Houston’s songs that stood the test of time.
Today marks the third anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death. The singer might be gone but she has left us with a catalogue of beloved songs that sound as good today as they did when they were first released.
After hours of revisiting her hits (with some sing-a-long thrown in!), the writers at Star2 pick their favourite Whitney numbers.
Saving All My Love For You (Whitney Houston, 1985)
I first heard Whitney’s Saving All My Love in 1986. I had just finished secondary school and was ready to see the world and embark on my new adventures as a young adult. Since Karen Carpenter, I had never really fallen in love with another female singer’s voice … until Whitney. Her vocals were flawless, her range incredible and those lyrics (the torment of perhaps an unrequited love and an illicit affair to boot … the song was a heady mix for this 18-year-old). Every time I listen to it, I am transported back to 1986 when I first heard it and bought the ciplak cassette from the pasar malam in Teluk Pulai, Klang. A few stolen moments is all it takes. — Ann Marie Chandy
So Emotional (Whitney, 1987)
While she has firmly established herself as a balladeer to be reckoned with, Whitney refused to be pigeonholed. With So Emotional, Whitney proved yet another time – after How Will I Know and I Wanna Dance With Somebody – she has the chutzpah to deliver a good dance tune as well (dancing, on the other hand, Whitney can’t do). The rock-infused track showed a cheekier, sultrier Whitney (the song is written by the team responsible for Madonna’s Like A Virgin) much to the delight of fans, including this one. — Gordon Kho
I’m Every Woman (OST The Bodyguard, 1992)
Seriously, how can you pick one Whitney song from her long body of work? But I would have to shoot for I’m Every Woman, a Chaka Khan song that Whitney made her own, and into a huge hit. It’s a great diva dance anthem and it’s from the soundtrack of The Bodyguard, one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Enough said. — SS Yoga
I Look To You (I Look To You, 2009)
Whitney initially passed on this song when it was presented to her by songwriter R. Kelly some 10 years before its release in 2009. The chorus of I Look To You is unlike many of her signature ballads. For once, there was no big, dramatic, vein-popping notes to hit. The powerhouse vocalist sang beautifully in quiet surrender, with a softness and vulnerability in her voice that could’ve only come after spending some time weathering through life’s storms. — Kenneth Chaw
Greatest Love Of All (Whitney Houston, 1985)
I am a huge Whitney fan and I just love this song. It has such a strong meaning of self-belief, self-love, hope, strength, confidence and love that every woman (and man) should imbibe. The greatest love of all, for all of us, should be the love (and respect) we have for ourselves. My favourite line: “I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow/ If f I fail, If I succeed, at least I live as I believe.” — S. Indramalar
Step By Step (OST The Preacher’s Wife, 1996)
Trivia: this song was written by Annie Lennox and originally released on the B-side of her single Precious. Whitney took it to another level – pumped up the synthesiser and turned it into a number that immediately lifts up a spirit that’s down. — Mumtaj Begum
I Have Nothing (OST The Bodyguard, 1992)
My friends and I love this song (and Run To You)… We kept singing them in school, even though we can’t really sing them like how Whitney did. Pretty sure it annoyed everyone around us. — Melody L. Goh
How Will I Know (Whitney Houston, 1985)
Whitney's How Will I Know perfectly describes what every girl wonders when she likes a guy, and doesn’t really know how the other party feels towards her. Especially if the said guy works at the speed of a slow cooker and is the worst at expressing his emotions. Sigh… — Sharmila Nair
I Will Always Love You (OST The Bodyguard, 1992)
As overplayed and over-karaoked as it may be, all it takes is one listen to Whitney’s version of I Will Always Love You to get those goosebumps going. The song introduced me to her, and I fell in love with the way her amazing voice shifted from tenderness to yearning to high drama so effortlessly. Long after I’ve forgotten what The Bodyguard was about, this song from the movie continues to take my breath away every single time. —Sharmilla Ganesan
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney, 1987)
I developed this huge crush on a girl who danced at my school concert. She was part of a duo, and after the performance, I saw them in the canteen and dared myself to chat her up. Thankfully, reality bit and reminded me that I was in Standard 6 and she in Form 6. To this day, I have a little smile whenever I hear I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Yup, that’s the tune she danced to. — N. Rama Lohan
Experience all the songs mentioned here on this playlist.