Whitney Houston may have been one of the most successful and most celebrated artists of all time, selling over 170 million records and winning 6 Grammy awards, but there are still plenty of us who didn’t follow her career closely—or simply weren’t listening to pop while she dominated the charts.
What should we listen to first as we catch up with her monster career? We asked Slate music critic Jody Rosen, who also wrote our remembrance of the pop superstar, to pick 10 of Houston’s most essential tracks. His choices are collected below in a Spotify playlist.
1. “Saving All My Love for You” from Whitney Houston (1985)
2. “How Will I Know (A cappella)” from Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition (2010)
3. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” from Whitney (1987)
4. “So Emotional” from Whitney (1987)
5. “Greatest Love All (Live at Radio City Music Hall, 1990)” from Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition
6. “The Star Spangled Banner” (Live from Super Bowl XXV, 1991) from Whitney: The Greatest Hits
7. “I Will Always Love You” from The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album (1992)
8. “I Have Nothing” from The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album (1992)
9. “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” from My Love Is Your Love (1998)
10. “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” from I Look To You (2009)
Listen to this playlist on Spotify: Where to Start with Whitney Houston