Here are the receipts:
10. "You Give Good Love" ("Whitney Houston", 1985)
Ah, the beginning, what a good place to start. In what was one of her first releases, Whitney serves us innocence in it's purest form. Young love is exuded in each note she sings, and we got a small taste of the greatness that was to come.
9. Where Do Broken Hearts Go" ("Whitney", 1987)
This song always puts me in my feelings, which is ironic, because Whitney originally didn't want to record the song, citing a lack of message or emotion. The song conveys the sense of loss after a relationship ends, and while the album version is cute, the live version really does it to me every time I hear it.
8. "I Look to You" ("I Look to You", 2009)
One of Whitney's final singles claims the number 8 spot on our countdown. The R. Kelly penned track served as the lead single for Whitney's final album of the same name, and lyrically depicts a triumphant Houston defeating her well-publicized hardships with the support of those around her; her family, friends, fans, and God. Whitney surprised the audience at the 2011 Bet Celebration of Gospel telecast by performing an emotional rendition with friend and Gospel heavyweight Kim Burrell. The little church girl in me got her praise on that night.
7. "My Name is Not Susan" ("I'm Your Baby Tonight", 1990)
Coming in at number seven is one of Whitney’s lesser known singles, “My Name is Not Susan”. Prior to the release of its parent album “I’m Your Baby Tonight”, Houston had received harsh criticism from critics, particularly from the Black community for a lack of soul in her material. Teaming up with the production team of Babyface and L.A. Reid, Whitney introduced a tougher, sassier image, more reminiscent of the Whitney that later generations have come to know, while simultaneously shedding her “America’s Sweetheart” image.
6. “All the Man I Need” (I’m Your Baby Tonight”, 1990)
I have always believed that our song coming in at number six means so much more than what meets the eye. At a glance, this song is a beautiful power ballad depicting a woman finally finding true love. While most may think Whitney may have been talking about Bobby Brown, her then boyfriend and later husband, there is a part of me that believes that the man that she ultimately needs, is the Lord himself. Maybe it was her vocal delivery that made me feel this way, but what’s for certain is that Whitney’s voice told stories, and those stories differed from person to person.
5. “Run to You”, “The Bodyguard Soundtrack”, 1992)
Runs. Power. Falsetto. Vocally, Whitney hit a peak with this single from 1992’s groundbreaking smash soundtrack album, “The Bodyguard”, which also featured Whitney in her feature film debut. Also, you can’t tell me that Whitney’s weave in the video wasn’t on fleek. Nuff said.
4. “I Believe in You and Me” (“The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack”, 1996)
Part of what made Whitney such a great singer was her ability to take somewhat ordinary songs and transform them into full on masterpieces. That is exactly what she did with her cover of The Four Tops’ 1983 ballad. While the song is beautifully written to begin with, Whitney introduces a certain type of emotional depth that the original song is lacking.
3. “My Love is Your Love” (“My Love is Your Love”, 1998)
Whitney’s 1998 hit “My Love is Your Love” claims our number three spot. After the success of “The Bodyguard” in 1992, Whitney’s material came solely from her soundtrack albums, making MLIYL her first studio effort in almost eight years. Following the mellow trends of late 1990’s R&B meshing in reggae via the production of Wyclef Jean, “MLIYL” gave us a stripped down version of the diva.
2. “I Will Always Love You” (“The Bodyguard”, 1992)
I know, I know. Stay TF out of my mentions, because this is my list. LOL! Coming in at number two of my favorite Nippy cuts, is the timeless “I Will Always Love You”. The song is identifiable as soon as the words “If I…” are sung. There are two things that I always think of when I listen to this song. 1) Dolly Parton better be praising the Lordt eternally for Whitney’s version, as I’m sure she’s not had to pay a single solitary mortgage payment since. 2) I wonder what it was like to be in the studio while Whitney recorded this song. Did everyone leave the studio edgeless? I need to know! At any rate, “IWALY” is easily one of the most easily identifiable songs forever cemented in pop culture, and further implanted Whitney into musical history. As great as it is, there is one song that I enjoy just a smidgen more…
1. “I Have Nothing”, (“The Bodyguard”, 1992)
I get emotional every single time I hear this song. Every single time. The vocal delivery, the lyrics, how regal Whitney looked every time she sang this song, they all play a part into why this one grabbed the top spot on this countdown. Her rendition of this, along with “I Loves You Porgy” and “And I Am Telling You” medley that she sang at the 1994 American Music Awards is simply legendary, and is by far my favorite live performance by any entertainer ever. (Sorry Janet, I’ll stan for you again tomorrow).
What’s a countdown without a few honorable mentions??
5. "Just The Lonely Talking" (“Whitney”, 1987)
One of the biggest criticisms of her second effort, 1985's "Whitney" was that it failed to evolve Whitney's sound, as it sounded similar to her previous record. What I love about this track, is that it provided a much needed contrast to the poppy nature of the album, and in turn, shows a much more mature Whitney giving us some jazzy and sultry tones
4. “Something in Common” (“Bobby”, 1992)
This song is a bop. I know some of you don’t like Bobby Brown for various reasons, but the chemistry that he and Whitney shared in this 1992 single is one that definitely makes you dance a little bit….and Whitney’s runs at the end of the song were just gorgeous. You also get a peek at little Bobbi Kristina Brown at the very end of the video.
3. “Heartbreak Hotel” (“My Love is Your Love”, 1998)
This song, which was the second single from the “MLIYL” album, speaks about a woman angry that her lover is cheating on her, which was consequently a recurring theme on the album. Assisted by Faith Evans and Kelly Price, Whitney created a laid back track that delivers.
2. “Try It On My Own” (“Just Whitney”, 2003)
One of the few singles I enjoyed from Whitney’s 2003 effort “Just Whitney”, this track, is beautifully done, as it is meant to be reassuring in that in spite of appearances, Whitney had it all under control.
1. “Could I Have This Kiss Forever?” ft. Enrique Iglesias (“Whitney: The Greatest Hits”, 2000)
A collaboration that may have seemed puzzling to some, actually meshed really well together, with Whitney and Enrique dueting about the sense of longing between lovers. The latin spice added to the track made this one a definite standout among Whitney’s repertoire.
Was there anything we missed? Make sure you comment down below and let us know what your favorite Nippy cuts are! Happy Birthday, Queen!!
Follow Jordan on Twitter: @JaiMusick