'The Bodyguard' Anniversary: Revisiting the Soundtrack
On this day in 1992 (Nov. 25), Whitney Houston made her big screen debut, as The Bodyguard premiered in theaters. In the film, the second-highest-grossing film of the year, she co-stars with Kevin Costner. Houston plays a music superstar (not a far reach), while Costner plays a former Secret Service agent-turned-bodyguard, who develops a close, personal relationship with his client.
The romantic thriller’s soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking U.S. sales in 1991. It ranks sixth to-date among all albums, with 12.1 million copies sold. On March 13, 1993, the set made Houston the first female artist to place three songs in the Billboard Hot 100 chart top 20 simultaneously: "I Will Always Love You," "I’m Every Woman" and "I Have Nothing."
Here are a few highlight tracks off the soundtrack that spent 20 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the film's trailer to refresh your memory.
“I Will Always Love You”
“Bittersweet memories. That is all I'm taking with me.”
Dolly Parton’s ballad peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 1974 and again in 1982, but Whitney Houston’s 1992 cover took the track to another level, peaking at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for a record (at that time) 14 weeks. That same year, the song cleaned up at The Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards and Soul Train Music Awards. The track became Houston's 10th of 11 career Hot 100 No. 1s, and her longest-leading, as well as Billboard's top song of 1993.
There’s an undeniable moment between the two stars immortalized in the music video for the love song from the film. As the love story unfolds, Houston’s vocals gain power, until the song explodes (listen for the drum at 3:10 in) and it’s evident you’re listening to one of the most talented beings ever to have existed.
“I’m Every Woman”
“I can sense your needs like rain onto the seeds. I can make a rhyme of confusion in your mind.”
Houston once again breathes new life into a song from the 70s – this time Chaka Khan’s 1978 message of female empowerment. In the video, there are noticeably fewer clips from the film, in favor of Houston singing it up with a few of her famous friends including Chaka Khan, TLC and her mother. Close with a jubilant “Chaka!” at the end to give credit where credit it due.
"I Have Nothing"
“You see through, right to the heart of me.”
In part 3 of the fantasy and the third single off the soundtrack, Houston is a superstar who Costner sees as being talented, but stereotypically high maintenance and unobtainable. Suddenly, she is vulnerable. She needs him and in the end, having him in her life is the only thing that matters. And how does he feel in return? He literally takes a bullet for her.
"Run to You"
“If I come to you, tell me, will you stay, or will you run away?”
In the fourth single off the soundtrack, the visual of Houston running on clouds is hard to take seriously, but the love story continues, as once again Houston asks Costner to notice her, admitting she’s not as strong as she leads others to believe. Then, there’s that kiss.
"Queen of the Night"
“I've got the stuff that you want. I've got the thing that you need. I've got more than enough, to make you drop to your knees.”
In the video for the fifth and final single from the soundtrack, we see the full, uninterrupted concert performance Houston’s character, Rachel Marron, gives in the film.