Whitney Houston is a native of New Jersey. She was born on August 9, 1963. She had singing in her roots. Her mother, Cissy Houston, is a gospel, soul, and r&b singer. She was also a minister at New Hope Baptist Church. Whitney Houston got her start singing in her mother’s church. The musical roots didn’t stop there for Houston. Her first cousin, Dionne Warwick, is also an r&b soul singer. By the time Houston became a teenager, she was preparing for stardom. She was singing with her mother and trying to get a record deal. Before she became a singer, she was a model. She was one of the first African American women to appear on the cover of Seventeen Magazine. Even though she had success as a model, she still wanted to be a singer.
Her dream came true when she was 19 when Clive Davis discovered her in a nightclub. He was instantly impressed with her vocals and wanted to sign her to Arista Records. With Davis’ help, the singer transitioned from gospel music to pop music. She made her first TV debut in 1983 on the Merv Griffin Show. Houston sang Home from the musical The Wiz. She impressed the audiences with the song. After the praise she received from that performance, she and Davis began working on her debut cd. The self-titled cd was an instant hit for the singer/actress. The cd was released in 1985 and scored several hits. After her debut cd, she released Whitney in 1987, which also scored several hits. Her third cd I’m Your Baby Tonight was released in 1990. She had two number one hits from that cd.
In 1992, Houston starred in the movie The Bodyguard. She recorded six songs on the soundtrack. The soundtrack includes one of her biggest hits titled “I Will Always Love You.” She would also go on to star in Waiting To Exhale in 1995. She also performed three songs on that soundtrack. In 1996, she starred in The Preacher’s Wife. She sang the entire soundtrack and it’s the best-selling gospel cd. It gave her a chance to go back to her gospel roots. She released My Love Is Your Love in 1998. Houston released Just Whitney in 2002. Her final studio cd was I Look To You in 2009. The last movie she starred in was Sparkle. She passed away three years later on February 11, 2012. The movie was released around the time she passed away. She had two songs on the Sparkle Soundtrack.
Whitney Houston has a lot of solo hits, but she also sang many duets throughout her career. She has worked with the likes of Teddy Pendergrass, Jermaine Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Faith Evans, CeCe Winans as well as other artists. This list will focus on Houston’s duets throughout the years. Some of the songs were released, but some of them weren’t singles for her. Whitney Houston was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2019.
# 10 – Heartbreak Hotel
Featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price
This is the second single off of the CD My Love Is Your Love. The song made it to number two on the Hot 100 Billboard charts. The song was initially written for the group TLC, but they turned down want the track. It turned out to be a good decision because it was a hit song for Houston. It’s an r&b midtempo song about heartbreak. Houston already worked with Faith Evans on The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack, but she wasn’t a lead vocalist on the song. Evans sang in the background. Houston didn’t feature her famous powerful vocals on this track. She allowed the other singers to shine in this song. Price and Evans do a great job in this song. Price’s gospel roots are showcased in it. She holds some notes towards the end. With three divas singing in one song, there was a potential of one trying to outshine the other. Fortunately, the three singers were able to make musical magic with this song. The song earned Grammy nominations so their efforts paid off.
# 9 – Count On Me
Featuring CeCe Winans
This is the fourth track was from the Waiting To Exhale Soundtrack. The ballad is an inspirational song about friendship. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds wrote the song based on the friendship of the characters in the movie. It worked out that Winans sang it with Houston because they were good friends. They both have gospel backgrounds, which is clearly shown in this song. They both use their power vocals, which added a great touch to it. They added great power without over singing. They both shined brightly during the track. They sound similar to each other throughout the song. Their behind-the-scenes friendship helps bring it to life.
# 8 – Could I Have This Kiss Forever
Featuring Enrique Iglesias
This song is featured on Whitney: The Greatest Hits and Iglesias’ Greatest Hits CD. Clive Davis wanted Houston to do the song with Iglesias. They come from two different genres of music. Whitney Houston was a pop/r&b singer while Enrique Iglesias was a Latin singer. They seemed like an odd mix to sing a duet, but it worked. Diane Warren wrote the Latin styled song and it was a perfect choice for the pair. It has a midtempo beat that suits both voices perfectly. The Spanish guitar stood out the most in the track.
The artists didn’t record the song together, but they managed to make the song work. It’s easy to forget they didn’t record it together. Houston recorded her vocals in Germany while he recorded his in California. Houston was the clear star of the track because she emotes beautifully throughout the song. Iglesias does a good job too, but he does disappear towards the end of the song because he’s not a vocal match for the diva.
# 7 – We Didn’t Know
Featuring Stevie Wonder
This track is featured on the I’m Your Baby Tonight CD. The song is about friends who fall in love with each other. Stevie Wonder wrote the beautiful love song. The song is a ballad with a midtempo feel to it. The music compliments their voices very well. It’s practically hypnotic along with their vocals. Their voices also compliment each other well. They are able to hold their own against each other. Houston didn’t use her powerful vocals much in the song, which is fine because it wasn’t needed for the track. Wonder was a child star so he was singing longer than Houston, but they both sound like veterans on the track. The song wasn’t released as a pop single, but it did well on the r&b charts.
# 6 – Take Good Care Of My Heart
Featuring Jermaine Jackson
This song is on the self-titled cd. She recorded a few tracks with Jackson. She had two tracks with the singer on her debut cd. This r&b song wasn’t released as a single, but it was just as good as the others. This is a very underrated song. It has a smooth r&b and jazz feel too it. The saxophone sells the song. It’s about a couple who have found love unexpectedly. They believe that the other can love and hurt them at the same time. Out of all the duets they performed together, this one is better suited for Jackson’s voice. Whitney Houston sounds amazing as usual on the track. His vocals don’t match hers at all, but this track is better for him. She sounded like a seasoned singer on the track and it was part of her debut cd. She sounded as if she were singing professionally for years. She doesn’t hit any big notes, but it still works. The music is smooth so her power vocals weren’t necessary to make it work.
# 5 – Hold Me
Featuring Teddy Pendergrass
This track was featured on Houston’s self-titled cd as well as Pendergrass’ Love Language cd. This was released in 1984 and was Whitney Houston’s first single. The song made it to the top five on the r&b charts. It was originally written for Diana Ross. She sang the song in 1982, but the title of it was In Your Arms. The song is a mix of r&b and adult contemporary music. It’s a love song about being in your lover’s arms forever. Once again Houston sounds like she’s been in the business for years. She was a good match for Pendergrass. Her soprano vocals were a great match for his baritone vocals. She sang in a lower key throughout the song to match his tone. She also showcased her power vocals towards the end. It’s too bad they didn’t record more songs together because their voices are amazing together.
# 4 – I Know Him So Well
Featuring Cissy Houston
This song was featured on the Whitney cd. The song was the sixth single released in other countries. It wasn’t released in America. I Know Him So Well is a remake of a song from the musical Chess. Barbara Dixon and Elaine Paige originally performed the song. The song is about women talking about a man they shared. It’s strange for a mother and daughter to sing a song like this. This is the only track Houston performed with her mother. It’s a nod to their gospel roots. Their gospel beginnings can be heard throughout the song. Whitney Houston sings in a lower key to match her mother’s alto vocals. Their voices sound good together. Whitney Houston sounds incredible on the track She does downplay her power vocals to allow her mother to shine in the song. They do get a chance to belt just after the bridge and before the song fades out.
# 3 – Nobody Loves Me Like You Do
Featuring Jermaine Jackson
The song is on her self-titled cd. Nobody Loves Me Like You Do is a remake of the Anne Murray and Dave Loggins song. This is ballad blends pop and r&b music. It’s one of the duets Houston performed with Jackson during her debut. Houston’s vocals are excellent throughout the song. She starts off softly and then vocally explodes in the track. Jackson does a good job on the track, but he’s no match for Houston especially towards the end of the song. Her voice shines like a diamond on this track. She holds little notes towards the end of the song. The song should have been released as a single. It’s definitely an underrated song on her debut cd.
# 2 – If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful
Featuring Jermaine Jackson
This song is on Whitney: The Greatest Hits as well as Jermaine Jackson’s Precious Moments cd. This is a beautiful ballad that wasn’t released as a single. It had some radio airplay, but it was never a single for some reason. This song is definitely underrated because it’s beautiful. The ballad is a blend of pop, soft rock, and adult contemporary music. The song is mostly played on quiet storm radio. Houston and Jackson start the song off softly, but she takes the song to another level. She really showcases her vocal ability throughout the song.
Whitney Houston sounds like a seasoned pro once again in this song. Once again Jackson does a good job, but he didn’t hold a candle to the diva. Her powerful vocals were just too strong for him to match up with her. She obliterates him towards the end of it. She has such impressive control of her voice. She knows when to soar and when to pull back.
# 1 – When You Believe
Featuring Mariah Carey
The song is on three CDs. The song is featured on The Prince Of Egypt Soundtrack, Houston’s My Love Is Your Love cd, and Carey’s #1’s cd. This song was history in the making because Houston and Carey are power balladeers. The public assumed they didn’t get along with each other because of their similarities musically as well as vocally. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds was responsible for making this happen. He wanted them to work on the track together. Fans of both artists got a chance to hear them work together on their only duet. It’s easy to forget that the singers didn’t record their verses together. The song is edited so well that it sounds as if they recorded it together. Houston and Carey’s voices were outstanding on this track. They both showcased their strong vocals and belted in the song. They both had chances to shine throughout the song. Carey was the perfect match for Houston because she is also a power balladeer. They were able to hold their own against each other. It’s a shame they didn’t get the chance to record more music together.