the box office. She turned the movie soundtracks into a business within the music business. Whitney Houston didn’t stop at the soundtracks. She Co-Executive Produced the ABC TV movie, Cinderella, as well as the Cheetah Girls & Cheetah Girls 2 for the Disney Channel. All in all, Whitney will always be known as “THE VOICE”, but her Vision & Business-Sense should be celebrated & highlighted more. For that, we salute Whitney Houston & We Will Always Love & Remember Her!!! May She Rest In Peace!