Whitney Houston would’ve been 50 today, but she continues to shine on (She’s still sweating) thanks to unmatched pop music and that unforgettable voice. We will now commemorate her legacy by naming her five most faaaabulous moments. We’re her baby tonight!
1. “Queen of the Night”
Never forget that Whitney Houston is a VAMP. And please also don’t forget that the best thing about The Bodyguard‘s soundtrack is “Queen of the Night,” the only moment of levity on the whole disc (besides the shouts of “CHAKA KHAN!” on “I’m Every Woman,” of course). It’s an En Vogue era sass explosion, and it’s got THE. STUFF. THAT. YOU. WANT.
2. Her greatest live performance: “How Will I Know” at the 1986 AMAs
“How Will I Know” is — make no mistake — the definitive Whitney Houston song. It’s full of vocal range, danceable power, and balladeer angst, those things she delivered with such unforgettable electricity. And if you saw her performance of said classic at the 1986 American Music Awards, you saw her achieve the impossible: belting over a basic instrumental track and mesmerizing everyone with sheer force. Click to 2:39 for perhaps the greatest moment of award show live singing ever. At 3:02 she hits you with an unforgettable shimmy that you should also memorize for everyday life.
3. This damn album cover.
Move aside, Jordin Sparks, because here’s the original SPARKLE. Glisten, Whitney! Give 1987 more than it can handle! Colgate cool, Mentadent moxy.
4. Her late career triumph “Million Dollar Bill”
This should’ve been a huger hit. It’s so catchy, block party-friendly, and light. The perfect bop for a summer evening. Love the little breakdown in the middle.
5. The outfit and saunter in the “It’s Not Right But It’s OK” video
1999 was such a good year for legendary performers looking for a light-hearted dance single to switch up their catalog. Madonna slayed us with the song and video for “Beautiful Stranger,” Celine Dion thrilled us with the excellent pop song “That’s the Way It Is,” and Whitney vaulted back onto the dance charts with “It’s Not Right But It’s OK,” the sauciest single she’d released in years. The video is just as triumphant, showcasing Whitney with flawless dark makeup and what appears to be an adamantium dress. Here, she evolves from “Queen of the Night” to a g*ddamn sorceress.
Your turn. What’s Whitney’s fabbest moment? Bonus option: Her guest work on Gimme a Break.