Clive Davis dubbed Whitney Houston “The Voice.” Not just any voice, but the quintessential picture of stellar vocal ability. And according to fellow singer Faith Evans, the title is more than well-deserved. “Whitney wasn’t just a singer with a beautiful voice. She was a true musician. Her voice was an instrument and she knew how to use it. With the same complexity as someone who has mastered the violin or the piano, Whitney mastered the use of her voice. From every run to every crescendo—she was in tune with what she could do with her voice and it’s not something simple for a singer—even a very talented one—to achieve.
Also, Whitney is The Voice because she worked for it. This is someone who was singing backup for her mom when she was 14 years old at nightclubs across the country. This is someone who sang backup for Chaka Khan when she was only 17. She had years and years of honing her craft on stage and in the studio before she ever got signed to a record label. Coming from a family of singers and surrounded by music; she pretty much had a formal education in music, just like someone who might attend a performing arts high school or major in voice in college.
Her best vocal performance ever? That’s easy. I Will Always Love You. She used to perform it at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy parties and that is simply Whitney at her best. They’ll never be another like her. Ever.” —As told to Aliya S. King