Whitney Houston's Often-Debated Vocal Range Tuesday October 26 2021, 9:32 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
Whitney Houston's Often-Debated Vocal Range

What's Whitney Houston's Voice Type?


Whitney Houston is a very powerful mezzo-soprano that has a richness to her voice that will forever be distinct and memorable. Whitney had a really high range for belting/chest voice that always seemed to come effortlessly in a way that no other singer can really match. She had a good lower range in addition to her high notes, but she mainly focused on her middle and upper range when singing some of the greatest songs of all time. Her avoidance of low notes is why she is often referred to as a "spinto soprano", who often has a high range with a dark tone. 

How Many Octaves Can Whitney Houston Sing?


Whitney Houston is known to have a singing range that spans around 3 octaves, which is somewhat of a surprise when you consider how she's one of the greatest singers of all time. Some people and sites claim that she has an over 5-octave of range but fail to include the proof and examples. She has sung as low as a C#3, belted as high as E5, to a head voice as high as C6. 

She's known for her powerful belts in her upper-middle range and has nice head voice capabilities that she showcases from time to time. She does not, however, showcase her lower range that a contralto or more versatile soprano would have. Nor does she showcase whistle tone abilities when singing. While her range can be beaten, her technique and tone are what transcends her to the level of one of, if not the greatest singer of all time.

How Low Can Whitney Houston Sing?


Whitney didn't often sing low notes, but many people confused her range as being a contralto's range due to how rich her tone is. Even when singing a note that isn't that low at all for a female singer, Whitney had the power to make that note sound low and bassy, which is a reason she didn't really need a lower range in order to put on a great performance. One of her lowest recorded notes can be heard in one of her later songs "Try It On My Own" as shown above where she sings a C#3, which is truly low for a female, but she rarely gave us notes like these and even then only touches them briefly without sustaining them. 

How High Can Whitney Houston Sing?


Whitney Houston has so much depth to her high notes that you may not even notice the fact that she doesn't showcase whistle-tone notes like singers including Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. This doesn't mean she's any better or worse than these singers, and her songs fit her range perfectly to the point where she shines like no other singer to ever do it. For studio-recorded vocals, Whitney has sung in her belting range as high as an E5 and a C6 in her head voice as shown in the clip above in the song "I Wanna Dance With Somebody".

Note: Her range description in this blog does not include live-only performances that some people often use for range proof of singers, but can often be distorted in the recording process. 

How Did Whitney Houston's Vocal Range Change Over The Years? 


Whitney was known to lose some of her vocal control and rich tone when drug usage became a big part of her life, but surprisingly her range increased as time went by. Her lower range was more showcased towards the end of her career, as her voice developed and matured with good and bad influences alike. 

Her higher range wasn't as strong in the latter part of her career, especially when it came to live performances, but the passion, richness, and energy was still very present which allowed fans to still immensely enjoy her shows and feel like Whitney's personal battles didn't effect the magic of her music and singing ability. 


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Yona Marie

This blog was written by singer, songwriter and producer Yona Marie. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!

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