This Week In Pop: Whitney Houston Became First Woman With No. 1 Debut

By Rami Abou-Sabe

On June 27, 1987, Whitney Houston‘s second album, Whitney, sat atop the Billboard 200, marking the first time a woman debuted at No. 1.

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Spawning four No. 1 hits, Whitney marked Houston’s rapid ascent to international superstardom. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” topped the charts in 13 countries, and became the singer’s biggest stateside hit until “I Will Always Love You” surpassed it nearly five years later.

Not only was Houston the first female to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, she became only the fourth artist in history to achieve the feat. The other three? Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.

Houston received three Grammy nominations for the record, taking home Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”


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