When Lady Gaga took the stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to receive the award for Best Pop Vocal Album at Sunday night’s (February 13) Grammy Awards, she gave a shout-out to a very special diva who has been relatively under the radar as of late. While accepting her award (one of three she took home on Sunday night), Gaga noted that she was picturing Whitney Houston singing “Born This Way” when she wrote it. “I need to say thank you tonight to Whitney Houston,” Gaga said. “I wanted to thank Whitney because when I wrote ‘Born This Way,’ I imagined she was singing it because I wasn’t secure enough in myself to imagine I was a superstar. So Whitney, I imagined you were singing ‘Born This Way’ when I wrote it.”
“Born This Way” will likely be at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 this week, but on this day in 1986, Houston herself was at the top of the chart heap with “How Will I Know.” The fourth single from her self-titled debut album (which was released on Valentine’s Day in 1984), “How Will I Know” found Houston hitting an incredible groove. “Saving All My Love For You” had already gone to number one, and Houston would end up dropping an unprecedented streak of seven consecutive chart-topping singles (“Saving All My Love For You” and “How Will I Know” were followed by “Greatest Love of All,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”).
“How Will I Know” spent two weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 before it was replaced by Mr. Mister’s “Kyrie.” The video became a big hit for Houston, and it’s easy to see why. Since she was mostly known as a balladeer, it was eye-opening to watch her cut loose in a fun environment.