As the music world continues to reel after the shocking, sudden death of Whitney Houston on Saturday afternoon, at just age 48, we wanted to take a moment to remember her true legacy and pay tribute to a gigantic talent, a beautiful entertainer, and one of the biggest stars of the '80s and '90s. Here are five of the singer's greatest songs. Rest in peace, Whitney, and thank you for the glorious music.
"It's Not Right, But it's Okay"
It's rare that truly triumphant lady-anthems as powerful as this happen, but in 1999, Whitney gave even Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" a run for its money. "It's Not Right, But it's Okay" won the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2000, and deservedly so. Whitney's delivery here was so passionate, so pointed and so pissed, she sounded like the strongest woman on earth. Respect.
"The Star Spangled Banner"
Okay, so technically this isn't one of her songs. But truly, this rendition of the National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl was so flawless and imbued with so much soul, it could've turned flag-burners into patriots (for at least a couple of hours). As it was, Whitney's version of "The Star Spangled Banner," became a commercial hit that reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"I'm Your Baby Tonight"
After the phenomenal success of her second album, Whitney's transition from '80s pop goddess into smooth and sophisticated R&B artiste looked positively effortless when she returned with an impressive third full-length, 1990's I'm Your Baby Tonight. The sheer unadulterated power and finesse of the vocals on the title track were positively goose bump-inducing... which is why this became her eighth No. 1 single.
"I Will Always Love You"
If you look up the word "powerhouse" in the dictionary, it should just have a photo still of Whitney taken from this video next to it. Houston took a lil ol' Dolly Parton song and turned it into one of the most epic tracks of all time. "I Will Always Love You" not only helped turn the soundtrack for The Bodyguard into the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time (44 million copies!), but it made humans the world over realize that Whitney Houston had one of the greatest vocal abilities in the history of music. Awe-inspiring.