At the Movies

Whitney Houston Makes History

The star's iconic cover of 'I Will Always Love You' has become the first music video made in the 20th century to reach over 1 billion views.


OCTOBER 25th, 2020

© Warner Bros.

I

t has been eight years since the death of global megastar Whitney Houston, a singer whose voice and music influenced an entire generation. That influence continues today. Adding to the many records she has broken throughout her illustrious career; she recently broke another, highlighting her continued impact on the world of music.

This week, the music video to her iconic cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ has become the first music video made in the 20th century to achieve over 1 billion views on YouTube. The astonishing feat beat out strong competition from Madonna, Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey and has proved that Whitney’s star power is still shining brightly.

Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' - © Arista Records


Whitney famously covered the stunning love song – originally written and recorded by Dolly Parton – in 1992 for the movie The Bodyguard starring both Houston and Kevin Costner. On it’s release, the track became an instant hit, and against an impressive collection of historic triumphs ‘I Will Always Love You’ is arguably one of Whitney’s most recognisable and celebrated songs.



Upon its release, ‘I Will Always Love You’ sold more than 20 million units worldwide, becoming the best-selling physical single by a female artist of all time. The entire album, of which Houston only sings on five tracks, quickly became the best-selling soundtrack and the best-selling album by a female artist of all time.

Whitney Houston pictured alongside David Foster who helped record The Bodyguard soundtrack at 1994 Grammys - © Grammys


Houston famously said: “It was funny to me, as so many people think The Bodyguard album is mine, and the genuine shock when they find out I only recorded five songs just proves the power of those songs.”



Interestingly, ‘I Will Always Love You’ was never planned to be part of the movie’s soundtrack. After the filmmaker’s original pick of the song ‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted’ didn’t work out, they were left looking for a different option. Dolly Parton’s sweet country anthem seemed like the perfect fit, and recently the country superstar revealed just how monumental of a moment it was hearing Houston’s version for the first time.

Whitney appearing at The American Music Awards in 2009 - © AMAs


“They asked me if they could use it and I forgot about it until I was driving home and I heard this voice come on the radio.” Parton said whilst appearing on The Graham Norton Show. “It kind of rang a bell, but it didn’t hit because she was kind of talking it, and all of a sudden it went into the ‘I will always love you’ bit and I had to pull over to listen to it.”

She continued: “It was one of the most overwhelming feelings I have ever had to hear it done so well, so beautifully, and so big. She took it and made it so much more that what it would ever have been. It was such a joy as a songwriter. I don’t think I will have a bigger thrill, ever.”



Whitney Houston sadly passed away in 2012, though this latest landmark record just proves her unwavering popularity and authority as a global megastar. With her recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we can all rest assured that her voice, music and talent will continue to break boundaries and inspire a generation, wrapped with a popularity that knows no bounds.

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