#97: Whitney Houston ‘I Will Always Love You’

It's no exaggeration that Whitney Houston is one of the most beloved entertainers of her generation. Is it
any wonder why so many people are pulling for the embattled singer to make a comeback?
We want to see and hear the Whitney of old who could open her
mouth and shut stuff down. With Bobby Brown putting her on Front Street today we really couldn't have planned this
any better, but at #97 on our Top 100 Soul/R&B countdown is Whitney with "I Will Always Love You."

Although Whitney's debut acting performance in The Bodyguard was side-eye inducing, it was her contribution to the film's soundtrack that was most impressive. She sang six songs for the album and even had the gumption to remake Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman." But it was her soulful take on a warbling country song by Dolly Parton that took her career to the next level.

Whitney's "I Will Always Love You" is pure perfection. From the slow and steady acapella opening to the soaring big finish, this song is one of the greatest vocal performances ever. It broke long-standing chart records and went on to become the worldwide bestselling single by a female artist. It could be argued that Whitney was at her peak here. Will she get back there? It's doubtful, but let's look back on our girl before the love lost its shine.


17 Responses

  1. Absolutely brilliant. Damn! I miss the old Whitney before crack and Brown.

  2. This is pregnant Whitney, too. She's glowing in this video and in "I'm Every Woman." She looked good with a lil' meat on her bones.
    Go Whit!

  3. I could this be #97? This is one of the biggest songs ever, it gotta be in the top 20. I mean Whitney is a huge artist and this is her biggest hit out of her dozen or more hits.

  4. Where's the Side Eye 2.0 when you need it? Now, now BC. It's early in the game. We don't know what's ahead. Besides this is not THE list, it's THEIR list. They might not stan for Whit like that.
    Anywho, this definitely belongs on the list. Whitney owns this song IMHO. Dolly who? And yes, I loved how she was absolutely glowing in the video.
    Did anyone see Siesha tackle this on American Idol the other night? Now THAT was side-eye inducing.

  5. I agree with BC Planning... I dont know how this song could be ranked as low as #97.... there arent too many artists who can out-sing whitney at her peak....

  6. Seriously, I can't think of 30+ songs better than this and I am in no way a stan of Whitney.
    But then again this might mean no Bobby on the list, cause NOTHING in his catalog is better than this song. Period.

  7. how could this not be in the top 10 rand b songs r yall on crack p.s crack is wack get it together i'm scraid to see the rest of the list are these songs surpose to be in order

  8. @Aunt Viv: There's going to be a lot of hurt feelings if people think we ranked based on mainstream popularity.

  9. Avatar

    I agree with some of the other posts, how in the world could this be #97. This is one of the best songs of all time.
    Whitney at her peak can only be beaten by few.

  10. What's the big deal.. this is ONE Whitney song... there are atleast THREE others that can make this list and IMHO better than this one. Ya'll need to stand down and see what else comes up. Cause this is the Soulbounce list... Sit back and let 'em amaze you, lol.

  11. Hmmm, I would say there is a lot of songs and this is only #97 people!LOL.Calm down.

  12. Jrenzo, thanks for breaking it down so it can forever and consistently be broke.
    I am sorry to say that if anybody can't think of 30 songs better than this, PLEASE stop what you're doing right now and go dig in your Momma and Daddy's crates. Might find some Stevie in there. Maybe a little Marvin...some Earth Wind & Fire...some Gap Band perhaps? Maybe not.
    Is it August yet?

  13. VIV!!!! Get out of my head! I had precisely the same thought in my mind when I was on my way back from DontGiveAShitsVille. Stevie, Marvin and EWF all came to mind. OMG you got ESPN!

  14. I'm getting the side eye for thinking this song is bigger then "Baby take your time, do it right"? Really?

  15. No, BC. You're getting the side-eye for second-guessing the intent of this countdown, which isn't a list of the biggest, most influential, groundbreaking, or historically significant songs. We made it clear as tears that we're sharing a list of favorites. Also, the fact that Whit made the countdown at all should've shut this convo down eons ago, seeing as how if she wasn't on the list at all, no one would even be thinking about her.
    I told Butta I wasn't going to address this, but I see that there's a huge gap in the communication here, and frankly, I find it insulting that you are basically telling people what they should like instead of simply saying it would've been higher on your list and keeping it moving. "I Will Always Love You" is a huge song, but that may have nothing to do with the personal enjoyment of someone other than yourself.
    If you'd like me to do an entry explaining how/why this countdown happened, I'd be happy to oblige. Otherwise, you're going to be complaining for the next 20 weeks.

  16. Insulting? It aint even that serious.
    If you throw up a list, people are going to criticize and nitpick at it, that should be the whole fun of making the list.
    And it aint even like I love the song, I just give it it's due because it broke chart records.

  17. We don't care about chart records, we care about whether or not the song appeals to us personally. Out of the people involved, only 2 consider this song a favorite. I wasn't one of those people. Telling me how "big" the song is or how many records it broke doesn't increase the likelihood of it making it onto my ipod or daily listening routine. A countdown of songs that broke records and moved a high number of units would be predictable and boring. Of course I expected people to nitpick; that's what people do in the comments section. But there needs to be an understanding that the way this site's content is executed is an internal and purposeful method.