Whitney Houston's 15 greatest songs of all time, ranked

2 August 2021, 17:48

Whitney Houston's best songs
Whitney Houston's best songs. Picture: Arista/YouTube

By Tom Eames

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:

  1. I'm Every Woman

    Chaka Khan first scored a big hit with this anthem in 1978, before Whitney recorded a cover version for the Bodyguard soundtrack.

    It gave her another top five hit in the UK and US.

  2. My Love is Your Love

    Taken from her fourth album of the same name, this underrated R&B tune was co-written by Wyclef Jean.

    It gave Whitney another top 5 hit in the UK and US in 1999.

  3. When You Believe (with Mariah Carey)

    Fellow pop legends Whitney and Mariah teamed up for this power ballad as the main theme to the animated movie The Prince of Egypt.

    It proved to be a big success, as it won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1999.

  4. Run to You

    This was the fourth single to be taken from the Bodyguard soundtrack.

    It was originally intended to be a break-up song, but director Mick Jackson saying he liked the song so much, that he'd rather have it as a love song, so the entire song had to be rewritten, except for the title.

  5. All At Once

    This was taken from Whitney's debut album, and is about someone who leaves without warning and the heartbreak that occurs afterwards.

    It was co-written by 'On the Wings of Love' singer Jeffrey Osborne.

  6. All the Man that I Need

    This ballad was first recorded by Linda Clifford in 1982, but it was Whitney's cover that became a worldwide hit eight years later in 1990.

  7. The Greatest Love of All

    George Benson first scored a big hit with this song in 1977, but Whitney later recorded an even more popular cover in 1986 for her debut album.

    Though producer Clive Davis wasn't too fond of the idea at first, it gave Whitney a number one in the States.

  8. How Will I Know

    A song written by duo Boy Meets Girl, this song was taken from Whitney's debut album in 1985.

    It was originally intended for Janet Jackson, but she turned it down. It's still a classic floor-filler.

  9. Where Do Broken Hearts Go

    Smokey Robinson wanted to record this ballad, but Clive Davis held it for Whitney.

    However, she didn't like the song, later admitting that she "hated" it. However, Davis believed the song would be a massive hit, and he was right.

  10. Didn't We Almost Have It All

    This was the second single from Whitney's second album, and gave fans a clue at just what a vocal powerhouse she was.

    It topped the US chart and was nominated for a Grammy.

  11. One Moment in Time

    Whitney's third number one in the UK, this song was recorded for the 1988 Olympics in South Korea.

    It was inspired by Elvis Presley, with writer Albert Hammond imagining it as being sung by Presley at the opening of the games.

  12. Saving All My Love for You

    This song was originally a minor hit for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr in 1978, before Whitney turned into a huge hit in 1985.

    When co-writer Michael Masser heard that it might not be released as a single, he proposed that if all the women get on their feet when Whitney sang it at a club, then Clive Davis would agree that it should be the next single. The rest is history.

  13. I Will Always Love You

    We had to start here, really. The main love song from 1992's The Bodyguard, Whitney made this Dolly Parton ballad her own, after her co-star Kevin Costner suggested it.

    Read more: The Story of... 'I Will Always Love You'

    It spent 14 weeks at number one in the US, 10 weeks in the UK, and sold millions around the world. The ultimate power ballad.

  14. I Have Nothing

    Also taken from the Bodyguard soundtrack, this song is about love and the confusion that occurs due to the different perceptions of women and men when it comes to commitment.

    Read more: The Story of... 'I Have Nothing'

    The power ballad was another huge success around the world, and has become one of the most performed songs on talent shows over the last decade.

  15. I Wanna Dance with Somebody

    This is one of the ultimate feel good songs ever released, and was the lead single from Whitney's second album.

    It was written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, aka Boy Meets Girl.