‘The Voice’: Looking back at Whitney Houston’s greatest moments

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‘The Voice’: Looking back at Whitney Houston’s greatest moments

Photo credit: Randee St. Nicholas

"Whitney Houston always had a great big voice, a technical marvel from its velvety depths to its ballistic middle register to its ringing and airy heights” - John Pareles, New York Times.

A great big voice does not do the legendary singer’s range and styling justice. Long before the star search reality show came to be, the title of ‘The Voice’ belonged only to Whitney Houston (and the wonderful John Farnham, but let’s not get into semantics). A powerhouse with an unmatchable spinto soprano vocal range, Whitney Houston not only earnt her descriptor denomination through her pipes, but also through her larger than life career in both the music and film industry.

She received numerous honours both throughout her extensive career and posthumously, including two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, and 28 Guinness World Records, along with inductions into the Grammy, Rhythm and Blues Music, and Rock and Roll halls of fame. By the time the year 2000 hit, Houston was more than a household name – she was a legend and what better way to reflect on that than through a greatest hits album.

Icons & Superstars collection from Sony Music celebrates the biggest ‘Best-of’ albums from the greatest stars, find out more here.

Whitney: The Greatest Hits was a highly anticipated and highly demanded product of her 15-year spanning career, with rumours surfacing about the collection before 1997. Houston was quoted that same year saying, “Oh, Clive is on my case about this greatest hits album. He’s like, Whitney, we have to do a greatest hits album, I mean you’re far long overdue.”

It was so far overdue that the album included 36 songs, spanning 2h 35m in listening time. As such, it was released in dual compact disc format, split into ballads on disc one titled Cool Down and dance hits and remixes on disc two titled Throw Down, allowing listeners to hike a clear emotional path. The physical release further included a VHS and DVD featuring the music videos, and bonus content including hard-to-find live performances such as her 1983 debut on The Merv Griffin Show, and interviews.

At the time of release Whitney: The Greatest Hits became one of the top selling albums of 2000. In 2012, after Houston’s passing it saw a resurgence in sales at nearly one million copies and re-entered album charts in many countries around the world. It went 5× platinum in the US, with another 5 million sold internationally.

Whilst greatest hits compilations cop a lot of flack with listeners preferring to dive into albums in their original form, Whitney: The Greatest Hits has been hailed. Why, you ask? Let’s break it down for you by track.

Unreleased Tracks

‘One Moment In Time’

Inspired by the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, ‘One Moment In Time’ was written by Albert Hammond and John Bettis for the 1988 Summer Olympics hosted by Seoul in South Korea. This worldwide sentimental ballad was the official song of the Olympics not only in 1988, but Houston opened the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turina with the anthem. Houston also performed it live to open the 31st Grammy Awards in 1989, US Open Tennis Championships in 1997, and at the Sammy Davis Jr.’s 60th Anniversary Celebration in Show Business in 1990.

‘The Star Spangled Banner’

Speaking of anthems, Houston took on the American National Anthem at the Super Bowl XXV in 1991, though controversially singing into a dead microphone for television audiences. She recorded a version of the song as a charity single in 1991 to raise funds for soldiers and families of those involved in the Persian Gulf War. Whilst the single was available, it had never been included on an album prior to Whitney: The Greatest Hits.

‘If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (with Jermaine Jackson)’

Anyone that purchased the Jermaine Jackson 1986 album Precious Moments would have had access to this duet, however ‘If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful’ was never released under the Houston banner until this album. For many this was the first introduction to this collaboration and it continued to spark collaborations for years to come.

New Releases

‘Could I Have This Kiss Forever (with Enrique Iglesias)’

The Voice meets the King of Latin Pop. Enrique Iglesias was on the cusp of his global fame in 2000, having already experienced success with his first three albums and winning the American Music Award in the category of Favourite Latin Artist in 1998. This collaboration was a step in the right direction for both artists, appearing on Iglesias first namesake English-speaking album, and reaching number one in Switzerland and Netherlands – uncharted territory for the latin artist. For Houston, it continued her stay in the charts.

In addition to ‘Could I Have This Kiss Forever’, Whitney: The Greatest Hits  further boasted new releases, collaborations ‘If I Told You That (with George Michael)’, and ‘Same Script, Different Cast (with Deborah Cox)’, as well as ‘Fine’.

The Hits

‘I Will Always Love You’

Originally by Dollywood entrepreneur, activist and country music legend, Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston took ‘I Will Always Love You’ and made it into the greatest ballad of all time. Recorded for the Houston starring film, The Bodyguard, Houston’s version blew up reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for a then-record-breaking 14 weeks. With 20 million copies sold, it became the best-selling single of all time by a female solo artist and Houston won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1994 for her breathtaking rendition.

Along with the original, Whitney: The Greatest Hits see the track further remade by Hex Hector.

The album further sees contrasting versions of mega hit ‘Greatest Love of All’, whilst leaving fellow Bodyguard belters, ‘I Have Nothing’ and ‘Run To You’ in their original format.

‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’

Both controversially and excitingly, Whitney: The Greatest Hits re-imagined aspects of Whitney’s oeuvre rather than simply re-releasing them. After 15 years, Houston had a massive chunk of music to immortalise in a compilation album but not all of them stayed in their original form. The heavy award winning party popper, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ was one of them. Appearing on the Throw Down list, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’ was transformed into an edm banger by Junior Vasquez. This may have been the song’s revived introduction to dancefloors, a favourite to this day.

‘Queen of the Night’, ‘I’m Every Woman’ and ‘How Will I Know’ all received the same treatment.

If you need help understanding why Whitney Houston is considered one of the greatest of all time and why she adopted the title of ‘The Voice’, look no further than Whitney; The Greatest Hits to experience the full scope of her greatness.

Disc One

Cool Down 

‘You Give Good Love’

‘Saving All My Love for You’

‘Greatest Love of All’

‘All at Once’

‘If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (with with Jermaine Jackson)’

‘Didn’t We Almost Have It All’

‘Where Do The Broken Hearts Go’

‘All The Man That I Need’

‘Run to You’

‘I Have Nothing’

‘I Will Always Love You’

‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)’

‘Why Does It Hurt So Bad’

‘I Believe In You And Me’

‘Heartbreak Hotel (feat. Faith Evans and Kelly Price)’

‘My Love Is Your Love’

‘Same Script, Different Cast (with Deborah Cox)’

‘Could I Have This Kiss Forever (with Enrique Iglesias)’

Disc Two

Throw Down


‘If I Told You That’

‘It’s Not Right But It’s Okay’ – Thunderpuss Mix

‘My Love Is Your Love (feat. Dyme) – Jonathan Peters Mix

‘Heartbreak Hotel (feat. Faith Evans and Kelly Price)’ – Hex Hector Mix

‘I Learned from the Best’ – HQ2 Radio Mix

‘Step By Step’ – Junior Vasquez Mix

‘I’m Every Woman’ – Clivilles & Cole Mix

‘Queen of the Night’ – CJ Mackintosh Mix

‘I Will Always Love You’ – Hex Hector Mix

‘Love Will Save The Day’ – Jellybean & David Morales Mix

‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ – Dronez Mix

‘So Emotional’ David Morales Mix

‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ – Junior Vasquez Mix

‘How Will I Know’ – Junior Vasquez Mix

‘Greatest Love Of All’ – Junior Vasquez Mix

‘One Moment in Time’ – from the 1988 Summer Olympics

‘The Star Spangled Banner (live at Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991

Icons & Superstars collection from Sony Music celebrates the biggest ‘Best-of’ albums from the greatest stars, find out more here.

This article was made in partnership with Sony Music.