Whitney Houston 35 best songs ranked: Hits include ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody,’ ‘My Love is Your Love,’ ‘I Will Always Love You’ [PHOTOS]

What are Whitney Houston‘s very best songs? Click on the gallery above to scroll through 35 of her greatest hits and hidden gems. Does your favorite make the cut? And do you agree with our pick for number one?

Houston is one of the most iconic and influential singers in pop music history. Born into a family with deep gospel roots, she began strict vocal lessons from her Grammy-winning mother, Cissy Houston, at age 13. Cissy came from the popular gospel group The Drinkard Singers before forming the highly sought after crew of background vocalists called The Sweet Inspirations. Cissy’s voice can be heard on hundreds of songs for artists such as Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, Van Morrison and Luther Vandross. Most notably, Cissy provides the soaring soprano backing Aretha Franklin in the Queen of Soul’s classic hit, “Ain’t No Way.”

Whitney was in the studio the day Aretha recorded that track. The two met when Whitney, whose childhood nickname was “Nippy,” was just a kid. The little girl named Nippy was exposed to many great talents at a young age. Each summer she got a thrill out of hitting the road with her cousin, pop legend Dionne Warwick. Dionne would take her on tour and sit her backstage, demonstrating how to command an audience and sing with stage presence. Before Whitney knew it, she was in the studio singing backup vocals for artists like Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls.

SEE ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ trailer: First look at Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston [WATCH]

In 1983, ARISTA Records President Clive Davis signed Whitney to his label and the rest is history. The carefully crafted launch of a pop princess with a soulful flare was set and Whitney’s self-titled first album became the biggest-selling debut in history. It was the first of many records she would set in her illustrious career. She became the first female artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart when her second album, “Whitney,” hit shelves. She became the first artist to have seven consecutive #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 — a feat no other artist has accomplished to this day. She’s also the only Black artist with three Diamond-certified albums.

In 1992, the already world famous pop singer had her star shot into a whole other stratosphere. Whitney starred in her first film, “The Bodyguard,” opposite Oscar winner Kevin Costner. In addition to the film raking in over $400 million at the box office, the soundtrack became the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time, with sales over 42 million worldwide. The lead single, a remake of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” spent 14 weeks on top of the Hot 100 singles chart and earned Whitney two Grammys for Best Pop Female Vocal and Record of the Year. She took home a third trophy for Album of the Year.

Throughout her legendary career, Whitney sold over 200 million albums and, according to the RIAA, became the best-selling R&B artist of the 20th century. She also starred in a number of films and TV shows, becoming the highest paid Black actress when she earned $10 million for starring in “The Preacher’s Wife” with Denzel Washington. At the time of her death on February 11, 2012, Whitney was the most awarded female singer in history. She broke down barriers and has been named a major influence by artists such as Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Brandy, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Jennifer Hudson and many more. A biopic titled “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” starring Naomi Ackie as Houston will be released December 23, 2022.

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