France Album Sales: Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston (1985) Era

As she ended to prove in mid-1985 her enormous appeal in the US, Whitney Houston started to promote her eponymous album worldwide in by Christmas 1985 in UK and in early 1986 in France.

Her first TV appearance in France happened in April 5 1986. Her lead single her Saving All My Love For You had entered the Singles Chart two weeks earlier at #50 but then dropped out the week preceding that promotion. The TV interview was live on Antenne 2 saturday night show with Michel Drucker, the hottest TV primetime of the 80s. Whitney Houston was invited as was legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg. The young and shy American artist was suddenly shocked by the cult French artist – and occasionally drunk – who textually said “I want to fuck her”. This moment remains one of the biggest oops moment of France TV ever and various video uploads of it have add for more than 2 million views on YouTube. Talk about a way of starting a career in a new country.

The following week her debut single re-entered and ultimately peaked at #11, a very high result for a black music newcomer in France. The album Whitney Houston also appeared at #13 in May monthly chart along with the single peak. It was the only time the album charted, but it was mostly due to the difficulty to get into the Monthly Top 20 chart in this era. Around October 1986 it went Gold, selling 120,000 up to the release of follow up album in June 1987.

In spite of not charting initially, all three singles Greatest Love Of All (#70), How Will I Know (#111) and All At Once (#132) were among the 18 singles that ranked in Singles chart thanks to digital sales following her 2012 passing.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. How Will I Know – 30,926,000
  2. Greatest Love Of All – 19,218,000
  3. Saving All My Love For You – 13,069,000

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Hi MJD. The international sales for waiting to exhale and the preachers wife are shockingly low because her label, Arista supported those albums and she did promote in international markets plus they come straight after the monster success of the bodyguard. I think Tommy Mottola had bigger hits for his divas Celine and Mariah like “Because you loved me” and “One Sweet Day” and Clive just wasn’t getting it right. What do you think went wrong gor those soundtracks?

Jeremy McKay

You have to do a CSPC for Whitney!

Anthony Blanchard

Hello Jeremy
You are right! I think that it will be done in early 2017, 5 years after she passed away.


Her overall number is very solid, similar to Mariah Carey. Surprised to see “I’m your baby tonight” comfortably outselling her 80s studio albums.

John Will

Dear MJD, thank you for your post, I have learned a lot from your posts in UKMIX and Fan of Music , I can’t wait to see you post articles about”France Album Sales: Barbra Streisand” and “France Album Sales: Celine Dion”

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x