‘I Will Always Love You,’ Whitney Houston

The cover of the soundtrack album for the movie, "The Bodyguard."

The cover of the soundtrack album for the movie, “The Bodyguard.”

At various points, Diana Ross, Cher, Liza Minnelli and Donna Summer were considered to play singer Rachel Marron, the lead female character in “The Bodyguard.” But the ultimate choice was Whitney Houston, and her performance played a big part in making the film a monster hit. So did her powerhouse soundtrack recording of “I Will Always Love You,” written by Dolly Parton, and released by Parton as a country single in 1974. If you’re looking for one song that represents the peak of Houston’s career, and the most perfect representation of who she was as a recording artist, this is it.

To date, “I Will Always Love You” has sold more than 20 million copies, making it one of the Top 10 singles of all time, and the top-selling single, ever, by a woman. It was also named Record of the Year at the 1994 Grammy Awards.

“I Will Always Love You” also anchored the “Bodyguard” soundtrack album, the top selling soundtrack ever, with more than 45 million copies sold, worldwide.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.

If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.

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