Happy Birthday, Whitney Houston!

show||video|438322|

Yesterday, while traveling back to New York City from an all-too-brief visit to Pennsylvania, we passed though Newark, NJ, and started thinking about Whitney Houston, just like we always do when we pass through Newark, the “I Will Always Love You” singer’s hometown.

We wondered what she’s up to, where she’s been lately and if things are going alright. It wasn’t until earlier this morning that we realized Whitney is celebrating a big day: She turns 48 today!

It’s easy to rag on Whitney for the events of recent years – a tour marred by problems, a mediocre album, the public’s perception that her troubles are not as far in the past as she’d like you to believe – but that’s not what we’re going to do today. Instead, let’s take a minute to celebrate the impressive achievements of one of the most legendary performers in the history of music. (Oh, and listen to the tune above for evidence that she still has her hit-making sense about her, regardless of what gossips like to say!)

>>> Her 1994 single “I Will Always Love You” spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart, making it the biggest single in history at the time.

>>> The soundtrack to “The Bodyguard” was the first album in music history to move more than one million units in a single week.

>>> With worldwide sales of over 42 million copies, “The Bodyguard” soundtrack is the only album by a female artist to make the list of the top ten highest selling albums ever.

>>> “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” from Houston’s film “Waiting to Exhale” is the song that spent the most time at No. 2 on the singles charts, logging 11 weeks in the runner-up position.

>>> Houston is one of only ten artists ever to have more than 10 number ones (she’s had 11).

>>> From 1985-88, Houston notched 7 consecutive number ones – more than any other artist to this day.

>>> Houston’s second album, Whitney (1987), was the first album by a female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

>>> With career sales in excess of 100 million records, she is one of the top-selling artists of all time.

>>> Has won six Grammy Awards.

>>> Houston’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the 1991 Super Bowl is the most successful release of that song as a single. She donated all proceeds from the single’s sale to the American Red Cross.

>>> Houston’s three feature films – “The Bodyguard,” “Waiting to Exhale” and “The Preacher’s Wife” – grossed an impressive $236 million here in the U.S for a combined worldwide gross of over $539 million.