Whitney’s self-titled debut album released in 1985. At just 21 years old, she had three chart-topping singles (“Saving All My Love for You,” “Greatest Love of All,” and “How Will I Know”). Whitney earned a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She would go on to outdo herself with her second album, Whitney, which would be the first album by a woman to debut at number one in the Billboard Top 200 and have four number one singles.

The debut album’s cover art is simultaneously demure and stunning. Elegant, poised, graceful, adorned with a delicate string of pearls and a draped Giovanni di Maura gown that accentuates her clavicle, she embodied class and style. This clean-cut polish would adjust itself over the years as Whitney worked to modulate against the persona of America’s princess. She rapidly discovered the role was merely a restrictive, perfectionist box.