Vote: That Grape Juice Ranks Whitney Houston’s Top 5 Covers & Remakes

Published: Saturday 14th Feb 2015 by Rashad
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The week brought with it the third anniversary of the untimely passing of pop icon Whitney Houston.  Lauded as a stentorian vocal performer whose prowess knew few (if any) rivals, the diva’s 30 year career saw her become the standard for all singers to follow.  From her self-titled debut album (released on this day in 1985) to 2009’s ‘I Look To You,‘ Houston sailed to the top of the charts with a discography of hits that includes many of the most memorable numbers imparted to pop music over the last three decades.

Interestingly, many people do not know that a great number of said memorable tunes lining her discography are, in fact, remakes.  Borrowed from the likes of Diana Ross, Donnie Hathaway, Dolly Parton, The Isley Brothers, and many lesser known acts, Whitney’s catalog shines with a collage of covers that were done so well most assumed her versions were the originals.

Since February 2012 fans, celebrities, and more commemorate the anniversary of her death by sharing remakes of her top hits.  But, now we’re coming to you – That Grape Juice faithful – to ask:

What’s Whitney Houston’s best remake (of other artists)?

Tuck in below to see our top 5 picks and sound off:

1.  ‘I Will Always Love You’ (originally performed by Dolly Parton)

This was the obvious top pick right?

‘I Will Always Love You,’ found on the record-breaking ‘The Bodyguard’ soundtrack (1992), remains the best selling single by a female artist of all time and one of the best-selling overall.  Spending a record-setting 14 weeks at #1, the tune became her signature number for its emotional delivery and powerful climax.

But, nearly 20 years prior, country legend Dolly Parton made the song a #1 hit on the country charts.

2. ‘I’m Every Woman’ (originally performed by Chaka Khan)

The ultimate female empowerment anthem, ‘I’m Every Woman’ – also found on ‘The Bodyguard’ soundtrack – comes as a fan favorite for Whitney’s fans for its similarity to ‘Always Love You’ (i.e. emotional delivery, powerful/sustained climax).

Also like our #1 pick, only the best of the best have dared attempt the song – including its original recorder, Queen of Funk Chaka Khan (whose can be heard getting a famous shoutout from The Voice at the song’s end).  Chaka took the song to #1 on the R&B charts in the late 70s while Whitney took it to the top 5 of the Hot 100 with its revival.

3.  ‘Saving All My Love For You’

Whitney Houston’s very first #1 hit came in 1985 courtesy of ‘Saving All My Love For You,’ found aboard her debut self-titled album.  Though on paper the tune was indeed a ‘side chick celebration,’ Houston’s passionate delivery of the song veiled its content with a hint of innocence that made it seemingly acceptable.

Marilyn McCoo, the first singer to coo the line “I’m saving all my love for yoooooou…,” cannot boast the same.

 

4.  ‘All the Man That I Need’

1990’s ‘All the Man That I Need’ is the song that saved the ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ album for many-a-diehard Nippy fan at the time.  For, unlike her two previous efforts, the project saw her stray further than she ever had down rhythmic lanes of R&B and new jack swing.

But, under the supervision of Clive Davis, his leading lady would not completely abandon the ballads that brought her to pop’s pinnacle.  Tapping the moderate 1981 Linda Clifford hit ‘All the Man That I Need’ for inclusion on ‘IYBT,’ Whit’s version not only soared to #1 but would actually lift the album’s second (and last) song to reach the Hot 100 peak.  This was a first for Whitney as her two previous efforts lifted no less than three #1s each.

5.  ‘Greatest Love of All’

If ‘I’m Every Woman’ is the ultimate women’s empowerment anthem, then ‘Greatest Love of All’ is the ultimate children’s empowerment anthem.  Birthed from the same project that lent hits ‘How Will I Know,’ ‘You Give Good Love,’ and our #3 pick ‘Saving All My Love For You,’ ‘Greatest’ is one of Houston’s most covered tunes.

From local talent shows to the heights of ‘American Idol,’ the song has arguably been redone at more auditions than any of her other tunes – an interesting note to make since Whitney covered the song herself.

She may have taken it to #1 on the Hot 100 when she released it in 1986, but it was originally performed nearly a decade earlier by Grammy-winning jazz/R&B legend George Benson (who recorded it in honor of Muhammad Ali).

Now that you have our picks, vote and weigh in below to let us know:

What’s Whitney Houston’s best cover/remake?

Note:  “Other” indicates song not listed in the poll


Your thoughts?

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  1. Al February 14, 2015

    IWALY defo had to be the one everyone knows she covered. There are plenty of gospel songs God Will Take Care Of You from Rodnery Jerkins Uncle Church in 1998 is AMAZING! That she has covered over the years. You also forgot Bridge Over Troubled Water with Cece Winans!

    • king z February 14, 2015

      choose “other” in the poll then

      • Al February 14, 2015

        Who the f*** asked you to comment I was voting I was telling others of the covers not there so take a seat

    • King z February 14, 2015

      Ooh girl sounds like your valentine day ain’t going like u planned?

      Do u need a nap, some d***, or both

      • Al February 14, 2015

        Child my dik been balls deep and I’ve just ate some nice food. Bout you counting ya loose change? I was just stating for any Whitney fans who may of not heard a song or two do take a seat you been told

  2. trellbeylike February 14, 2015

    And yall say Beyoncé steal songs lol but for real tho whitney houston is the queen of covers! R.i.p to a legend!!!! A vocalist. A beautiful black soul.

    • Al February 14, 2015

      She got the money don’t blame her look at Sam Smith haha and Iggy prob brought the rights to Bigs voice over

    • JOHNVIDAL February 14, 2015

      Covering songs giving credit to the artists who wrote them (and Whitney or Celine do/did that constantly and always were so kind to the writers) has nothing to do with stealing. Putting your name there even if you didn´t contribute s*** is what you are talking about probably, and it´s what many of nowadays artists do to keep receiving checks when they retire and to gain some credibility (Beyonce or Rihanna do it). Whitney or Celine also changed a word here and there, but they didn´t have the nerve to put their names in the credits only for that. It´s different 🙂

      • trellbeylike February 14, 2015

        Check Beyoncé’s album credits then holla at me player. Always credited! Carry on….

    • Keri Qween February 14, 2015

      Dumb beyhive logic

  3. Pu$$iePopstress February 14, 2015

    hmmm..nice article rashad. i actually had no clue that “all the man that i need” was a remake. hell, she sang that song so well, i just knew she had written it for bobby! lol

  4. king z February 14, 2015

    crazy that i would come here to see this! i was just listening to her greatest hits!

    i believe in you and me is probably my fave song of her remakes. my fave song of hers is still i’m your baby tonight, but that was an original

  5. Alicia Off Keys February 14, 2015

    saving all my love for you (whitney’s version obviously) is probably the most beautiful song i ever heard. its funny how you can look past the lyrics of the song cuz she’s really singin about bein a thot w/ a married man lol

  6. Dossome February 14, 2015

    I Believe In You And Me is the most beautiful i’ve ever heard her sing.There’s no way you cannot appreciate the beauty of this woman’s voice when you listen to this song.She serves EVERYTHING from tone,emotion,power and soul.This song was for years my favorite Whitney Houston song until 2009 when the song I Look To You dropped.Vocally,you can’t compare the two as her voice had deterioriated,it’s just that I can’t explain my love for the latter,it pierced my soul from the minute it played and it became one of my favorite songs of all time,BY ANY ARTIST…

    Anyway back to the topic of favorite covers:-
    1.I Believe In You And Me
    2.Saving All My Love For You
    I can’t rank the rest as i love them equally but the two i listed are just better IMO

    • TheElusiveLamb February 14, 2015

      I love that song too. I Look to You is one of Whitney’s best songs. It is so raw and emotional. You feel every word she’s singing.

  7. Suicide Blonde February 14, 2015

    1-Greatest Love of All.
    2- Saving All My Love For You.
    3- I Will Always Love You.
    4- All the Man That I Need.
    5- I’m Every Woman.

    My personal fave is #2 😀

    • JOHNVIDAL February 14, 2015

      I love that song. And all her performances of it when her voice was so crystal clear in the 80s… unbelievable.

      • Suicide Blonde February 14, 2015

        Yes, it was always my fave song of her, ironically it was the last song of Whitney that i heard before the news of her death, so it has become even more important for me after that.

  8. Trose February 14, 2015

    all the man that I need pierces my soul everytime!!!!!!!especially when she performed it with the navy, that is a bad chick I never knew it was a remake…the emotions the background arrangement flawless…every remake she has done she has made a WHITNEY SONG.

    • Dunia February 14, 2015

      ^^^^^She could be easily mistaken for her child.
      THIS WAS SUPERB, sounded exactly like Whitney

      • JOHNVIDAL February 14, 2015

        In what world does that sound like Whitney? She did great though.

    • Grande The Way February 14, 2015

      I forget how great Kelly is

  9. TheElusiveLamb February 14, 2015

    I surprisingly agree with your list, but I think you all forgot You Light Up My Life from the Just Whitney album. I love her rendition of that as well. I think Whitney’s voice is so special: power, soul, phenomenal timbre all combined with her being an incredible interpreter. While this article is three days late, I love this. I would love an article on the influence that Whitney had. Many just don’t understand that Whitney’s voice alone influenced over thirty years of singers, artists, and wannabes. May she RIP as I am continuing to pray for BK.

  10. Queenly February 14, 2015

    ATMTIN hands down!!! Her performance at the soldiers concert was flawless!!!

  11. JOHNVIDAL February 14, 2015

    I don´t f****** know. I didn´t even vote because all of them are absolutely stellar. Her voice is once in a lifetime happening. Best popular singer in modern music history? She would be one of the candidates for sure.
    I guess “I will always love You” is the icing on the cake. I mean, many of us wouldn´t choose it cause it´s the song the 6 billion people living in this world know. But try to remember when you first listened to it. It was too much! And it led to the biggest era for a female in music history due to that impacting showing, it was for a good reason.
    Then you have all her live performances… damn it Whitney! I´m still mad we don´t have high quality footage of sooo many of her concerts and epic performances from the 80s, when she was perfection. How could they not record all of that? Only poor quality fan made recordings on youtube show us that brilliance in her tours (“I am Changing” anyone?).

    • king z February 14, 2015

      we dont agree on much, but i swear you hit the nail on the head with your point! I AM CHANGING IS LITERALLY THE GREATEST RECORDING IN THE HISTORY OF RECORDINGS lol. i swear to you, her version from JAPAN literally trumps every “great” performance of mariah, babs, chaka, patti, aretha, and even celine.

  12. Dev February 14, 2015

    These are some of the reasons why Whitney is the voice. She saaaang these songs like she owned and and wrote them. You could feel the passion in her voice and her deliverance is impeccable.
    Chaka Khan is the only one….,

  13. Royalkev February 14, 2015

    I think you guys nailed it! IWALY has such a clean, emotional delivery that made it THE ballad of all ballads.

    I’m Every Woman is full of fire!
    Saving all My Love is so dreamy!
    Now the only thing I may question is ‘All the Man that I Need’ coming in before the ‘Greatest Love of All’. GLOA is classic!!!!!! It’s the ultimate self pride anthem. I may have to have to rank this one at #4, although nobody was out singing Whitney on ‘All The Man’.

    Great job! This surprise post made my day!
    R.I.P Whitney Elizabeth Houston!

  14. Grande The Way February 14, 2015

    I love this list! Whitney was the Queen of covers. Surprisingly I’ve never heard the original version of I Will Always Love You until now and Dolly’s version is great too. That song overall is just a beautifully written timeless classic. However my list is based off my favorites:

    1. I’m Every Woman
    2. Greatest Love Of All
    3. I Will Always Love You
    4. All the Man That I Need
    5. Saving All My Love For You

  15. Casual-T February 14, 2015

    My clear second place favorite is Greatest Love of All. If a person isn’t old enough to remember when this song was actually out, they may not realize Greatest Love of All was magic in the mid-80s. It was the b-side to You Give Good Love and was never intended to be a single. Heavy radio play forced Arista to release the song, and it soared all the way to #1 and stayed there for three weeks, the longest reign at the top for any of Whitney’s singles prior to I Will Always Love You.

  16. oh No You Didn’t!` February 15, 2015

    IWALY is my ALL TIME favourite song. It’s delivery, raw emotion, power, clarity, and not to mention the accapella from the first part was prestine and just plainly amazing. When it came out dominating the radios, I am pretty sure that almost everyone thought she was the original. She completely owned it. She sang as if it was hers.

    Whitney’s live performances of these songs are just unbelievable. I personally loved The greatest love of all on her Muhammad Ali tribute. This is the song that made me fall in love with her. The song is simply magic to my ears. I was able to memorise its version, even the first few lines when she introduced this number. She’s truly a performer, artist with pure talent. Sadly, her type will only come in once in a lifetime.

    She’s pretty much my Idol, and the reason why I love music. Anyway here is my top choices;

    1. I will always love you
    2. I’m every woman
    3. Saving all my love for you
    4. Greatest love of all
    5. All the man that I need

  17. girlbye February 15, 2015

    He fills me up…he gives me love….more love than ive ever seen…hes all i got!!..hes all i got in this world….but he all the man that i need.

  18. AnnaliseKeatingsNewWeave February 15, 2015

    Just remember when everyone’s talking about ‘Seeing Receipts’, Ms. Houston coined dat ish a decade ago
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkU19uj8GqQ

    #WhitneyTaughtMeHowtoVerballyShade #MariahTaughtMeHowToShadeWithoutSpeaking #LifeLessons

  19. Brian310 February 15, 2015

    Didn’t know some of those were covers but she sang the hell out em.

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