Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston


Who Was Whitney Houston?

Early years.

Born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, Houston almost seemed destined from birth to become a singer. Her mother and cousin were both legendary figures in American gospel, soul and pop music. Cissy Houston was the choir minister at New Hope Baptist Church, and it was there that a young Houston got her start. Even as a child, Houston was able to wow audiences; she later told Diane Sawyer that a rapturous response from the congregation at New Hope had a powerful effect upon her: "I think I knew then that [my singing ability] was an infectious thing that God had given me."

By the time she turned 15, Houston was performing often with her mother and trying to get a record deal of her own. Around the same time, she was discovered by a photographer who was awed by her natural beauty. She soon became an extremely sought-after teen model, one of the first African American women to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. But music remained her true love.

When she was 19, Houston was discovered in a nightclub by Arista Records' Clive Davis, who signed her immediately and took the helm of her career as she navigated from gospel to pop stardom. In 1983, Houston made her debut on national television, appearing on The Merv Griffin Show to sing "Home" from the musical The Wiz . She and Davis spent the next two years working on her debut album, finding the best producers and songwriters available to showcase her amazing vocal talent.

Albums and Songs

'whitney houston' album: "saving all my love for you," "how will i know".

In 1985, the artist released her debut album, Whitney Houston , and almost immediately became a smash pop sensation. Over the next year, her hit singles "Saving All My Love for You" and "How Will I Know" helped the album reach the top of the charts, where it stayed for 14 non-consecutive weeks. Houston won a Grammy in 1986 for "Saving All My Love for You"; the award was presented to the singer by her cousin Dionne Warwick .

'Whitney' Album: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"

Houston followed the monumental success of her first album with a second release, Whitney , in 1987. That record, too, went platinum many times over and won a Grammy for the single "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," with a successful world tour following. During this time, the singer also appeared at a concert for Nelson Mandela's birthday and founded the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, a nonprofit organization that funds projects to help needy children over the world.

By 1992, Houston was on top of the world, but her life was about to get very complicated very quickly. That year she married the R&B singer Bobby Brown , formerly of New Edition, after a three-year engagement. At first, the marriage was passionate and loving, but things turned sour as the decade progressed. Both Brown and Houston battled substance abuse and increasingly erratic behavior, with Houston later alluding to emotional abuse from Brown and domestic violence.

READ MORE: Inside Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's Tumultuous Relationship

'The Bodyguard' Album: 'I Will Always Love You'

In spite of these growing personal troubles, Houston continued to progress in her career, crossing over successfully into acting in 1992 by starring opposite Kevin Costner in the wildly popular movie The Bodyguard . With this project, she set a trend for her films to follow: For each movie she also released hit singles, creating sensational record sales for the soundtracks. Her smash single from The Bodyguard , a cover of Dolly Parton 's "I Will Always Love You" from 1974, proved to be Houston's biggest hit ever, spending a record-breaking 14 weeks atop the U.S. charts. The soundtrack album went on to win Houston three Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Later in the 1990s, Houston also starred in Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife , both accompanied by hit soundtracks as well.

'My Love Is Your Love' Album: 'It's Not Right But It's Okay'

In 1998, Houston released My Love Is Your Love , her first non-soundtrack studio album in many years, and it earned her another Grammy for the single "It's Not Right But It's Okay," The album was not as successful as her previous full-length releases, though her collaboration with Mariah Carey in the animated film The Prince of Egypt produced a hit single, "When You Believe," which won an Academy Award.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Houston's increasingly rocky marriage, struggles with drugs and health problems threatened to derail her career. Several concert cancellations and a notorious TV interview with Sawyer in 2002, in which Houston appeared far too thin and in poor health, led many to speculate that she was on the verge of a breakdown.

'Just Whitney' Album

In 2004, when production began on the TV reality series Being Bobby Brown , Houston received substantial airtime. The show aired during the worst years of the couple's crumbling marriage; drug use, lifestyle excess and bad behavior were all caught on tape and Houston's reputation sunk to new lows. Houston tried to ignore the controversy, charging ahead with her music by releasing Just Whitney… to combat her detractors, but it did not match the success of her earlier works. In spite of her troubled relationship, Houston was still celebrated as a singer, being named the most-awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records in 2006.

Over the next few years, Houston attempted to repair her marriage and to break her drug habit, but after several relapses, Cissy had to step in. As Houston explained to Oprah Winfrey in 2009: "[My mother] walks in with the sheriff and she says: 'I have a court injunction here. You do it my way or we're not going to do this at all. You're going to go on TV, and you're going to retire. And say you're going to give this up because it's not worth it.'" Houston took a break from her career, divorced Brown in 2007 and won sole custody of Bobbi Kristina.

'I Look to You' Album

After almost a decade of struggling with her personal life, Houston seemed to be pulling herself together. She released a new album, I Look To You , in 2009. "The songs themselves will speak to you and you'll understand where I am and some of the changes I've gone through for the better," Houston told Entertainment Tonight . The recording received a warm welcome from music fans, making it to the top of album charts. Her live shows, however, garnered mixed reviews, with some complaining about the quality of her voice.

In early 2012, Houston was rumored to be experiencing financial trouble, but she denied this claim. Indeed, the artist seemed poised for a career upswing: Houston worked on the musical film Sparkle with Jordin Sparks, a remake of the 1976 movie about an all-girl musical group similar to The Supremes, and also reportedly had been approached to join the singing competition series The X Factor as a judge. Unfortunately, Houston did not live long enough to see the latest comeback reach fruition.

Houston died at the age of 48 on February 11, 2012, in Los Angeles at a Beverly Hilton hotel where a Grammy party was being held by Davis. Houston had been seen out in the days before her death, including at one of the pre-Grammy parties. According to a report released by the Los Angeles County coroner's office on March 22, 2012, the official cause of her death was an accidental drowning. The effects of heart disease and cocaine found in her system were contributing factors as well.

With her passing, the music world lost one of its most legendary stars. Davis once said that Houston "is in the great tradition of great, great singers, whether it's Lena Horne or Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan or Gladys Knight ."

Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown and Bobbi Kristina Brown

Daughter Bobbi Kristina

Daughter Bobbi Kristina dealt with much tumult after the death of her mother. She was hospitalized immediately after the passing of Houston due to emotional trauma but later spoke with Winfrey about returning to her mother's home and feeling her mother's presence. Houston left everything to her daughter, but eventually the singer's sister-in-law Pat Houston became the executor of the estate.

Bobbi Kristina had public conflicts with her grandmother, Cissy, over the publishing of the Houston biography Remembering Whitney . In early 2014, she was reported to have been married to Nick Gordon, who had been taken in by Houston during his childhood and raised with Bobbi Kristina, yet later reports stated that they weren't legally wed. In another confrontation, she made disparaging comments via Twitter about Angela Bassett after the actress/director opted to cast a trained actress in the lead role of a Houston biopic instead of Bobbi Kristina.

On January 31, 2015, nearly three years to the date of her mother's death, Bobbi Kristina was discovered face down in a bathtub in her Roswell, Georgia, home by associate Max Lomas. After being admitted to North Fulton Hospital, she was eventually taken to Emory University Hospital, having been placed into a medically-induced coma.

Her father and grandmother visited her bedside amid calls for public support and prayer, with a candlelight vigil held on February 10 in suburban Atlanta. Bobbi Kristina Brown died on July 26, 2015, at Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia. She was 22 years old.


Backed by the Houston estate, the documentary Whitney was released in July 2018, with Houston's sister-in-law, Pat, serving as executive producer.

“Everyone that has a life has a story. It’s her story and it’s played out in the documentary," Pat Houston told Good Morning America a few weeks before the film's release. "She narrated a lot of it herself. It’s just her life and her story as the family would see it, and the friends, who dealt with it every single day.”

The documentary premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. In the doc, it is revealed that her cousin, Dee Dee Warwick, sister of Dionne Warwick, allegedly sexually abused the singer. Houston’s brother told filmmakers he was abused by Dee Dee and believed his sister was too. The documentary also provided insight into Houston's relationship with drugs — her brother Michael admitted that he gave her marijuana and cocaine as a gift for her 16th birthday — as well as her kinship with fellow pop superstar Michael Jackson .

The following year brought more revelations about the singer's private life with the publication of A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston , by Robyn Crawford . A longtime friend and assistant, Crawford confirmed that the two also had a romantic relationship before Houston became a global superstar.

READ MORE: Inside Whitney Houston's Relationship With Best Friend Robyn Crawford

Posthumous Music, Projects and Honors

'memories,' 'higher love'.

In 2016, fans were treated to the release of a new Houston single, "Memories," with Malaysian singer Siti Nurhaliza sharing credit on the track. Houston's vocals had been recorded nearly 35 years earlier. In 2019, another new Houston single surfaced, this one a cover of Steve Winwood's 1986 hit "Higher Love." Houston had recorded a version that was originally meant for her 1990 album I'm Your Baby Tonight , before it was remixed for a posthumous release by Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo.

Hologram Tour

In 2019, it was announced that Houston's hologram would be going on tour the following year. The production was being developed by BASE Holograms, which had already debuted shows featuring the likenesses of Greek opera diva Maria Callas and American rock 'n' roll great Roy Orbison .

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

On January 15, 2020, it was announced that Houston had been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Watch Whitney on Lifetime Movie Club


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Who was Whitney Houston?

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Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was a Grammy Award-winning singer and actress who was one of the best-selling musical performers of the 1980s and 1990s. Her debut album, Whitney Houston , was released in 1985 and yielded three number-one singles in the United States: “Greatest Love of All,” which became her signature; “Saving All My Love for You”; and “How Will I Know.”

Whitney Houston made her motion-picture debut in 1992 in The Bodyguard . The film featured her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which stayed at number one for 14 weeks. The film’s soundtrack dominated the Grammys, winning awards for album of the year, record of the year, and best female pop vocal performance.

How did Whitney Houston die?

Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathtub at a Beverly Hills hotel on February 11, 2012. A coroner’s report stated that the cause of death was accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors.

When was Whitney Houston inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Whitney Houston was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

For which song did Whitney Houston win her first Grammy?

Whitney Houston won her first Grammy Award for the single "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" from Whitney (1987).

Whitney Houston , (born August 9, 1963, Newark , New Jersey , U.S.—died February 11, 2012, Beverly Hills , California), American singer and actress who was one of the best-selling musical performers of the 1980s and ’90s.

Whitney Houston

The daughter of Emily (“Cissy”) Houston—whose vocal group, the Sweet Inspirations, sang backup for Aretha Franklin —and the cousin of singer Dionne Warwick , Whitney Houston began singing in church as a child. While still in high school , she sang backup for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls and modeled for fashion magazines. At age 19 she signed with Arista Records, whose president, Clive Davis , groomed the gospel -based singer for crossover pop success. Her debut album, Whitney Houston (1985), yielded three number one singles in the United States: “Greatest Love of All,” which became her signature; “Saving All My Love for You”; and “How Will I Know.” Whitney (1987) delivered four more number ones and earned Houston a Grammy Award (for the single “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”).

British musical group Culture Club on the set of the "Karma Chameleon" video, 1983; (left to right) Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Boy George and Mikey Craig.

In 1992 Houston married singer Bobby Brown and made her motion-picture debut in The Bodyguard ; the film featured her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “ I Will Always Love You ,” which stayed at number one for 14 weeks. The film’s soundtrack dominated the Grammys the following year, with Houston winning the awards for album of the year, record of the year, and best female pop vocal performance. In the mid-1990s she continued acting , in films such as Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996), and the soundtrack of each film generated hit singles for her.

In 1998 Houston released My Love Is Your Love , which did not sell as well as previous efforts but was praised by the critics and earned her another Grammy Award. In 2001 she signed a new multialbum contract with Arista for $100 million, but personal difficulties soon overshadowed her recording career. Houston’s tumultuous relationship with Brown (the couple divorced in 2007) provided fodder for the tabloids, as did her acknowledged drug use and financial issues. Her 2002 album, Just Whitney , was a personal response to her detractors, but its sales were disappointing compared with earlier efforts. Other than a lacklustre holiday album, One Wish (2003), Houston spent subsequent years in a state of virtual retirement.

In February 2009 she began a comeback effort with a four-song set at Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammy Awards gala. The performance was greeted warmly, and in June Houston announced that an album of new material would be available later that year. I Look to You was released in August to positive reviews, and standout songs included the up-tempo “Million Dollar Bill” (penned by Alicia Keys ) and the title track, a slow-building ballad written by R. Kelly . In February 2012 Houston died in a bathtub at a Beverly Hills hotel shortly before Davis’s pre-Grammy party. A coroner’s report released in March stated that the cause of death was accidental drowning , with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors. Houston posthumously appeared in the musical film Sparkle (2012), which she had coproduced. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

In January 2015 Houston’s only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was found unconscious in a bathtub at her home near Atlanta. She died in July.

With over 200 million combined album, singles and videos sold worldwide during her career with Arista Records, Whitney Houston has established a benchmark for superstardom that will quite simply never be eclipsed in the modern era. She is a singer’s singer who has influenced countless other vocalists female and male.

Music historians cite Whitney’s record-setting achievements: the only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits (“Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love Of All,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”); the first female artist to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at #1 (her second album, Whitney , 1987); and one of a select number of solo artists with eight consecutive multi-platinum albums ( Whitney Houston, Whitney, I’m Your Baby Tonight, The Bodyguard, Waiting To Exhale , and The Preacher’s Wife soundtracks; My Love Is Your Love and Whitney: The Greatest Hits ).

In fact, The Bodyguard soundtrack is one of the top 5 biggest-selling albums of all-time (at 18x-platinum in the U.S. alone), and Whitney’s career-defining version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” is the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist (at 10x-platinum, Diamond, for physical and digital in the U.S. alone).

Born into a musical family on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, Whitney’s success might’ve been foretold. Her legendary heritage is as familiar as America’s greatest icons: the daughter of famed singer Cissy Houston (who made her name in the Drinkards gospel quartet, and later the Sweet Inspirations vocal group of Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley renown); and the cousin of singers Dee Dee Warwick (who introduced the original ’60s versions of “You’re No Good” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”) and her sister, superstar Dionne Warwick. Whitney’s mother and cousins nurtured her passion for gospel music since birth. As a teenager, Whitney was already singing on the scene in New York, and records with her first young performances in the ’70s and early ’80s album credits with such eclectic acts as Michael Zager, Chaka Khan, Herbie Mann, the Neville Brothers, Bill Laswell’s Material, and others are much sought-after collector’s items.

In 1983, near the end of Arista’s first mega-successful decade of operation, Clive Davis was taken to a New York nightclub where Whitney was performing and signed her on the spot. Two years went into the making of her debut album, but the results were worth it. The self-titled Whitney Houston (February 1985) launched Arista’s second decade, and yielded a string of hits including “You Give Good Love” and three consecutive #1 singles, the GRAMMY-winning “Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know,” and “Greatest Love of All,” which has become a veritable anthem. Not only did the album establish her as an important new recording artist, but it went on to sell over 13 million copies in the U.S., plus many millions more abroad. This LP set the record as the biggest selling debut album by a solo artist.

With the highly anticipated release of her second album Whitney (June 1987), she made history as the first female artist to enter the Billboard album charts at #1. The new album soared past 10x-platinum on the strength of four #1 chart-toppers, the GRAMMY-winning “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” This established Whitney as the only artist ever to have seven consecutive #1 hits, surpassing a record previously set by The Beatles and the Bee Gees.

Whitney’s third best-selling album, I’m Your Baby Tonight (November 1990), displayed her versatility on a new batch of tough rhythmic grooves, soulful ballads and up-tempo dance tracks. With back-to-back #1 hits for the title tune and “All The Man That I Need,” followed by “Miracle” and “My Name Is Not Susan,” sales records were set once again, as the album became an international multi-platinum best-seller, to the tune of 10 million copies worldwide.

After establishing her screen appeal in her well-received music videos where she dominated MTV’s rotations during its first decade on the air, Whitney finally made her movie debut in The Bodyguard (November 1992), in which she co-starred with Oscar-winning actor/director Kevin Costner. The film not only broke box office records worldwide but was ultimately responsible for the biggest selling motion picture soundtrack album of all time, voted the GRAMMY-winning Album Of the Year.

“I Will Always Love You,” the first single release, became the biggest selling single by a female artist in history, and reaped GRAMMYs for Record Of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Three other singles from the album, “I’m Every Woman,” “I Have Nothing,” and “Run To You,” also were major international hits for Whitney. The Bodyguard soundtrack album, featuring six Whitney Houston songs in all, has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. At 18-times platinum in the U.S., it is the biggest selling motion picture soundtrack album in history, ahead of Saturday Night Fever, Forrest Gump, Titanic , and so on.

Film work continued with Waiting To Exhale (which opened December 1995, preceded by the soundtrack album in November). The critically acclaimed film, starring Whitney with Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon, and directed by Forrest Whitaker, went on to gross over $80 million (in ’90s dollars). The soundtrack for Waiting To Exhale featured three new tracks from Whitney: the #1 Pop/#1 R&B “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”; the top 10 Pop and R&B follow-up “Count On Me” (a duet with CeCe Winans), co-written by Whitney and Babyface; and “Why Does It Hurt So Bad.” The album spent five weeks at #1, was certified 7x-platinum in the U.S., and has sold nearly twice that worldwide to date.

Whitney’s third motion picture, The Preacher’s Wife (Buena Vista, December 1996), also starring Denzel Washington and Courtney B. Vance, and directed by Penny Marshall, was based on the 1947 classic, The Bishop’s Wife (with Cary Grant and Loretta Young). The gospel-soaked Arista soundtrack, Whitney’s lifelong dream, became the biggest-selling gospel album in Billboard chart history, 3x-platinum in the U.S. alone. Collaborations with an extraordinary roster of artists and producers (among them GRAMMY and Dove Award winner Mervyn Warren of Sister Act and Sister Act II fame) resulted in a unique album. Whitney sang lead vocals on 14 of the album’s 15 tracks, including the beautiful first single “I Believe In You And Me,” “Step By Step” (written by Annie Lennox), and two songs produced by GRAMMY award winner Babyface. Cissy turned the familiar 23rd Psalm into a spiritually touching song, “The Lord Is My Shepherd,” while other luminaries on the album included Shirley Caesar and the Georgia Mass Choir.

Whitney added the medium of made-for-television movies to her list of accomplishments when The Wonderful World of Disney aired the musical Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in November 1997. The special starred Whitney as the Fairy Godmother, Brandy as Cinderella, Bernadette Peters as the wicked stepmother, Whoopi Goldberg as the queen, and an all-star multicultural cast. The program drew a U.S. audience of more than 60 million viewers, and gave the ABC network its highest Sunday night rating in over a decade. Whitney and her company, BrownHouse Productions, served as executive producers on the project, which garnered seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy Special and won for Outstanding Art Direction. The home video version shattered previous records to become the best-selling video ever of a made-for-television movie.

The next year, fans ecstatically received Whitney’s first non-soundtrack related studio album in eight years, My Love Is Your Love (November 1998), which she produced with Clive Davis. Whitney proved her ability to stay absolutely contemporary with the first single, the #1 R&B/ #2 Pop “Heartbreak Hotel” featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price. It was the beginning of a string of gold and platinum chart hit singles from the album spanning nearly a year and a half (into the spring 2000): the GRAMMY-winning “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay”; “When You Believe” (a duet with Mariah Carey, from The Prince Of Egypt ); the title tune “My Love Is Your Love”; and “I Learned From the Best” (written by Diane Warren, produced and arranged by David Foster).

The success of My Love Is Your Love kicked off a phenomenal year for Whitney. She stole the show at VH1’s second annual “Divas Live/99,” with a performance characterized as “invincible” by Jon Pareles in The New York Times . Sharing the stage with a lineup that included Cher, Tina Turner, Mary J. Blige and others, Whitney emerged as the star. VH1 announced that the show was the highest-rated telecast in its history.

At the same time, gold, platinum and multi-platinum album sales were certified in every corner of the globe: Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore and more. In July 1999, as “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” became the 17th Top 5 pop hit of her career, Whitney commenced a successful world tour playing 14 cities in North America. The tour concluded in Europe in November.

At the 42nd annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2000, 15 months after the album release, Whitney received her sixth career GRAMMY, as “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” was voted Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Winning her first R&B GRAMMY award in a category that included Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Faith Evans, and Macy Gray was extremely gratifying for Whitney, especially after three previous GRAMMY awards for Best Female Pop Vocal: in 1985 (“Saving All My Love For You”), 1987 (“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”), and 1993 (“I Will Always Love You”).

A month later in March 2000, Whitney was named Female Artist Of the Decade at the Soul Train Music Awards annual ceremonies virtually 15 years to the day since her debut single, “You Give Good Love,” entered the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart on March 9, 1985.

In the midst of her 15th anniversary year as an Arista recording artist, the double-album Whitney: The Greatest Hits (May 2000) celebrated the past, present and future. In addition to newly-recorded tracks with Enrique Iglesias, Deborah Cox, George Michael, and Q-Tip, there were rare vintage tracks unavailable for a decade, impossible-to-find club mixes, and bonus tracks. The collection encompassed Whitney’s success as a mainstay on the pop and R&B singles front (on the double-CD/cassette), as a screen presence since her career began at the label (on DVD and VHS home-video), and in the clubs as a remixer’s delight (on a limited edition four-record vinyl box-set).

Individually, the double-CD/cassette comprised one volume of single hits (Cool Down) and another volume of memorable club mixes (Throw Down), each spanning Whitney’s entire career to date, 1985 to 2000. She recorded new duets for the occasion with Enrique Iglesias (the Diane Warren composition, “Could I Have This Kiss Forever”), and then-Arista label-mate Deborah Cox (“Same Script, Different Cast”), plus a new version of “If I Told You That” (from My Love Is Your Love ), remade as a duet with George Michael.

Hard-to-find rarities included “One Moment In Time,” the 1988 Summer Olympics theme; 1991’s Super Bowl XXV version of “The Star Spangled Banner”; and a 1986 duet with Jermaine Jackson (“If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful”) released only on his second Arista album, Precious Moments , never as a single.

The two U.S. CDs (and cassettes) were programmed so that each volume displayed the full range of Whitney’s career. Disc 1 (Cool Down), for example, built from her first hits of 1985, “You Give Good Love,” “Saving All My Love For You,” and “Greatest Love Of All,” all the way through 2000. Disc 2 (Throw Down) recapped the hits from My Love Is Your Love with club remixes of “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,” “My Love Is Your Love,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “I Learned From The Best” followed by 10 more hits remixed by Junior Vasquez, David Morales, Jellybean, Hex Hector, C+C Music Factory’s Clivilles & Cole, and others.

Those remixers were showcased on Whitney: The Unreleased Mixes , a special limited-edition four-record vinyl box-set acknowledging her importance in clubs around the world. There were seven songs, eight mixes, one track on each side of four 12-inch vinyl discs: “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love Of All,” “I’m Every Woman,” “Love Will Save the Day,” “I Will Always Love You,” “So Emotional,” and “I’m Your Baby Tonight.”

Whitney: The Greatest Hits also was the title of Whitney’s first DVD and VHS home-video collection. The lion’s share of her hits were included in its 23 titles, a combination of video clips (with such noted directors as Wayne Isham, Peter Israelson, Julien Temple, Randee St. Nicholas, Brian Grant, and Kevin Bray), and live performance. Links were provided to such rarities as her television premiere (on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1983), appearances on several awards shows, a tune from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella , interview segments featuring Whitney and her co-producer, Arista president Clive Davis, and much more.

The week after the release of Whitney: The Greatest Hits , she appeared on the NBC television network special benefit concert “25 Years of #1 Hits: Arista Records’ Anniversary Celebration,” a tribute to the label as well as its founder and leader, Clive Davis.

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster of September 11, 2001, Whitney’s soaring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” was the first benefit single to be issued, coupled with her version of “America the Beautiful.” The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children, Inc. and Arista Records agreed to donate royalties and net proceeds from all single sales to the New York Firefighters 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police. Both groups as well as the families of those affected by the tragic event were to benefit from the sales.

The following year saw the release of Just Whitney (December 2002), her fifth studio album and first for the new millennium. An A-list of handpicked hitmakers and producers contributed to the album, among them Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Missy Elliott, Kevin “She’kspere” Briggs, Teddy Bishop and Gordon Chambers. The diverse program of ballads included “Try It On My Own,” (written by Babyface and Carole Bayer Sager); “My Love” (a duet with Bobby Brown); and a powerful remake of Debby Boone’s 1977 “You Light Up My Life.” Also among the album’s gems were such hip grooves as “Love That Man” and the old-school style jam “Things You Say” (written and produced by Missy Elliott).

Every artist’s first Christmas collection is a special career landmark, and Whitney’s One Wish: The Holiday Album (November 2003) was no exception. Whitney worked with producers and arrangers Troy Taylor, Mervyn Warren, and the team of Gordon Chambers and Barry J. Eastmond on a joyous mix of yuletide favorites from the traditional and contemporary songbooks, along with several new compositions.

The album opened with the classic “The First Nöel” and Mel Tormé’s timeless “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire).” Other favorites included Freddie Jackson’s “One Wish (For Christmas),” “Cantique De Nöel (O Holy Night),” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “O Come O Come Emanuel,” and a medley of “Deck The Halls/Silent Night.” Two tracks originated on The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack, “Who Would Imagine A King” and “Joy To The World.” The centerpiece was 10-year old daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown’s recording debut on “Little Drummer Boy.”

Guinness World Records lists Whitney as music’s “most awarded female artist of all time,” with an amazing tally of 411 awards (as of 2006) a tally that is certainly topped by her six GRAMMY Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, two Emmy Award nominations and one win, as well as MTV VMAs in the U.S. and Europe, NAACP Image Awards, BET Awards, Soul Train Music Awards, and so on. She received the Nickelodeon “Kids Choice” award (she was inducted into the “Kids Choice” Hall Of Fame in 1996), the Dove (Gospel Music Association) Award, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award. Whitney was inducted into the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Walk Of Fame in 1996; and received Soul Train’s prestigious Quincy Jones Career Achievement Award in 1998.

True to her church upbringing, the Whitney Houston Foundation For Children Inc. was established in 1989 as a non-profit organization that cared for such problems as homelessness, children with cancer and AIDS, and other issues of self-empowerment. In June 1995, the Foundation was awarded a VH1 Honor for its charitable work. Funds were raised for numerous causes involving children around the world, from South Africa to Newark, and generated over $300,000 for the Children’s Defense Fund as a result of a 1997 HBO concert. In 2020, The Whitney E. Houston Legacy Foundation was formed as a continuation of Whitney’s journey to Rebuild lives, Restore self-esteem and Repair images through grassroots programs and initiatives for the young.

Whitney’s tireless efforts earned recognition from such organizations as St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the United Negro College Fund, and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, all of whom have benefited from the heart and soul of a great artist and humanitarian.  Whitney continued her charitable works with her sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, who started a nonprofit organization in 2007 called Teen Summit. Teen Summit was formed to Rebuild, Restore and Repair the lives of teens and young adults.  Whitney attended the annual event and also helped Pat with Celebrity Consignment, a shop in Shelby, North Carolina which also benefits Teen Summit. Whitney not only donated clothes to the shop but was instrumental in getting celebs like Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Dionne Warwick, Diane Sawyer and others to donate as well.  Teen Summit was able to open its first academy on January 26, 2013.

Whitney’s seventh and final studio album, I Look To You, was released on August 28, 2009 and it debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with sales of 305,000 copies and was her first studio album to reach #1 since 1992’s The Bodyguard . The album spawned two hit singles – the title track which became a Top 20 R&B single and “Million Dollar Bill” which hit the Top 10 in several countries worldwide. A promotional single, “Nothin’ But Love,” taken from the album was released to U.K. radio stations to promote what was to be her final tour – the Nothing But Love World Tour.

In the fall of 2011, Whitney got to fulfill her lifelong dream of bringing a remake of the film Sparkle to the silver screen. Filming took place in Detroit for six weeks commencing in October 2011. Whitney played the role of the mother, Emma, as well as being Executive Producer of the film. Sparkle was released in August 2012. Along with Sparkle , Whitney had been working on a remake of a Judy Garland film and a Waiting To Exhale sequel.

Whitney’s tragic passing on February 11, 2012 is still deeply felt by her family, friends and millions of fans worldwide. Her Estate is committed to keeping her legacy alive. To that end, they along with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings have released Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances in 2014, I Wish You Love: More From The Bodyguard in 2017, and Whitney Houston 35th Anniversary Edition , a 2LP box set in 2020.

An official documentary, directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald (titled Whitney ) was released in 2018. The film was nominated for Best Music Film at the GRAMMY Awards, and for Outstanding Documentary Film at the NAACP Image Awards.

In July 2019, Whitney achieved her first posthumous Billboard Hot 100 hit with “Higher Love,” released as a single with producer and DJ Kygo. The song hit #1 on two Billboard dance charts and reached #2 on the U.K. Official Singles chart. In October that year, a special version of Whitney’s 1987 recording of “Do You Hear What I Hear” was released on The Best Of Pentatonix Christmas .

In September 2019, The Estate of Whitney E. Houston and BASE Hologram announced An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour , an awe-inspiring and immersive live theatrical concert experience celebrating the incredible music and everlasting legacy of Whitney Houston. The tour launched in February 2020 in the United Kingdom and began an extended residency at Harrah’s Las Vegas in October 2021.

Nearly 35 years after the release of her debut album, Whitney was honored with induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2020 in recognition that her unique fusion of pop, R&B and gospel – the very roots of rock & roll – subverted genres and influenced just about every contemporary vocalist. That same year, Whitney became the first African-American recording artist (male or female, solo or group) with three Diamond albums, after her second album, Whitney , was certified 10x platinum.

A new remix of “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston x Clean Bandit was released in September 2021, and an official biopic, titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody , is scheduled for theatrical release in December 2022. Whitney’s contributions continue to touch the hearts and souls of millions of fans the world over.

Whitney: Tribute To An Icon

short biography whitney houston

In this magnificent collection, more than 20 of the world’s top photographers have joined together to celebrate the brilliant woman they were privileged to capture through their camera lenses. These photographs are a testament to Whitney’s dazzling physical presence, but they also remind us that she was a multidimensional woman: powerful, vulnerable, commanding, enchanting, thoughtful, bewitching … and absolutely unforgettable—a singer whose smile was as bright and true as her voice.

short biography whitney houston

Whitney Houston

Overview (5), mini bio (1).

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into a musical family on 9 August 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel star Cissy Houston (née Emily Lee Drinkard) and John Russell Houston, Jr., and cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick . She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, as a young child and by the age of 15 was singing backing vocals professionally with her mother on Chaka Khan 's 1978 hit, 'I'm Every Woman'. She went on to provide backing vocals for Lou Rawls, Jermaine Jackson and her own mother and worked briefly as a model, appearing on the cover of 'Seventeen' magazine in 1981. She began working as a featured vocalist for the New York-based funk band Material and it was the quality of her vocal work with them that attracted the attention of the major record labels, including Arista with whom she signed in 1983 and where she stayed for the rest of her career. Her debut album, 'Whitney Houston', was released in 1985 and became the biggest-selling album by a debut artist. Several hit singles, including 'Saving All My Love For You', 'How Will I Know', 'You Give Good Love', and 'The Greatest Love of All', were released from the album, setting her up for a Beatles-beating seven consecutive US number ones. The album itself sold 3 million copies in its first year in the US and went on to sell 25 million worldwide, winning her the first of her six Grammies. The 1987 follow-up album, 'Whitney', which included the hits 'Where Do Broken Hearts Go' and 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody', built on her success but it was the 1992 film The Bodyguard (1992) that sealed her place as one of the best-selling artists of all time. While the movie itself and her performance in it were not highly praised, the soundtrack album and her cover of the Dolly Parton song 'I Will Always Love You' topped the singles and albums charts for months and sold 44 million copies around the world. That same year she married ex-New Edition singer Bobby Brown with whom she had her only child, their daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in March 1993. It was about this time that her much documented drug use began and by 1996 she was a daily user. Her 1998 album, 'My Love Is Your Love' was well reviewed but the drug abuse began to affect her reputation and press reports at the time said that she was becoming difficult to work with, if she turned up at all. She was dropped from a performance at The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) because she was "out of it" at rehearsals. Her weight fluctuated wildly - she was so thin at a 'Michael Jackson' tribute in 2001 that rumors circulated the next day that she had died - and her voice began to fail her. She was twice admitted to rehab and declared herself drug-free in 2010 but returned to rehab in May 2011. Her 2009 comeback album 'I Look To You' was positively received and sold well, but promotional performances were still marred by her weakened voice. Her final acting performance was in Sparkle (2012) (a remake of the 1976 movie, Sparkle (1976)), released after her death. She was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room on 11 February 2012.

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Whitney houston (1964-2012).

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Whitney Houston, singer and actress, sold close to 100 million albums worldwide during her lifetime.  Her recognitions include two Emmy Awards, five Grammy Awards, 19 American Music Awards, five People’s Choice Awards, five Soul Train Awards, and seven NAACP Image Awards.

Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey on August 9, 1963.  Her mother, Cissy Houston, was a nightclub performer and recording artist.  Her father, John, was an aspiring singer who later managed his wife’s career.  Whitney’s extended family and close friends included a number of prominent entertainers.  Dionne Warwick was her first cousin, and Aretha Franklin was her godmother.  She also counted Roberta Flack and Gladys Knight among close family friends.

Houston started singing at age five at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark where her mother was music director.  She performed her first solo in the church when she was eleven.  That performance persuaded both Whitney and her mother that the young soloist should become a professional singer.

As a teen, Whitney was able to fine tune her stage presence when she was allowed to perform on tour with Cissy Houston in the 1970s.  Her parents however encouraged her to stay in school and would not allow her to launch a professional singing career until she graduated from high school in 1981.

In 1985 21-year-old Houston released her first album, Whitney Houston.   It sold 20 million copies worldwide and became the biggest debut album in history at that time. Her single from the album, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (who loves me), entered the charts at number one, the first single by a woman performer to do so. Her 1987 album, Whitney , broke the record for the most consecutive number one singles.

In 1992 Houston starred in her first film The Bodyguard and recorded the soundtrack as well. The film, a love story between a mixed race couple, costarred Kevin Costner who was also the producer.  In 1994 Houston won three Grammy awards for the soundtrack from The Bodyguard.   The following year she costarred in the movie Waiting to Exhale about four African American female friends. She also recorded a hit song Exhale (Shoop Shoop) for that soundtrack. In 1996 Houston costarred with Denzel Washington in The Preacher’s Wife.

Houston married fellow entertainer Bobby Brown in 1992. Their daughter Bobbi Kristina was born in 1993.  The marriage lasted 16 years despite public rumors about discord between the couple, several miscarriages and time both spent in rehab for drug and alcohol related issues. Their turbulent marriage was documented in a reality television show, “Being Bobby Brown,” which aired on the Bravo network during the summer of 2005.

Houston contributed both time and money to charities that support AIDS research, black colleges, and veterans. In 1989 she formed the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children.

Houston was found dead on February 11, 2012 in her Beverly Hills hotel room on the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards.  The cause is so far undetermined. Her funeral, with many tributes from the entertainment community, was held on February 18, 2012 in the same New Jersey church where she first performed.

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Cite this article in APA format:

Source of the author's information:.

Ted Cox, Whitney Houston (Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999); Amy Linton, “The Tentative Return of Whitney Houston: Not a disaster, but not exactly a triumph, either,” Village Voice; 54:37 (September 9, 2009); Whitney Houston Obituary, Los Angeles Times , February 11, 2012, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/02/whitney-houston-died-beverly-hills.html.

Whitney Houston smiles with microphone.

Whitney Houston: The life story you may not know

Leesa Davis

Whitney Houston's vocal talent lifted her to the top of the music charts with a catalog of hits such as "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," "Run to You" and her version of "I'm Every Woman" (originally recorded by Chaka Khan). With the ability to maneuver between high and low registers effortlessly, it's no surprise how Houston became an icon, commanding respect through her artistry, one hit after another.

Born to a musical dynasty, Houston's mother is Grammy-winning gospel vocalist Cissy Houston (who sang background for artists like Elvis Priestly and Aretha Franklin) and her father, John Russell Houston Jr., was an entertainment manager and army veteran. Her mother's cousin, Leontyne Price , is a renowned soprano with a Medal of Freedom and a National Medal of Arts to her name. Houston was also the cousin of  Dionne Warwick , a six-time Grammy-winning recording artist who's sold more than 100 million records.

Houston was called to music at an early age, beginning as a background singer for her mother, who would open the industry's doors for her. As a teenager, Houston sang background vocals for Chaka Khan, and in 1984, Houston released her first single, "Hold Me," shortly after signing with Arista Records. Houston would go on to release a slew of Billboard hits including "Saving All My Love for You," "Didn't We Almost Have It All," and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." She would also pivot to acting, starring in such movies as "The Bodyguard" in 1992, "Waiting to Exhale" in 1995, and "The Preacher's Wife" in 1996 alongside film legend Denzel Washington. It was "The Bodyguard" that gave audiences Houston's unforgettable rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You." The soundtrack would become Billboard's bestselling soundtrack album of all time, selling 45 million copies globally.

Houston was a musical force to be reckoned with, but marital problems and personal demons would taint her image. Despite the public challenges she faced, however, Houston is still regarded as one of America's most talented vocalists of all time. For that reason, Stacker compiled a list of 16 significant events in the life of the late iconic singer and actress.

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High school portrait of Whitney Houston.

Aug. 9, 1963: Born in Newark, New Jersey

"Nippy," a name affectionally given to Whitney by her father, John Houston, was born on Aug. 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey. She started out singing as a child at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark where her mother, Cissy Houston, was a minister of music for 54 years. By age 11, she was singing solos to an awed congregation. Houston attended Franklin Elementary School in East Orange, New Jersey, where she grew up. The school was later renamed the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in 1997.

Whitney Houston walking in a fashion show.

Early '80s: One of the first women of color on magazine covers

Before her singing career took off, Houston had been a fashion model since 16 after she was spotted by a modeling agent while out in New York City with her mother. She was one of the first Black women to appear in Seventeen magazine and also landed photo spreads in such publications as Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

Whitney Houston and Clive Davis celebrate sales of debut album.

1985: Debut album and first #1 with 'Saving All My Love for You'

In 1985, Houston released "Saving All My Love for You," a song from her self-titled debut album about unrequited love (allegedly written with Jackson 5's Jermaine Jackson in mind). The single would become her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earn Houston her first Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1986.

Whitney Houston performing in concert.

Billboard chart hot streak

Houston's hits from the mid-'80s like "Saving All My Love for You," "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All" were among the chart-toppers that earned the rising star several consecutive Billboard Hot 100 hits. When "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1988, Houston shattered the record previously held by the Beatles and the Bee Gees.

Robyn Crawford and Whitney Houston at event.

Sexuality questioned over Robyn Crawford friendship

Over the years, the rumor mill has spun about Houston's relationship with her friend and former assistant Robyn Crawford. According to Crawford, the two met each other as teenagers in 1980 while working as summer camp counselors in East Orange, New Jersey, where the two formed an immediate bond.

In her 2019 memoir, "A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston," Crawford claimed they began a lesbian relationship at this summer camp, where the two allegedly "spent the night together." In the book, Crawford shared: "She said we shouldn't be physical anymore because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us, and back in the '80s that's how it felt."

Supposedly, it was Houston who ended their intimate relationship in 1982. However, years later, in 1987, a 23-year-old Houston addressed whispers concerning her sexuality head-on, telling Time magazine: "Let people talk. It doesn't bother me because I know I'm not gay. I don't care."

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown pose for portrait.

1989: Meeting Bobby Brown

Houston and Bobby Brown of the R&B group New Edition met at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, where Houston invited Brown to a party afterward. After keeping in touch, Brown asked her out months later. The couple's relationship came as a surprise to many. Brown was known for his "bad boy" persona while Houston was known as the good church girl. The couple—respectively successful in their solo careers—married in 1992 and welcomed daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown the following year. However, their relationship soon became mired with allegations of drug addiction, physical abuse, and infidelity. The two officially divorced in 2007.

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston at event.

Early '90s: Friendship and alleged affair with Michael Jackson

Houston and Michael Jackson had a special connection as they both experienced massive success in the music industry. In fact, it's been said that their bond went beyond friendship and that the two had carried on a romantic relationship behind closed doors. Matt Fiddes, Jackson's former bodyguard, claimed as much in a 2012 interview with The Sun , alleging the stars' romance began in 1991. Fiddes even claimed Houston shacked up with Jackson at the King of Pop's Neverland Ranch; however, the fling didn't last longer than two weeks.

Whitney Houston in a scene from the film 'The Bodyguard’.

1992: 'The Bodyguard' film acting debut, 'I Will Always Love You'

In 1992, a 29-year-old Houston made her film acting breakthrough in "The Bodyguard," portraying the character Rachel Marron, a superstar who finds love with her bodyguard Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) amid the threat of a dangerous fan. The film earned more than $410 million worldwide. Its soundtrack sold over 2 million copies within five weeks of its release. "I Will Always Love You" (written and originally performed by Dolly Parton) would become Houston's signature song, earning the star the 1994 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

John Houston and Whitney Houston pose for photo.

2002: $100M legal battle with her father

In 2002, Whitney became embroiled in a legal war with John Houston Entertainment, owned by her father, John Houston. The lawsuit claimed the singer failed to pay the company for legal management, including representing her during a drug bust in Hawaii in January 2000. The suit also claimed the management company helped the singer secure a $100 million contract with Arista Records.

Whitney's father, who had been dealing with health issues, died the following year, in 2003. In a 2009 conversation with Oprah Winfrey, the singer revealed she had visited John in the hospital and made amends with him before he passed away.

Diane Sawyer and Whitney Houston at Good Morning America live performance.

Dec. 4, 2002: Diane Sawyer interview

Fans began worrying for Houston, whose noticeably thinner physique in pictured appearances sparked health concerns. At this time, the singer had canceled several gigs and consistently made headlines for her ostensibly erratic behavior. Then, in 2002, Houston emerged in a televised sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer that would alter her public image forever.

While promoting her album "Just Whitney," Houston admitted to indulging in alcohol and marijuana in the past. When Sawyer inquired about the more recent rumors of her unhealthy drug use, asking about crack specifically, Houston shot back: "Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight, okay? We don't do crack. Crack is whack."

The infamous "crack is whack" phrase troubled viewers and the interview served as an unofficial confirmation that there was truth to the stories of Houston's drug dependency.

Whitney Houston poses with American Music Awards.

2004: First rehab stint

By the early 2000s, it was publicly known that Houston was battling drug addiction. The singer initially began rehab in 2004 and again in 2005 with the support of her mother, Cissy Houston.

In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Whitney admitted to her drug use, revealing: "We were lacing our marijuana with base. We weren't on crack. We weren't on no crack stuff. We weren't buying $20 jumbos. We were paying money. We were buying kilos and ounces and ounces. We would have our stash."

Whitney Houston performing onstage.

2006: Sets Guinness World Record

Houston by this time had garnered more than 400 awards throughout her career—including six Grammy Awards, 22 American Music Awards, and several Billboard Music Awards—making her the most-awarded female artist of all time. Speaking about her love for singing, the icon said, "God gave me a voice to sing with, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there?"

Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston at the 2009 American Music Awards.

2009: Releases 7th and final album

Houston was impressed with Alicia Keys' music and personally reached out to the singer-songwriter about working together on her follow-up to 2003's "One Wish: The Holiday Album." The two became friends, and in 2009 Houston released the single "Million Dollar Bill," written and produced by Keys and her music producer husband, Swizz Beatz. Recorded in New York City, "Million Dollar Bill" served as the last single Houston from her seventh studio album, "I Look to You," her last project before her untimely death in 2012.

Composite image with photo of Whitney Houston performing and Marquee at the Apollo announcing her death.

Feb. 11, 2012: Death

Houston was found dead inside a bathtub by her bodyguard at the Beverly Hilton hotel in California, just hours before the singer was expected to attend a pre-Grammy Awards event in Los Angeles. She was 48 years old.

The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office determined drowning, heart disease, and cocaine use as the cause of death. Various prescription medication bottles were also found in her hotel room at the time of her passing.

Less than three years later, Houston's daughter with Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina Brown, died at age 22 in an eerily similar scenario after being discovered unconscious in her bathtub in January 2015. After nearly six months spent hospitalized in a comatose state, Bobbi died from lobar pneumonia the following July.

Whitney Houston publicity still dated 1995.

2018: Documentary uncovers familial sexual assault allegations

In the 2018 documentary "Whitney," two family members claimed Houston was abused as a child by her cousin Dee Dee Warwick, who is a musician and the sister of singer Dionne Warwick. Whitney's half-brother Gary Houston has made similar claims against Dee Dee, alleging she sexually abused him between the ages of 7 and 9. The film, directed by Kevin Macdonald, was made with the cooperation of the Houston family.

Whitney Houston performing onstage at American Music Awards.

2019: First posthumous Billboard Hot 100 hit

When Houston originally recorded her cover of Steve Winwood's "Higher Love," it was meant to be included on her third studio album, "I'm Your Baby Tonight," but ended up being a Japanese bonus cut on the record instead. Almost 30 years later, Norwegian EDM star Kygo was tasked to remix Houston's vocals, creating a fresh summer-ready sound that became Houston's first Billboard Hot 100 entry in a decade and her first posthumous hit.

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Superstar powerhouse singer whose seven straight number one singles and three diamond platinum albums barely scratch the surface of her achievements. Read Full Biography

Whitney Houston Biography

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Whitney Houston

Houston's debut album, Whitney Houston , was released in February 1985. "You Give Good Love," its second single, became Houston's first hit, topping the R&B chart and hitting number three on the Hot 100. Houston's next three singles -- the Grammy-winning romantic ballad "Saving All My Love for You," the brightly danceable "How Will I Know," and the inspirational "The Greatest Love of All" -- all topped the Hot 100, and a year to the month after its release, Whitney Houston hit number one on the Billboard 200. It eventually sold over 13 million copies in the U.S., making it the best-selling debut ever by a female artist. Houston cemented her superstar status on her next album, Whitney . It became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one, and sold over ten million copies in the U.S. Its first four singles -- "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (another Grammy winner), "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "So Emotional," and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" -- all hit number one, an amazing, record-setting run of seven straight. In late 1988, Houston scored a Top Five hit with the non-LP single "One Moment in Time," recorded for an Olympics-themed compilation album.

I'm Your Baby Tonight

Once Houston had stopped raking in awards and touring the world, she prepared her next theatrical release, the ensemble drama Waiting to Exhale. A few months before its release at the end of 1995, it was announced that she and Brown had split up; however, they called off the split just a couple months later, and rumors about their tempestuous relationship filled the tabloids for years to come. Waiting to Exhale was released toward the end of the year, and the first single from the soundtrack, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," topped the charts. The album sold over seven million copies. For her next project, Houston decided to return to her gospel roots. The soundtrack to the 1996 film The Preacher's Wife, which naturally featured Houston in the title role, was loaded with traditional and contemporary gospel songs, plus guest appearances by Houston's mother, as well as Shirley Caesar and the Georgia Mass Choir .

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Whitney Houston Biography

Birthday: August 9 , 1963 ( Leo )

Born In: Newark, New Jersey, United States

The American singer, actress, model, and producer, Whitney Houston is one of the world’s most successful female entertainers of all time. Having been exposed to a family with a musical background, the naturally talented beauty became inspired to sing and play the piano at an early age. She entered the entertainment industry by touring nightclubs with her mother, while singing and modeling, until eventually signing her own recording contract and coming out with her debut album. This musical introduction would not only become her best-selling studio album to-date, but would earn her a Grammy, thrusting her into super-pop-stardom, followed by a string of Hollywood film features and production efforts. Throughout her career, she released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, winning her various awards. Her powerful voice, spirit, and beauty redefined the image of a soul artist. As much as the renowned singer was an international icon and inspiration to females, emerging recording artists, and the community, she also faced some personal challenges that would impair her influential status. From drug addictions to a troubled relationship with husband Bobby Brown, Houston’s reputation was painted with a series of eventful ups and downs before she ultimately succumbed to her tragic death

Whitney Houston

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Bobby Brown

Also Known As: Whitney Elizabeth Houston

Died At Age: 48

Spouse/Ex-: Bobby Brown

father: John Russell Houston

mother: Cissy Houston

siblings: Gary Garland, Michael Houston

children: Bobbi Kristina Brown

Born Country: United States

Quotes By Whitney Houston African American Singers

Height: 5'8" (173 cm ), 5'8" Females

Died on: February 11 , 2012

place of death: Beverly Hills, California, United States

Notable Alumni: Mount Saint Dominic Academy

Cause of Death: Drowning

U.S. State: New Jersey

City: Newark, New Jersey

education: Mount Saint Dominic Academy

Humanitarian Work: Supported children welfare organizations

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