The late great Whitney Houston left us so many musical treasures we will cherish for all time. Among them were her signature solo smashes, hit albums, gospel records and holiday recordings, but she also had a history of collaborating with some of the best names in the business. And you sure had to be a superstar or have an incredible voice to keep up with the woman whose voice literally can’t be compared. With that in mind, I wanted to take a look back at some of her best collaborations and count down my top 15. All of these artists were touched by her while working with her and have been sharing their condolences since her untimely passing yesterday. We have all lost such a gift in Whitney. I’m sure they are all thrilled to be preserved in song with her for all time. With that said, take a look at my list below and for full coverage and tributes to Ms. Houston, head to Entertainment Weekly here.
Whitney Houston’s Top 15 Musical Collaborations~
Honorable Mention~ “In My Business”- Whitney Houston & Missy Elliott: this funky track was taken from her Grammy nominated album My Love is Your Love in 1998 and shows the funky side of Whitney.
15. “My Love”- Whitney Houston & Bobby Brown: taken from Whitney’s 2002 album Just Whitney, this collaboration of the former sometimes happily married and always controversial couple showcased their passion and dedication to one another.
14. “Take Good Care of My Heart”- Whitney Houston & Jermaine Jackson: from her 1985 debut album Whitney Houston, this song was one of two fantastic duets she did with the second most famous Jackson brother.
13. “Like I Never Left”- Whitney Houston & Akon: this duet was released on her most recent album, I Look to You, in 2010. And it actually made me kind of like Akon (well on this song anyway). It should’ve been released to R&B radio. It had great hit potential there.
12. “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be”- Aretha Franklin & Whitney Houston: the title of this song was a bit of a fortune teller as this wonderful track peaked at a shockingly low # 41 on the Hot 100 in 1989. (The song was from Aretha’s album Through the Storm and it did at least hit # 5 on the R&B charts). I really like it and the two iconic women of song sound fantastic together if you ask me.
11. “Something in Common”- Bobby Brown w/Whitney Houston: pretty much a diss to all their critics, the newlyweds took to song to declare their love for each other on this track from Brown’s 1992 album, Bobby. Strangely it wasn’t released as a single at the time, but the video was used to help sell his album.
10. “We Didn’t Know”- Whitney Housto & Stevie Wonder: this great R&B song was a highlight from her 1989 I’m Your Baby Tonight album pairing two of the biggest and best voices in music. I’m not sure why the record company didn’t promote it as a single. It was a perfect fit for radio at the time.
9. “If I Told You That”- Whitney Houston & George Michael: this fantastic track was taken from her 2000 Whitney: The Greatest Hits collection and was a big international hit (going top ten in the U.K.). It wasn’t released as a single in the U.S., but it should have been. It screamed hit at the time.
8. “Same Script, Different Cast”- Whitney Houston & Deborah Cox: in this massive diva smack down, Whitney and Deborah fight and commiserate over their shared lover. The ballad version, also from her Hits collection, was a hit on the R&B charts and the dance remix hit the top five of the club charts. And seriously, love the title.
7. “Count on Me”- Whitney Houston & CeCe Winans: from the 1995 Waiting to Exhale soundtrack, this song went top ten on the Hot 100, AC and R&B charts and was a testament to the friendships of the women in the film (and the artists singing this lovely song).
6. “Could I Have this Kiss Forever”- Whitney Houston & Enrique Iglesias: another track from her 2000 Hits package, this great mid tempo song should’ve been a bigger hit. It was a big hit globally and went top 10 at AC radio, but shockingly topped out at # 52 on the Hot 100.
5. “Hold Me”- Teddy Pendergrass & Whitney Houston: this wonderful ballad from 1984 was the song that introduced the world to Houston. It was her first Hot 100 hit (going to # 46) but it went top 5 at AC and R&B radio. Interesting note~ because the song was released before her album, she ended up being ineligible for the Grammy award for Best New Artist when her debut finally hit stores. (The rules have since been changed, hello!)
4. “When You Believe”- Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey: this Grammy nominated and Oscar winning track from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack paired the two biggest female voices of the time on a wonderful ballad. Strangley, the song peaked at # 15 on the Hot 100 in 1998. However, it did hit # 3 on the AC charts and went top ten across the globe.
3. “Heartbreak Hotel”- Whitney Houston w/Faith Evans & Kelly Price: teaming up with two other big R&B divas landed this track at # 2 on the Hot 100 and # 1 on the Dance and R&B charts. The song from her 1998 My Love is Your Love album also landed a Grammy nomination for the trio.
2. “If You Say My Eyes are Beautiful”- Jermaine Jackson & Whitney Houston: first appearing on Jackson’s 1986 album Precious Moments, this perfect pop ballad was later included on Whitney’s 2000 Hits package as well. I simply adore it.
1. “I Know Him So Well”- Whitney Houston & Cissy Houston: fittingly a song by Whitney and her mother tops my list. This bombastic and beautiful ballad, originally from the musical Chess, paired the two divas together seamlessly and was featured on Houston’s 1987 album, Whitney. The younger ingenue getting advice from the seasoned veteran made for a transcendent duet that will forever bond the two incredible Houston voices.
“I Know Him So Well” (live)
“I Know Him So Well” (original recording)