Whitney Houston — pop superstar, tabloid fixture, singing legend — died Saturday at age 48.
An appreciation of Houston can be read here. But Houston is best seen and heard, so here are 10 videos and performances that celebrate the extraordinary career of Whitney Houston.
How Will I Know (1985)
That spirit, that hair, that bow! Maybe Aretha’s bow hat at President Obama’s inauguration was actually a tribute to Houston? (You’ll notice Ms. Franklin appears in the video.)
The Greatest Love of All (1986)
This ballad is not only stirring but is also highly quotable. How many times has her “I believe the children are our future” line been referenced? (I did it just last week.)
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (1987)
One of Houston’s funnest moments. Don’t you wanna dance, say you wanna dance, don’t you wanna dance?
One Moment in Time (live at the Grammys) (1989)
“One Moment in Time” came along at a time when Houston was hitting so many home runs that this one almost didn’t stand out from the pack. Looking back, it’s a hugely powerful inspirational ballad, and this Grammy performance is incredibly moving. Has there ever been a better Grammy performance?
The Star-Spangled Banner (1991)
This performance, from Super Bowl XXV, continues to be the standard by which all performances of the National Anthem are judged. And few, if any, live up to it.
I Will Always Love You (1992)
The biggest song of Houston’s career, and one of the biggest records in the history of pop music.
I Have Nothing (1992)
Even without “I Will Always Love You,” “The Bodyguard” was still packed with enough hits to be a career-topping effort. “I Have Nothing” has highs almost as high as “I Will Always Love You,” and her “don’t make me close one more door!” climax hits a level few other singers or songs can muster. For any other singer, this might have been the biggest song of their career, but for Houston, this wasn’t even the biggest song on her album.
When You Believe (1998)
The titanic pairing of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston was far more memorable than “The Prince of Egypt,” the song that brought them together.
It’s Not Right But It’s OK (1999)
An empowering female anthem, this production teamed Houston with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins.
My Love is Your Love (1999)
This Wyclef-produced hit finds Houston underplaying her vocal strengths and coming off cool, clam and natural. It’s also one of her best, most underrated singles.