When a conversation about the greatest singers of all time comes around, Whitney Houston is always at the top of the list. If she’s not, we don’t trust it!

Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, Whitney cemented her homegrown gospel roots with the help of her mother, beloved singer Cissy Houston. After signing with Clive Davis and Arista Records at just 19 years old in 1983, she became a global sensation, selling over 200 million combined albums, videos and singles worldwide. Over the course of her career, she earned six Grammys, nine Soul Train Awards, 11 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits and countless more accolades. As of 2023, her self-titled debut album was even certified 14x multi-platinum, per Rated R&B.

Though we’re still mourning Whitney’s tragic passing in 2011, one thing will always ring true — her remarkable voice and tone will never be forgotten. The superstar has set the standard for vocalists to come.

Checkout 15 times the vocal powerhouse earned the nickname “The Voice” below.

1. “Home” from The Wiz on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1983

Davis presented his latest signee on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1983 by introducing Whitney to a larger audience. The then-19-year-old performed “Home” from the 1974 Broadway musical The Wiz. Despite being a rookie, she made her presence known in the music industry. After the performance, Merv Griffin said, “You won’t forget that name, Whitney Houston” — and he wasn’t wrong!

2. “How Will I Know” at the 1986 American Music Awards

At the 1986 American Music Awards, the songstress performed her hit “How Will I Know” from her debut project. Introduced by Diana Ross, a 23-year-old Whitney provided a high-energy and superb vocal performance of her album’s third single, which spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That evening, she took home two AMAs for “Saving All My Love For You” and “You Give Good Love.”

3. “Saving All My Love For You” at the 1986 Grammy Awards

At the 1986 Grammy Awards, the star performed her chart-topping “Saving All My Love For You” from Whitney Houston. Wearing a beautiful red dress, the talented singer proved why she deserved not only to be in that room, but on that stage. Later in the ceremony, the track secured her first Grammy win for Best Pop Vocal Performance. Winning a Grammy for a debut album song is a flex, but it’s the Whitney Houston so that kind of greatness comes as no surprise.

4. “One Moment in Time” at the 1989 Grammy Awards

Whitney delivered an impeccable performance of “One Moment in Time” at the 31st annual Grammy Awards. It began with a video montage of the Team USA Olympic athletes before the decorated artist appears, singing the song’s first line. The track was released as the first single on Arista Records’ album dedicated to the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea. After her powerful performance with a full orchestra, the awards ceremony audience gave Whitney a standing ovation.

5. “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV in 1991

Think about the best rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner" you've ever heard. It’s Whit’s version, isn’t it? In 1991, at 27 years old, the one-of-a-kind talent set the tone for future national anthem performances at the Super Bowl. Donning a white, red and blue- accented tracksuit, she showcased her stellar pipes and vocal range in one of the most outstanding and memorable Super Bowl performances of all time.

Per ESPN, the United States had entered the Persian Gulf War just over a week before the Super Bowl XXV. The country’s patriotism was at an all-time high, which made the timing of Whitney’s performance perfect. It was later revealed that her vocals were pre-recorded, and the global superstar sang live into a dead microphone during the song. Her version of the national anthem peaked at No. 6 on the BillboardHot 100 and spent 27 weeks on the chart.

6. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” at the 15th Anniversary Celebration of Arista Records

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is an instant feel-good track. At the 15th anniversary of Davis’ Arista Records, the multi-hyphenate gave an electrifying performance of the Billboard chart-topping hit. In true Whitney fashion, she delivered some lively ad-libs and playful call-and-response interaction with her background vocalists. The performance further proved that she was a natural talent born for the stage.

7. “All The Man That I Need” at HBO “Welcome Home Heroes”

In 1991, Nippy honored about 3500 members of the military returning from deployment during the Persian Gulf War. During a live HBO special titled “Welcome Home Heroes,” the seasoned entertainer sang a medley of songs, including “A Song For You,” and “Greatest Love of All.” She also performed “All The Man That I Need” as the much-respected service women and men watched her in admiration.

8. “I Will Always Love You” at the 1994 World Music Awards

“I Will Always Love You” is arguably one of the songbird’s most popular tracks. At the 1994 World Music Awardsin Monte Carlo, Monaco, the chanteuse won a total of five awards, including World’s Best-Selling Pop Artist of the Year. She also performed her and David Foster’s iconic rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” in front of her mom, Cissy. Whitney starts the legendary performance by singing the hit’s first few lines in acapella. She effortlessly manages to sound exactly like the record, proving exactly why she will always be known as “The Voice.”

9. Medley at the 1994 American Music Awards

At the 1994 American Music Awards, Nippy performed her nearly 10-minute vocally demanding medley. She kicked off the famous act with “I Loves You, Porgy” from the opera Porgy and Bess. She followed the song — later remade by Nina Simone — with “And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from the musical Dreamgirls, which is no easy feat... and that wasn’t even the finale! She ended her performance with “I Have Nothing'' from The Bodyguard’s original soundtrack. This show was not just any old showcase of her beautiful voice; it was a testament to her vocal strength and agility.

10. The Preacher’s Wife

The Hall of Famer starred in several films that showcased her supreme vocal talent; The Preacher’s Wife is one of them. Appearing opposite Courtney B. Vance and Denzel Washington in the movie, Whit packed its soundtrack with gospel songs like “I Go To The Rock” and “I Love The Lord.” Other popular tracks include “I Believe in You and Me” and “Step by Step,” in which the New Jersey native exhibits her vocal prowess. The Preacher’s Wife is a great Christmas movie on its own, but the amazing singing from the late great Whitney adds another layer to its success. Don’t wait until the holidays to check out its soundtrack!

11. Disney’s Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Did Whitney and Brandy know they were going to make a classic when they teamed up for Disney’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella? Executive produced by the "Higher Love” singer, this movie included an all-star cast and whimsical songs that have cemented it as a celebrated fairytale film. It is also considered a musical masterpiece because of Whitney’s role as Cinderella’s (Brandy) magical, gold-covered fairy godmother. Her soulful approach to the Broadway-style original musical was fresh and exciting. In a behind-the-scenes interview with ”Entertainment Tonight,” Whitney discussed recommending "The Boy Is Mine” artist for the role of Cinderella. The coverage also shows her giving young Brandy some vocal coaching as they recorded one of the film’s most popular songs, “Impossible.”

12. “Count On Me” and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” at the 1997 Grammy Awards

If the soundtrack does not feature Whitney, we don’t want it! The acclaimed artist not only starred in the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale, but she is also featured on three songs from the movie's R&B compilation album and soundtrack. At the 1997 Grammy Awards ceremony, she delivered a standout performance of “Count On Me '' with CeCe Winans and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” along with other stars that appeared on the album including Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, Brandy and Aretha Franklin.

13. “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt

Whit teamed up with another superstar vocalist, Mariah Carey, to record the duet “When You Believe” for the 1998 Disney film The Prince of Egypt. Originally written by Stephen Schwartz, the track received additional lyrics from beloved songwriter and producer Babyface. The ballad later won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

In an interview with Shondaland, Schwartz raved about working with the vocal powerhouse on the duet. “[Whitney’s] ability to hear Mariah’s vocals and then put her own harmony on it and trace the incredible vocal technique that Mariah has — in harmony — was one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever experienced in the studio.”

14. “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” at the 2000 Grammy Awards

The Prom Queen of Soul gave the world a show at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards. In an all-black leather ensemble with a matching jeweled fedora, the songstress delivered an energetic performance of “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.” She even gave the crowd some choreography — which is never a necessity in a Whitney performance because her voice was all the audience ever needed. With dancers gathered around the superstar, she really started a party.

15. “I Look to You” with Kim Burrell at BET’s “Celebration Of Gospel”

In the icon’s final televised performance before her sudden passing, the Grammy Award-winning artist performed “I Look to You” with gospel legend and friend Kim Burrell at BET’s “Celebration Of Gospel,” which aired in 2011. It felt like a comeback moment in more ways than one, especially because of the ongoing criticism about her voice changing over time. In the face of much adversity, Whitney celebrated her Gospel upbringing in a touching moment between friends onstage.