RECORDS

During her career, Whitney Houston set numerous chart and sales records, and furthermore received many outstanding awards. The U.S. sales records are certified by the Recording Industry Association of America and can be considered accurate. The U.S. chart positions are official through Billboard. However, world sales are a close estimate, as no process exists that certifies global sales.

 

Sales and Certification Records

 The album "Whitney Houston" is the best-selling album by a female artist in Canada in 1980s, beating the previous best-seller, Cyndi Lauper's "She's So Unusual", which sold more than 900,000 copies in the country. Whitney's debut became the first album by a female artist to earn the 10-times platinum mark - diamond level - for sales of 1,000,000 units by the Canadian Recording Industry Association on March 31, 1987.

 

Whitney's first release, "Whitney Houston", is the best-selling album by a female and a new artist in the 1980s, certified 9 x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 6th, 1988. That has made Whitney the first female artist to reach the level since the RIAA launched the platinum and the multi-platinum awards program, in 1976 and 1984, respectively.

 

Whitney Houston holds the record for the highest one-week single sales by a female artist, with 632,000 copies sold of "I Will Always Love You" in the week ended December 27, 1992.

 

"I Will Always Love You" was certified 4 x platinum for shipments of over 4 million copies by the RIAA on January 12, 1993, making Whitney the only and first female artist with a physical single to reach that level in the RIAA history. According to Nielsen Soundscan, as of 2009, the single sold 4,591,000 copies in the United States, and became the best-selling single by a female artist, and overall the second, only behind Elton John's "Candle In The Wind/Something About The Way You Look Tonight".

 

In the United Kingdom, "I Will Always Love You" was the best-selling single of all-time by a female solo artist with 1.361 million copies sold in 1992/93, but the sales record was later broken by Cher's "Believe", sold 1.673 million units in 1998/99. In Japan, the single was also the best-selling single of all-time by a foreign female artist at the time, selling 810,000 copies in 1992-93. Worldwide, it sold over 12 million copies and became the best-selling single of all-time by a female artist.

 

"The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" set a record for the most albums sold in a single week since the Nielsen SoundScan introduced a computerized sales monitoring system in May 1991, with sales of 1,061,000 copies during Christmas week of 1992, becoming the first album sold over 1 million in one week. Later, Garth Brooks' "Double Live" shattered the SoundScan-era record, selling 1,085,000 copies in the first week of its release, November 1998. To date, only five women, including Whitney, have notched million-plus weeks. Britney Spears sold 1,310,000 million copies of "Oops!... I Did It Again" in 2000; Norah Jones' "Feels Like Home" moved 1,022,000 in 2004; Taylor Swift sold 1,047,000 units of her album "Speak Now" in 2010 and 1,208,000 units for her album "Red" in 2012, and Lady Gaga sold 1,108,000 units of her album "Born This Way".

 

"The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" received the largest initial certification of any album for 6 x platinum by the RIAA on January 18, 1993. The record was broken by 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" certified 7 x platinum initially in April 2000.

 

The album "Whitney Houston" hit the 10 million mark by the RIAA on January 25, 1994, and made it the first album and the first debut album by a female artist to attain the certification. As a result, she also became the first female artist to have two 10 x platinum albums with the debut album and "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album", earned the same certification peak in November 1993.

 

In 1994, Whitney received an award from the World Music Awards, for being the 'Best-Selling Female Artist Of The Era'.

 

On March 16, 1999, when the RIAA launched the Diamond Awards, honoring sales of 10 million copies or more of an album or single, Whitney received two diamond awards with her self-titled debut and "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album", becoming the first female artist to achieve that. Besides Whitney, as of today, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, and the Dixie Chicks are the only female artists with multiple diamond albums.

 

In November 1999, Whitney and "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album", were named the 'Top-Selling R&B Female Artist Of The Century' and the 'Top-Selling Soundtrack Album Of The Century' by the RIAA, respectively.

 

"The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" is the best-selling soundtrack album of all-time in the United States with 17 x platinum certifiaction by the RIAA and sales of 13,125,000 copies, combined 11,815,000 units from Nielson SoundScan with additional 1,310,000 sold at the BMG Music Clubs. The album also holds the title for the world's biggest selling soundtrack album of all-time with over 44 million units sold.

 

"The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" is the first pop album to sell over one million copies by a foreign artist in South Korea. To date, its sales exceeded 1.2 million in that country. The album sold over 1.1 million in Brazil, becoming the best-selling album by a foreign female artist in Brazil. In Japan, "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" was certified in 1994 with 2 million by the Recording Industry Association of Japan. That was the first time that a foreign artist in Japanese music history achieve that, and became the best-selling foreign album with 2.8 million copies sold. The record was later broken by Mariah Carey's "1's", certified with 3 million in 1998.

 

"The Preacher's Wife Original Soundtrack Album" is the best-selling Gospel album of all time, with sales of over three million copies in the United States and six million copies worldwide.

 

Whitney's rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner", performed by her at the Super Bowl XXV in 1991, is the only version to be certified platinum, and it raised millions for the victims of 9/11.

 

 

Chart Records

Billboard Hot 100

 

Whitney Houston was one of the biggest-selling solo female artists of all time.

 

Whitney's debut album, "Whitney Houston" was the first album by a female and new artist to yield three No. 1 singles; "Saving All My Love For You" (October 1985), "How Will I Know" (February 1986) and "Greatest Love Of All" (May 1986).

 

When the fourth single "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" from her second album, "Whitney" reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart on April 23, 1988, Whitney became the first female artist to achieve four No. 1 singles from one album and is also the first and only artist in pop history to have seven consecutive No. 1 hits, with three from her first release and four from her second album; "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)"(June 1987), "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (September 1987), "So Emotional" (January 1988), and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go".

 

With seven consecutive number one songs, Whitney holds the title for the most number one hits by a female artist in the 1980s, shared only by Madonna.

 

Whitney's recording of "The Star Spangled Banner" reached the #20 on the Hot 100 Singles Chart in March 1991, making her the only act to turn the national anthem into a pop hit. The single was re-released in September 2001 and peaked at #6 on the chart, becoming the first and the only version of the national anthem to achieve that in music history.

 

"I Will Always Love You" topped the Hot 100 for fourteen consecutive weeks from November 28, 1992 to February 27, 1993, making it the longest-running number one single ever by a female solo artist and from a soundtrack album.

 

Since 1991, when the Hot 100 using Broadcast Data System and SoundScan data, Whitney has become the first artist to place three songs inside the Top 11 in the same week with "I Will Always Love You", "I'm Every Woman" and "I Have Nothing" for three weeks in March 1993.

 

"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" was the third single ever to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 (and the second single by a female artist, the first being Mariah Carey). After spending one week at the top, it spent eleven consecutive weeks at #2 from December 2, 1995 to February 10, 1996, behind Carey's "One Sweet Day", setting the record for the longest stay in the runner-up position.

 

Whitney has the most number-one covers. She's covered the songs "Saving All My Love For You", "Greatest Love Of All", "All The Man That I Need", and "I Will Always Love You".

 

 

Hot 100 Single Sales

 

"I Will Always Love You" topped the Hot 100 Single Sales Chart for fourteen weeks, a record by a female artist, which she also shares with Mariah Carey.

 

 

Hot Adult Contemporary

 

In 1980s, Whitney had seven number one hits on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Chart, setting a record for the most number one singles by a female artist in the decade - "Saving All My Love For You" for three weeks (October 1985), "How Will I Know" for one week (February 1986),"Greatest Love Of All" for five weeks (May 1986), "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" for three weeks (July 1987),"Didn't We Almost Have It All" for three weeks (September 1987),"Where Do Broken Hearts Go" for three weeks (April 1988), and "One Moment in Time" for two weeks (October 1988).

 

 

Billboard 200 Albums

 

Whitney's self-titled debut,"Whitney Houston" spent 14 weeks at the top on the Billboard 200 Chart (formerly Top Pop Albums) in 1986, setting a record for the longest runs at number one by a female newcomer of all-time and the second overall behind Men At Work's "Business As Usual" which had 15 weeks on the summit. In addition, the album was the longest running number one album by a female artist during 1980s and one week shy of the all-time record for Carole King's "Tapestry".

 

"Whitney", her second set, became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 Chart, the issue date of June 27, 1987.

 

"Whitney's" 11-straight-week reign on the chart from June 27 to September 5, 1987, made Houston to hold two decade records by a woman: the most consecutive chart-topping streaks and the most cumulative weeks at number one in 1980s.

 

"Whitney Houston" and "Whitney" are the only albums by a female artist to occupy number one position of the chart for 10 weeks or more in 1980s, which made Whitney the only artist to have two double-digit run at the top of the chart in the decade of the 80s.

 

"The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" topped the chart for non-consecutive twenty weeks, the second longest tenure by any album on the Billboard 200 Chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era after Adele's "21", which spent 24 weeks in 2011-12.

 

In the Billboard 200's 54-year history, Whitney is the only artist to have three number one albums to top the chart for 11 weeks or more.

 

Whitney's four No. 1 albums have spent a total of 46 weeks at the summit of the chart, a record for the most cumulative weeks at number one by a female artist.

 

Whitney became the first woman to place three albums in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 Chart at the same time, the issue dated March 10, 2012: "Whitney: The Greatest Hits" (#2), "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" (#6) and "Whitney Houston" (#9).

 

Whitney became the first woman to place nine albums in the Top 100 of the Billbaord 200 Chart at the same time, the issue dated March 17, 2012: "Whitney: The Greatest Hits" (#2), "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" (#5), "Whitney Houston" (#10), "I Look To You" (# 13), "Triple Feature" (#21), "My Love Is Your Love" (#31), "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (#32), "Just Whitney" (#50) and "The Preacher's Wife Original Soundtrack Album" (No. 80).

 

 

Top Gospel Albums

 

Whitney has the longest stay at number one on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart, when "The Preacher's Wife Original Soundtrack Album" remained at number one for twenty-six weeks.

 

 

Comprehensive Charts

 

Whitney holds the record for the most triple-crown hits by a female artist, topped all of three Billboard charts; Hot 100, R&B, and Adult Contemporary Chart, with four singles - "Saving All My Love For You", "How Will I Know", "All The Man That I Need" and "I Will Always Love You".

 

"I Will Always Love You" ruled Billboard charts in three categories for the fifth week in a row from December 19, 1992 to January 16, 1993: the Hot 100, R&B, and Adult Contemporary Chart, setting a record for the most weeks at number one on the charts simultaneously.

 

With "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" and "I Will Always Love You", Whitney dominated a record thirteen Billboard charts at the same time in January 1993.

 

 

International Charts

 

"Whitney Houston" is the longest-running number one album ever by a female artist on the Canadian Albums Chart in 1980s, spending 18 consecutive weeks at the top from March 8 to July 5 in 1986.

 

As "Whitney" topped the Canadian Albums Chart for 11 consecutive weeks from June 27 to September 5, 1987, which made Whitney to hold the record for the most cumulative weeks at number one of the chart in 1980s, staying a total 29 weeks atop with her two releases.

 

Whitney became the first black female artist to top the Australian Albums Chart with her 1985 debut, "Whitney Houston". In 1986, the album stayed at the summit of the chart for 11 non-consecutive weeks, a record for the longest-stay by a woman during 1980s.

 

"Whitney" is the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the albums charts simultaneously in the United States and the United Kingdom.

 

"I Will Always Love You" topped the UK Singles Chart for ten consecutive weeks from December 5, 1992 to February 6, 1993, breaking a previous record for the longest-running number one single by a solo female artist in history of the chart; the record was shared by Rihanna with "Umbrella" in 2007.

 

Whitney has the longest concurrent topping of the U.S., the U.K., and Australian Singles Chart when "I Will Always Love You" spent eight-straight-weeks simultaneously topping the charts. In addition, "I Will Always Love You" is the only song to have a double-digit run at the pole position of all the Singles Chart in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

 

In the British music history, Whitney is the only artist to be placed in the Top 10 of the UK Year-End Singles Chart for two consecutive years with one single, "I Will Always Love You", ranked number one in 1992, and #10 in 1993.

 

"I Will Always Love You" was named the 'Top Australian Single Of The 1990s By A Female Artist'.

 

 

Other Records/Awards

Whitney Houston has won 22 American Music Awards including two special awards - the 'Award of Merit' in 1994 and the 'International Artist Award' in 2009, more than any other female solo artist in AMA history.

 

Whitney received total thirteen AMA nominations with materials from her debut album, six in 1986; also the all-time record as a newcomer and seven in 1987, which made her to hold the record for the most nominations from one album in AMA history.

 

Whitney's performance of "Saving All My Love For You" during the 1986 Grammy telecast later earned her an Emmy Award for 'Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program'.

 

Whitney garnered more American Music Awards than any other female artist at its 14th ceremony of 1987, pulling in five wins, the all-time record by a female artist at the time.

 

At the American Music Awards of 1994, Whitney's eight wins, set a record for the most AMAs ever won by a female artist in a single year, tying Michael Jackson's all-time mark at the 1984 American Music Awards.

 

At its 4th ceremony on December 8, 1993, Whitney won a record eleven Billboard Music Awards for "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" and "I Will Always Love You".

 

Whitney received five awards at the 6th World Music Awards in 1994, setting a record for the most WMAs won in a single year.

 

Whitney is the most covered artist on the TV Show American Idol with over 1,150 of 70,000 auditions being songs of hers during the show's third season. The song "I Have Nothing" has been performed in the finals or semi-finals six times, more than any other song in history of the show.

 

Whitney is the only artist with at least one Grammy Award, Emmy Award, MTV Video Music Award, MTV Movie Award, People's Choice Award, Billboard Music Award and American Music Award to their name.

 

As of 2007, Whitney is the most performing female artist at Wembley Arena in London with 29 appearances during her career.

 

 

 

 

WORLDWIDE ALBUM SALES

Whitney Houston                                                            

25.000.000

Whitney

20.000.000

I'm Your Baby Tonight

12.000.000

The Bodyguard O.S.T.

44.000.000

Waiting To Exhale O.S.T.

11.000.000

The Preacher's Wife O.S.T.

6.000.000

My Love Is Your Love

11.500.000

Whitney - The Greatest Hits

12.500.000

Love, Whitney

500.000

Just Whitney

2.000.000

One Wish - The Holiday Album

500.000

The Ultimate Collection

2.500.000

I Look To You

3.000.000

I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston

300.000

Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances

100.000

WORLDWIDE SINGLE SALES

Hold Me                                                            

100.000

You Give Good Love

600.000

Thinking About You

50.000

Someone For Me

30.000

Saving All My Love For You

2.500.000

How Will I Know

1.500.000

Greatest Love Of All

2.000.000

I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

4.200.000

Didn't We Almost Have It All

1.000.000

So Emotional

1.700.000

Where Do Broken Hearts Go

1.200.000

I Know Him So Well 

150.000

Love Will Save The Day

400.000

One Moment In Time

1.500.000

It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be

200.000

I'm Your Baby Tonight

1.400.000

All The Man That I Need

1.200.000

Star Spangled Banner                                                     

1.000.000

Takin' A Chance 

100.000

Miracle

200.000

My Name Is Not Susan

300.000

We Didn't Know

25.000

I Belong To You

100.000

I Will Always Love You                                              

12.000.000

I'm Every Woman

2.000.000

I Have Nothing

1.700.000

Run To You

500.000

Queen Of The Night

300.000

Something In Common

300.000

Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

2.200.000

Count On Me

700.000

Why Does It Hurt So Bad

400.000

Step By Step

1.400.000

I Believe In You And Me

1.400.000

My Heart Is Calling

75.000

When You Believe

1.000.000

Heartbreak Hotel

1.800.000

It's Not Right But It's Okay

1.200.000

My Love Is Your Love

3.000.000

I Learned From The Best

500.000

If I Told You That

200.000

Same Script Different Cast

20.000

Could I Have This Kiss Forever

700.000

Fine

20.000

Whatchulookinat

30.000

One Of Those Days

10.000

Try It On My Own

15.000

Love That Man

5.000

I Look To You

300.000

Million Dollar Bill

400.000

TOP SELLING FEMALE ARTISTS (USA)

Barbra Streisand                                                            

71.500.000

Madonna

64.500.000

Mariah Carey

63.500.000

Whitney Houston

57.000.000

Celine Dion

50.000.000

Shania Twain

48.000.000

Reba Mc. Entire

41.000.000

Britney Spears

34.000.000

Linda Ronstadt

30.000.000

Enya

26.500.000

TOP SELLING FEMALE ARTISTS (Worldwide)

Madonna                                                           

300.000.000

Mariah Carey

275.000.000

Celine Dion

200.000.000

Whitney Houston

200.000.000

Rihanna

150.000.000

Barbra Streisand

145.000.000

Taylor Swift

101.000.000

Britney Spears

100.000.000

Janet Jackson

100.000.000

Cher

100.000.000