Whitney Houston's 15 greatest songs of all time, ranked
9 August 2023, 10:58 | Updated: 23 October 2023, 12:52
Whitney Houston was undoubtedly one of the greatest vocalists of the 20th century, and she scored many hits in the 1980s and 1990s.
To celebrate Whitney's brilliant career, here are 15 of her best ever songs, to make for a perfect power ballad playlist:
I'm Every Woman
Whitney Houston - I'm Every Woman (Official Video)
Whitney's version of 'I’m Every Woman' is a cover of the original disco song by Chaka Khan, released in 1978.
Whitney recorded her version for the soundtrack of the movie The Bodyguard. It was released as the second single from the soundtrack in January 1993.
It is a powerful anthem of female empowerment, celebrating the versatility and strength of women. The lyrics declare that “I’m every woman, it’s all in me” and that she can do anything that a man can do, and more.
The song also features a rap by Whitney, in which she pays tribute to Chaka Khan by singing her name. The song was a huge hit, reaching number four in both the UK and US. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1994.
My Love is Your Love
Whitney Houston - My Love Is Your Love (Official Video)
This is a beautiful and soulful ballad that expresses the depth and strength of Whitney's love for someone. It was released in 1999 as the fourth and title single from her fourth studio album.
The song was produced by Wyclef Jean, who also co-wrote it with Jerry Duplessis and Whitney herself. It features a reggae-inspired beat and a catchy chorus.
The song was a worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in many countries, including the US and UK. The song also won two Grammy Awards in 2000.
When You Believe (with Mariah Carey)
Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey - When You Believe (Official HD Video)
'When You Believe' is an inspiring song that celebrates the power of faith and hope. The song was recorded by Whitney with Mariah Carey for the soundtrack of The Prince of Egypt, which tells the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt.
The song was written by Stephen Schwartz and composed by Hans Zimmer, and it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999.
The song features Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey’s amazing vocal talents, as they sing about the miracles that can happen when you believe in yourself and in God. The song has a gospel-like feel, with a choir and an orchestra adding to the emotion and drama of the lyrics.
As expected, Whitney delivered the song with a sense of awe and wonder, expressing her gratitude and joy for the gift of faith. She also showed her respect and admiration for Mariah Carey, as they shared the stage and the spotlight.
Run to You
Whitney Houston - Run To You (Official HD Video)
This romantic ballad was released as the fourth single from The Bodyguard. The song was written by Jud Friedman and Allan Rich, and produced by David Foster.
It was originally intended to be a break-up song, but it was rewritten as a love song for the movie. The song expresses Whitney's desire to run to her lover and be held by him, even though she is not sure if he will stay or run away.
The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin.
All At Once
All At Once - Whitney Houston (Live from The 14th Annual American Music Awards, 1987)
'All At Once' was from her self-titled debut album, which was released in 1985. The song was written by Michael Masser and 'On the Wings of Love' singer Jeffrey Osborne.
The song became the first hit for Whitney Houston in many countries. It perfectly showcases her powerful vocals and emotional delivery, and it is considered one of her signature ballads.
All the Man that I Need
Whitney Houston - All The Man That I Need (Official HD Video)
This powerful ballad expresses Whitney's deep love and gratitude for her partner. The song was originally written by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore for another singer, Linda Clifford, who recorded it in 1982 as 'All the Man I Need'.
However, the song did not become a hit until Whitney covered it in 1990 for her album I’m Your Baby Tonight.
The song was a huge success, reaching number one in the US.
The Greatest Love of All
Whitney Houston - Greatest Love Of All (Official Video)
This song was originally recorded by George Benson in 1977 for the biopic of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest.
Whitney Houston covered the song in 1985 for her debut album, and made it a worldwide hit. The song is a powerful ballad that celebrates self-love and self-respect. It also encourages people to find their inner strength and follow their dreams.
The song was inspired by the songwriter Linda Creed’s battle with breast cancer, which she eventually lost in 1986.
How Will I Know
Whitney Houston - How Will I Know (Official Video)
This classic pop hit was released as the third single from Whtiney's self-titled debut album in November 1985.
The song was originally written and composed by Boy Meets Girl's George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam for Janet Jackson, but she turned it down. Whitney then recorded the song with some changes.
The song is about a young woman who is unsure if the man she likes feels the same way about her. She asks her friends for advice, but ultimately relies on her own intuition to find out.
With a catchy synth-funk and dance-pop sound, it was a huge success, reaching number one in the US.
Where Do Broken Hearts Go
Whitney Houston - Where Do Broken Hearts Go (Official Music Video)
This pop ballad expresses the longing and hope of a lover who wants to reunite with their ex-partner. It was released in 1988 as the fourth single from Whiney's second album, and became her seventh consecutive number one hit in the US, breaking the record held by The Beatles and The Bee Gees.
Whitney initially did not want to record the song, because she felt it did not have a special message, but she was persuaded by her mentor Clive Davis, who predicted that the song would be a success.
Didn't We Almost Have It All
Whitney Houston - Didn't We Almost Have It All (Official Video)
This powerful ballad expresses the nostalgia and regret of a lost love. The song was released in 1987 as the second single from her second album, and it became her fifth consecutive number one in the States.
The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1988. It tells the story of a couple who had a passionate and intense relationship, but failed to make it last.
It showcases Whitney's vocal range and emotional delivery, as she belts out the chorus with soaring notes and dramatic pauses. The song also features a gospel choir in the background, adding to the soulful and uplifting mood.
One Moment in Time
Whitney Houston - One Moment In Time (Official HD Video)
This is a powerful and inspirational ballad that was written by Albert Hammond and John Bettis. It was the official theme of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and was used by NBC in its coverage of the event.
The song expresses the desire to achieve one’s dreams and goals, and to overcome the challenges and obstacles that life presents. The song also celebrates the spirit of the Olympic athletes, who strive to reach their peak performance and glory in one moment in time.
The song was a huge success, reaching number one in the UK and Germany, and the top five in the US.
It was part inspired by Elvis Presley, with writer Albert Hammond imagining it as being sung by Presley at the opening of the games.
Saving All My Love for You
Whitney Houston - Saving All My Love For You (Official Video)
This song was released in 1985 as the second single from her self-titled debut album, and it became her first number-one hit in the US.
The song was written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin, and originally recorded by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr in 1978.
It is a ballad about a woman who is in love with a married man, and who waits for him to leave his wife and be with her. She knows that he has a family and that he needs them, but she can’t resist being with him. The song expresses the emotions of longing, frustration, and hope that the woman feels.
It showcases Whitney Houston’s powerful and expressive voice, as well as her ability to convey the emotions of the lyrics. It also features a saxophone solo by Tom Scott, which adds to the romantic and melancholic mood of the song.
I Will Always Love You
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You (Official 4K Video)
'I Will Always Love You' is one of the most iconic and popular songs of all time. It was originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton in 1973 as a farewell to her mentor and partner Porter Wagoner. Dolly's version was a country hit that reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart twice, in 1974 and 1982.
Whitney recorded a soulful ballad version of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard, in which she starred as a singer who falls in love with her bodyguard, played by Kevin Costner.
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Her rendition of the song was a massive success, breaking records and winning awards. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 14 weeks, setting a new record at the time for the longest-running number one single in history. It also reached number one in almost every other country in the world, selling over 20 million copies worldwide and becoming the best-selling single by a female artist ever.
The song is widely regarded as one of Whitney's signature songs and one of the greatest love songs of all time. It has been covered by many other artists, such as Linda Ronstadt, LeAnn Rimes, and Amber Riley.
'I Will Always Love You' is a song that has touched millions of hearts and lives around the world. It is a testament to Whitney Houston’s talent and legacy, as well as Dolly Parton’s songwriting genius.
I Have Nothing
Whitney Houston - I Have Nothing (Official HD Video)
'I Have Nothing' is a powerful ballad that expresses Whitney's deep love and vulnerability. The song was released in 1993 as the third single from The Bodyguard.
The song was written by David Foster and Linda Thompson, and produced by Foster. It was nominated for an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Soul Train Music Award, but amazingly did not win any of them.
The song is considered one of Whitney's signature songs, and showcases her vocal range and emotional delivery. It is about the fear of losing someone you love, and the desire to have nothing if you don’t have them.
I Wanna Dance with Somebody
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Official Video)
Whitney Houston’s song 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' is a classic pop anthem that celebrates the joy of dancing and finding love. The song was released in 1987 as the lead single from her second album, and it became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in 13 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
It was written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam of the band Boy Meets Girl, who were inspired by Houston’s energetic personality and vocal style.
The song is widely regarded as one of Whitney's signature songs and one of the best pop songs of all time.