Divas have a reputation of being a little snooty, not really wanting to share the spotlight or work with anyone else. When they do decide to record a duet, the result is usually pretty amazing, but they’re so few and far between. You could almost fit every duet recorded by Janet, Mariah, Beyonce, and Madonna onto one album.
Not Whitney. Before she was made it big, she seemingly spent all her time recording duets with Jermaine Jackson, and over the course of her career, she released duets fairly regularly. Whitney wasn’t just the best singer of our time because she had a great voice—she had great ears too. You can’t add vocal flourishes without being able the hear the chords, and you can’t sing a great duet without being able to hear your partner.
So, let’s countdown Whitney Houston’s greatest duets!
** “Impossible/It’s Possible” with Brandy
I’m gonna drop this in as an honorable mention because that whole Cinderella experience was huge. Brandy was working with her idol, Whitney was executive producing, ABC got it’s highest movie ratings of all time, and it was a multi-ethnic cast retelling classic Disney.
10. “Something in Common” with Bobby Brown
If I didn’t have such conflicting emotions about their relationship, I’d actually rate this song higher. It’s actually a pretty good production from LA Reid and Whitney & Bobby sound good together on a record.
9. ”We Didn’t Know” with Stevie Wonder
This mid-tempo jam is everything I love about the early 90s: casio keyboard, epic 5-minute length, major/minor keychanges, and Whitney Houston.
8. “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be” with Aretha Franklin
This sassy duet with the Queen of Soul in the late 80s didn’t burn up the charts like Whitney’s earlier releases, but it’s a welcome, upbeat addition to both of their catalogs.
7. ”Shock Me” with Jermaine Jackson
Whitney and Jermaine recorded a lot of ballads together, but this fluffy 80s dance number from the movie Perfect is my favorite of their collaborations.
Sidenote: This is the movie with John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis doing aerobic pelvic thrusts at each other.
6. “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” with Enrique Iglesias
This song sounds a LOT like it’s more successful Latin/R&B counterpart, the collaboration between Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin. Except Whitney sings circles around Xtina.
5. “Heartbreak Hotel” with Kelly Price & Faith Evans
Technically this isn’t a duet, but it was still amazing. And every gay black man in America simultaneously thought “all three of these divas?! They betta work!” And they did.
4. “If I Told You That” with George Michael
Rumor has it that Whitney really wanted Michael Jackson to duet with her on this track and she wasn’t happy with George at all. They’ve never performed it together and he didn’t even put it on his greatest hits album. It’s a shame too, because their voices sound surprisingly good together.
3. “Count on Me” with CeCe Winans
Whitney did a lot of background singing for a handful of the Winans family over the years, even after she became a superstar. It was this duet that capitalized on that relationship and thrust CeCe into the mainstream arena for the first time. And they wore this song OUT too.
2. “When You Believe” with Mariah Carey
The diva showdown to end all showdowns. A classic matchup of Student versus Teacher. I can’t say who won the war, but it was nice to see them playing cordial with each other when this came out.
1. “Same Script, Different Cast” with Deborah Cox
First of all, Deborah Cox is never given due credit for being a really top-notch R&B singer. At some points in this song, it’s almost impossible to tell if Whitney or Deborah is singing, and I can’t say very many singers ever get mistaken for Whitney Houston. The story is great, their voices blend together so well, and they are both letting it rip without trying to show each other up. This is one of the best duets of any genre, but made all the better because a glorious talent like Whitney Houston was gracious enough to record it with a newcomer and let her shine. That’s classy.
2:52 pm • 28 February 2012 •
| whitney houston| music| audio tracks| r and b| 80s| brandy| bobby brown| aretha franklin| jermaine jackson| enrique iglesias| kelly price| faith evans| george michael| cece winans| mariah carey| deborah cox|