Whitney Houston

Welcome to the kickstart of our new Music section. Our writer Shourya, is your regular music connoisseur and chart-geek, and from today he’ll indulge in a little bit of music revelry here on Minority-Review!

In case you consider the 80’s and the 90’s the golden era of pop music, chances are you’ll own every cassette and CD ever released by Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, George Michael, Celine Dion etc. It was an era of the innovators. But the one voice that stood out as an unstoppable melismatic force that defined the sound of almost three consecutive decades from the 80’s to the 00’s was none other than the incomparable voice of the late Whitney Houston.

The fact is there would be no Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J Blige or Adele without Whitney’s legacy. Tragically gone too soon at the age of 48 on the 11th of February 2012, Whitney’s majestic voice and career were and still are the blueprint for the millions of hopeful vocalists standing outside the audition rooms of music-based reality shows. Chances are they’ve rehearsed at least one Whitney song to impress the judges, ‘cuz quite frankly, Whitney is the only frame of reference as far as vocals are concerned. When Whitney sang, you listened!


Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard

Today’s Retro Rewind post is dedicated to the fallen angel, whose legacy we celebrate. I’ve grown up listening to her, and her music has been a source of strength, a comfort zone for me to run to during my rebellious years of youth when I was facing my own demons. By numbers alone, Whitney reigned supreme, with an estimated 200 million records sold world-wide. She remains the only artist in history to have 7 consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart (out of 11 #1’s in all), and the soundtrack to the movie The Bodyguard has sold in excess of 45 million units worldwide, making it the biggest selling soundtrack of all time. Until recently, the soundtrack was the longest running #1 album by a female artist on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, spending an unprecedented 20 weeks on top, until chart-titan Adele’s sophomore album ’21’ broke that record by spending 23 weeks at the penthouse.


Whitney also remains one of the five female vocalists to boast of 4 #1 songs from one album, the other four being Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Katy Perry. The Guinness Book Of World Records cites her as the most awarded vocalist of all time, with 6 Grammy’s, 22 American Music Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards among others to her credit.

Today, I feature Whitney’s signature song of the 80’s, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ (I consider ‘I Will Always Love You’ as her signature song of the 90’s) as our song selection. By 1987, Whitney was already an established force to be reckoned with, especially after her 1985 debut album ‘Whitney Houston’ ended up topping the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, selling over a whopping 25 million units world-wide and spawning 3 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ was Whitney’s first single from her 1987 sophomore album, simply titled ‘Whitney’. The effortless exuberance and joyful revelry of this uptempo classic is hard to ignore and easy to get addicted to, and the song remains a stunning testimony of Whitney’s mesmerising vocal prowess. This song’s pretty much a fan-favorite, and honestly, is there anybody out there who has NOT heard this song?


The song ended up being her 4th consecutive #1 single, and the parent album ‘Whitney’ topped the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, sold 20 million units worldwide and spawned three more consecutive #1 singles (‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All’, ‘So Emotional’, and ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’) to create history – 7 consecutive #1’s in all. The song also won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance Female. I don’t know if it sounds lame, but this is one song that I ridiculously flail and dance to like it’s nobody’s business whenever I hear it play at a club.


I’m also fiercely protective about my Whitney cassette collection, and although the ‘Whitney’ album has been literally reduced to pulp (remember how the tape would get entangled in the stereo back in the day and then you needed to shove in a pencil and rotate the tape back? Nostalgia!), I still hold on to them, and I’ll respond with a resounding snarl if you try to take them away from me!

So here you go! Listen to the song and dabble in a bit of nostalgia, and in case you haven’t listened to the song before, witness a piece of ground-breaking music that defined an era! Although I miss her, and feel like a part of me died with her, Whitney’s music shall live on forever. On a clear night, you might just hear her incomparable voice again, commanding a choir of angels in heaven and teaching them a thing or two about perfection!



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