Whitney Houston chart records and achievements

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This is a list of chart records and achievements by American singer Whitney Houston. During her career, Houston set numerous charts and sales records, and furthermore received many outstanding awards. The US sales records are certified by the RIAA and can be considered accurate. The US chart positions are official through the Billboard. However, world sales are a close estimate, as no process exists that certifies global sales.

Sales and certification records[edit]

  • Whitney Houston was the best-selling album by a female artist in Canada in the 1980s, beating the previous best-seller, Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual, which sold more than 900,000 copies in the country. Houston'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 (CRIA) on March 31, 1987.[1]
  • Houston's first release, Whitney Houston, is the best-selling album by a female and a new artist in the 1980s, certified 9× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on October 6, 1988.[2][3] That has made Houston 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.[4]
  • 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, 1992ㅡthe Billboard magazine issue date of January 9, 1993.[5]
  • "I Will Always Love You" was certified 4× platinum for shipments of over 4 million copies by the RIAA on January 12, 1993, making Houston the only and first female artist with a physical single to reach that level in the RIAA history.[6][7] 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 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight."[8]
  • 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.[9] 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.[10][11] Worldwide, It sold over 12 million copies and became the best-selling single of all-time by a female artist at that time.[12][13][14]
  • 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.[15][16] Later, Garth Brooks' Double Live shattered the SoundScan-era record, selling 1,085,000 copies in the first week of its release, November 1998.[16] To date, only five women, including Houston, have notched million-plus weeks. Britney Spears sold 1.31 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.[17]
  • The Bodyguard Soundtrack received the largest initial certification of any album for 6× platinum by the RIAA on January 18, 1993.[18] The record was broken by 'N SYNC's No Strings Attached, certified 7× platinum initially in April 2000.[19]
  • 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.[2] As a result, she also became the first female artist to have two 10× platinum albums with the album and The Bodyguard Soundtrack, earned the same certification peak in November 1993.[18]
  • In 1994, Houston received an award from the World Music Awards, for the "Best-selling Female Artist."[20]
  • On March 16, 1999, when the RIAA launched the Diamond Awards, honoring sales of 10 million copies or more of an album or single, Houston received two diamond awards with her self-titled debut and The Bodyguard Soundtrack, becoming the first female artist to achieve that feat.[21][22] Besides Houston, as of today, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Céline Dion, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, and the Dixie Chicks are the only female artists with multiple diamond albums.
  • In November 1999, Houston and The Bodyguard Soundtrack, were named the "Top-selling R&B Female Artist of the Century" and "Top-selling Soundtrack Album of the Century" by the RIAA, respectively.[23]
  • The Bodyguard Soundtrack is the best-selling soundtrack album of all-time in the United States with 17× platinum certifiaction by the RIAA and sales of 13,125,000 copies, combined 11,815,000 units from SoundScan with additional 1,310,000 sold at the BMG Music Clubs.[18][24][25][26] The album also holds the title for the world's biggest selling soundtrack album of all-time with over 44 million units sold.[27]
  • The Bodyguard Soundtrack 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.[28][29] The album sold over 1.1 million in Brazil, becoming the best-selling album by a foreign female artist.[30] In Japan, it was certified 2× million by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) in 1994, for the first time to achieve that feat by a foreign artist in Japanese music history, and became the best-selling foreign album with 2.8 million copies sold.[31][32] The record was later broken by Mariah Carey's #1's, certified 3× million in 1998.[32]
  • 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.[33]
  • Houston's rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner," performed by her at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, became certified platinum, and it raised money for the victims of 9/11.[34]

Chart records[edit]

Billboard Hot 100[edit]

  • Whitney Houston was one of the biggest-selling solo female artists of all time, if not the past two decades.
  • Houston's debut album, Whitney Houston, is the first album by a female artist 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).[35]
  • When the fourth single "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" from her second album, Whitney, reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart on April 23, 1988, Houston became the first female artist to achieve four No. 1 singles from one album,[36] and 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."[37][38][39][40]
  • With seven consecutive number one songs, Houston holds the title for the most number one hits by a female artist in the 1980s, shared only by Madonna.[41]
  • Houston's recording of "The Star Spangled Banner" reached the number twenty 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 number six on the chart, becoming the first and the only version of the national anthem to achieve that feat in music history.[42][43]
  • "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.[44] As of today; Houston, Mariah Carey, Brandy, Monica, Beyoncé, Toni Braxton, Rihanna, Destiny's Child, Debby Boone, Olivia Newton-John and Ashanti are the only female artists to have at least one double-digit run at number one on the chart.
  • The fourteen-week domination of "I Will Always Love You" kept Houston in the pole position of the chart for all of January and February, marking the first time in history where Billboard didn't receive a new number one song until March.
  • Since 1991, when the Hot 100 using Broadcast Data System and SoundScan data, Houston has become the first female 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.[45][46]
  • "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 number two 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.[47][48][49]
  • 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".[citation needed]

Hot 100 Single Sales[edit]

Hot Adult Contemporary[edit]

  • In the 1980s, Houston 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),[50] "How Will I Know" for one week (February 1986),[51] "Greatest Love of All" for five weeks (May 1986),[52] "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" for three weeks (July 1987),[53] "Didn't We Almost Have It All" for three weeks (September 1987),[54] "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" for three weeks (April 1988),[55] and "One Moment in Time" for two weeks (October 1988).[56]

Billboard 200 Albums[edit]

  • Houston'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.[57][58] In addition, the album was the longest running number one album by a female artist during the 1980s and one week shy of the all-time record for Carole King's Tapestry.[59]
  • 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.[60] Previous to the Billboard 200's employment of SoundScan data in May 1991, Houston is one of just five artists to start in the top slot with Elton John(Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and Rock of the Westies), Stevie Wonder(Songs in the Key of Life), Bruce Springsteen(Live/1975–85) and Michael Jackson(Bad).[61]
  • 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 the 1980s.[62]
  • 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 the 1980s, which made Houston the only artist to have two double-digit run at the top of the chart in the decade of the 80s.[59](can check list of the United States' No. 1 albums)
  • The Bodyguard Soundtrack 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.[63][64][65]
  • In the Billboard 200's 54-year history, Houston is the only artist to have three number one albums to top the chart for 11 weeks or more. Besides Houston's three albums, as of today, the only six number one albums by women have ruled the chart for 11 weeks or more: Adele's 21 (2011, 24 weeks), Carole King's Tapestry (1971, 15 weeks), Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961, 13 weeks), Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill (1995, 12 weeks), Mariah Carey's Mariah Carey (1991, 11 weeks) and Taylor Swift's Fearless (2008, 11 weeks).[59]
  • Houston'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.[66]
    • Whitney Houston (14 weeks): March 8 - April 19, 1986 (first run, 7 weeks), May 17 - June 28, 1986 (second run, 7 weeks)
    • Whitney (11 weeks): June 27 - September 5, 1987
    • The Bodyguard Soundtrack (20 weeks): December 12, 1992 - March 6, 1993 (first run, 13 weeks), April 3, 1993 (second run, 1 week), April 17 - May 1, 1993 (third run, 3 weeks), May 15–29, 1993 (fourth run, 3 weeks)
    • I Look to You (1 week): September 19, 2009
  • Houston 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 (No. 2), The Bodyguard Soundtrack (No. 6) and Whitney Houston (No. 9).[67]
  • Houston 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 (No. 2), The Bodyguard Soundtrack (No. 5), Whitney Houston (No. 10), I Look to You (No. 13), Triple Feature (No. 21), My Love Is Your Love (No. 31), I'm Your Baby Tonight (No. 32), Just Whitney... (No. 50) and The Preacher's Wife Soundtrack (No. 80).[68][69]

Top Gospel Albums[edit]

  • Whitney has the longest stay at number one on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart, when The Preacher's Wife remained at number one for twenty-six weeks.[70]

Billboard Year-End charts[edit]

  • Houston's debut, Whitney Houston, was the "No. 1 Album of the Year" (Top Pop Album) on the 1986 Billboard magazine year-end charts, making Houston the first female artist to earn that distinction.[71] The album was also the "No. 1 Black Album of the Year" (later Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album), becoming the first album by a female solo artist and the first debut album, topped both pop and black album year-end charts simultaneously in a single year.[72]
  • Houston was named "Top Pop Artist of the Year" in 1986, which made her the first black female artist and overall the second female artist behind Madonna in the previous year to achieve that feat.[73]
  • With The Bodyguard Soundtrack and "I Will Always Love You" single in 1993, Houston became the first and only artist to grab the top spots of "Billboard 200 Albums," "Top R&B Albums," "Hot 100 Singles," and "Hot R&B Singles" year-end charts at the same time in music history.[74]
  • Houston has won "No. 1 R&B Album of the Year" three times for Whitney Houston in 1986, I'm Your Baby Tonight in 1991 and The Bodyguard Soundtrack in 1993, setting a record for the most year-end number one albums by any artist in R&B category. In addition, Houston is the only female artist to top the Billboard 200 year-end chart two times; her debut and The Bodyguard Soundtrack.

Comprehensive charts[edit]

Other records/awards[edit]

International charts records[edit]

  • Whitney Houston is the longest-running number one album ever by a female artist on the Canadian Albums Chart (from RPM magazine) in the 1980s, spending 18 consecutive weeks at the top from March 8 to July 5 in 1986. (see the list of Canadian number-one albums)
  • As Whitney topped the Canadian Albums Chart for 11 consecutive weeks from June 27 to September 5, 1987, which made Houston to hold the record for the most cumulative weeks at number one of the chart in the 1980s, staying a total 29 weeks atop with her two releases. (see the list of Canadian number-one albums in 1987)
  • Houston became the first black female artist to top the Australian Albums Chart (from Kent Music Report) 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 the 1980s. (see the list of number-one albums of the 1980s in Australia)
  • 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.[91][92]
  • "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; 9-week reign by Doris Day with "Secret Love" in 1954.[93][94][95](the record was shared by Rihanna with "Umbrella" in 2007)
  • Houston has the longest concurrent topping of the U.S., the U.K., and Australian singles charts when "I Will Always Love You" spent eight-straight-weeks simultaneously topping the charts.[96] 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 Australia, December 20, 1992 - February 21, 1993 (10 weeks)
    • In Canada, December 19, 1992 - February 20, 1993 (10 weeks)
    • In New Zealand, December 18, 1992 - March 18, 1993 (14 weeks)
    • In the United Kingdom, December 5, 1992 - February 6, 1993 (10 weeks)
    • In the United States, November 28, 1992 - February 27, 1993 (14 weeks)
  • In the British music history, Houston 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 number ten in 1993.[97][98]
  • "I Will Always Love You" was named the Top Australian Single of the 1990s by a female artist.
  • Whitney Houston is the Most Simultaneous Hits UK by an artist according to Guinness World Records

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