In her lifetime (1963-2012), Whitney Houston accomplished more than most artists ever will. She topped the Billboard Hot 100 eleven times, most notably with her record-setting seven consecutive #1 songs from 1985 to 1988 (“Saving All My Love for You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody Who Loves Me”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”).
During her late ‘80s chart dominance, she ruled the album chart as well. Her first two albums, 1985’s Whitney Houston and 1987’s Whitney, topped the charts for 11 and 14 weeks respectively. That already made her the only female artist to spend more than ten weeks atop the Billboard 200 album chart twice – and then along came The Bodyguard, the soundtrack for Whitney Houston’s first movie star turn. The album pulled off an astonishing 20 weeks at #1, making it the most successful chart run for an album driven by a female artist.
That album was fueled largely by the monstrous success of “I Will Always Love You”, a song which spent 14 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 and rates as one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999, according to the Dave’s Music Database book of that name.
As a testament to Whitney’s glory years, that song resurged in the wake of her death, re-entering the charts at an astonishing #7. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “Greatest Love of All” also make comebacks at numbers 35 and 41 respectively. Whitney soared on the album chart as well – Whitney: The Greatest Hits sold 64,000 copies to re-enter the chart at #6. Five other albums re-entered as well. The total sales of 100,000+ albums for the chart week ending February 25 marked more sales for Whitney Houston than all of 2011-12 combined.
Resources and Related Links:
- the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry for Whitney Houston
- In Memory of Whitney Houston: Her Top 50 Songs (DMDB blog entry, 2/12/2012)
- Whitney Houston Has the #1 Single and Album: June 27, 1987 (DMDB blog entry, 6/27/11)
- Whitney Houston hit #1 with “I Will Always Love You”: November 28, 1992 (DMDB blog entry, 11/28/11)
- Billboard magazine. (2/25/2012). “Adele’s Grammy Glory; Houston’s Return”. Page 69.