Nine years ago in February, the music world lost one of its greatest divas. It is undeniable to think of music from the ‘80s and ‘90s without mentioning Whitney Houston. August 9, 2021, would have been Houston’s 58th birthday and while she has been gone for almost a decade, she is a long way from being forgotten.
One of the many celebrities to wish Houston a happy birthday was Mariah Carey, who posted a tribute to her duet partner on her Twitter account with a video clip of the two recording the 1998 song, “When You Believe.”
Happy birthday Whitney 👑 Missing and celebrating you today ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/oZcIdV2RgW
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) August 10, 2021
The song, written and composed by Stephen Schwartz, was created for the 1998 animated film, The Prince of Egypt. It won the Oscar for Best Original Song, and Carey and Houston performed the song for the 71st Academy Awards in 1999.
Another birthday wish on Twitter came from the official Twitter account of 1997 made for television musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The now-classic movie, available to stream on Disney+, starred singer Brandy in the title role and Houston played the Fairy Godmother.
📸: Walt Disney Pictures/Photofest pic.twitter.com/3hmyyYJpAQ
— Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA (@RHCinderella) August 9, 2021
Even years after her death, Houston is still leaving her mark on pop culture. When the film Love, Simon came out in 2018, it featured one of Houston’s most popular songs, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” on the soundtrack and during the movie as part of a fantasy by the titular protagonist.
A year later, Houston’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” from Super Bowl 25 was paid tribute in the FX drama, Pose. Janet Mock, one of the show’s producers, explained to Entertainment Weekly the idea for Blanca, played by MJ Rodriguez, to lip-synch Houston’s version:
Well, me and Ryan [Murphy, Pose co-creator] were sitting in his home. We broke this [story] over a morning at his home in New York. So we always knew, okay so Blanca’s in the hospital but she’s got to return to the ballroom because it has to end triumphant. And he was like, “But it has to be like a short song.” And then I was just like, “When did Whitney Houston sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’? I think it was in 1991.” He was like, “Oh my God! Can we do that? Is it politically okay for, you know, people of color, to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’?” And then I was like, “It’s a reclaiming — it’s fine.” We’re reclaiming it in this super subversive way by having black and brown queer and trans characters, like there’s a shot that where she lip-syncs “for the land of the free” and then we pull out to the wider entire ballroom. This is our country as well. We deserve to take up space. This is ours. And then we see her children behind her kneeling and looking at her. It was definitely me and Ryan just kind of like, “Is this ridiculous? Do we do this??” And it’s his favorite thing — he’s watched it like 20 times.
Let us about your favorite Whitney Houston moment or song in the comments or on social media accounts.