Whitney Houston’s Highs and Lows… As Seen On TV
Television was how we experienced most of Whitney Houston's most culture-consuming triumphs... and also where we went to assess her state of health and mind when substance abuse and marital problems took a toll. From her Super Bowl supremacy to "whack is crack," and from Grammy greatness to "Being Bobby Brown," here are 13 of the moments that galvanized TV (and eventually web) viewers.
THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW (1985)
Record mogul Clive Davis first used his influence to introduce Houston to home audiences via the unlikely vehicle of Merv Griffin's daytime talk show. Looking a little less glamorous than the diva we'd soon come to know, the 21-year-old sang "Home," a ballad from "The Wiz." "We won't forget that name," affirmed Merv, theretofore not really regarded as a prophet.
"HOW WILL I KNOW" CONQUERS MTV (1986)
Houston and MTV were a marriage waiting to happen. But her previous music videos had been more on the sedate side, and MTV was then still facing charges of being rock-ist and resisting breakthrough black artists. Those two things both changed in a big way with "How Will I Know," which had an upbeat Houston dancing through colorful settings and establishing herself as an all-purpose pop diva rather than just light-R&B balladeer. Suddenly, she was the country's foremost African-American Girl Next Door.
THE 1986 GRAMMYS
Houston chose "Saving All My Love for You" for her first first appearance on the Grammys. With this knockout performance, she bowled over the non-MTV-savvy masses... and, incidentally, earned an Emmy that same year for outstanding performance on a variety program.
THE 1987 GRAMMYS
The burgeoning superstar was a standout on the kudocast for the second year in a row, this time really selling America on the idea that loving Whitney Houston was "The Greatest Love of All."
THE SUPER BOWL (1991)