Iconic songstress Whitney Houston received another honor posthumously this week, as her rendition of “I Will Always Love You” reached diamond certification this week– ten years after her death.
The distinction is bestowed by the Recording Industry Association (RIAA) to albums and singles that have sold and streamed 10 million equivalent units in the United States. Diamond status is the same as 10-times platinum. Three of Houston’s albums have received diamond status: The Bodyguard soundtrack, which “I Will Always Love You” appears on, has gone 18-times platinum. It’s the best-selling soundtrack of all time. The megastar also received the diamond status for 1985’s Whitney Houston and 1987’s Whitney.
According to Billboard, Houston is the third female artist to have a diamond-status single and album, following Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift.
Originally recorded as a country track by Dolly Parton, the single was rearranged as an R&B ballad for the 1992 blockbuster movie, The Bodyguard. Houston made her acting debut in the film co-starring Kevin Costner, playing a pop diva who develops this connection with her hired security. Music producers David Foster and Clive Davis looked for a moving closing to convey the bittersweet goodbye captured on the big screen. As Vibe reported, Whitney was set to record a cover of David Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” until Costner spoke up and asked the producers to reconsider the song originally sung by Dolly Parton and later by Linda Ronstadt.
The a capella intro to the song made it Houston’s signature song. As Billboard notes, at Houston’s funeral in 2012, the song played as her casket left the church.
The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) is a trade organization that supports and promotes major music companies’ creative and financial vitality. RIAA members create, manufacture, or distribute sound recordings representing approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music consumption in the United States.