WHITNEY HOUSTON BIOGRAPHY
BIRTH: August 9, 1963,
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
DEATH: February 11, 2012 (aged 48),
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Whitney Houston was an American singer, model and actress. She is one of the best- selling musical entertainers of the 1980s and 90s.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on 9th August, 1963 at Newark, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Emily “Cissy” Houston and John R. Houston. Her mother was an American soul and gospel singer. Her mother’s group, Sweet Inspirations, sang backup for Aretha Franklin.
Whitney used to sing in the choir at New Hope Baptist Church managed by her mother. Houston was a backup singer for the Michael Zager band in 1977. She also sang backup for Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” in 1978. Houston started getting record deals and modeling contracts at the age of fifteen. She was one of the first African-American women to be featured in Seventeen magazine. Despite her success her mother insisted she complete her education first.
Houston was discovered by Clive Davis, president of Arista Records at the age of nineteen. He signed her on immediately. Davis and Houston spent the following years in search of producers and lyricists for her. Houston had her debut on national television on The Merv Griffin Show and sang “Home” from the musical The Wiz.
Whitney’s debut album ‘Whitney Houston’ was released in 1985 and was a major pop sensation. It contained three hit singles: “Greatest Love of All”, “Saving All My Love for You” and “How Will I Know”. This album remained at the top of charts for fourteen weeks. Houston won a Grammy for “Saving All My Love for You” in 1986. Her second album ‘Whitney’, was released in 1987. It was certified platinum. Houston won a Grammy for the single “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” from this album. Houston performed at the concert for Nelson Mandela’s birthday while on a world tour for
Whitney Houston made her debut in the movies with The Bodyguard in 1992. Houston recorded her version of Dolly Parton’s 1974 “I Will Always Love You” for this movie, which turned out to be the biggest hit of her career. She received a Grammy Award for this soundtrack album in the category ‘Record of the Year’. She also starred in other movies including, Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996). The soundtrack of The Preacher’s Wife became the best-selling gospel album of all time.
Houston’s ‘My Love Is Your Love’ album was released in 1998. Its single “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay” won her another Grammy Award. She collaborated with Mariah Carey for the single “When You Believe” for the movie The Prince of Egypt. She won an Academy Award for this song.
Whitney released her album ‘I Look to You’ in 2009 which debuted at the number one spot on Billboard 200. Its single “Million Dollar Bill” was quite a hit and was a part of the Top 10 in several countries.
Houston has won six Grammy Awards throughout her career. She has been awarded the Billboard Music Awards sixteen times, and American Music Awards twenty-one times. She was recognized as the most awarded female musician of all time, in 2009. Houston is the only singer to have seven consecutive number one at the Billboard Hot 100. She ranked in the third place in MTV’s ’22 Greatest Voices’. In 2013, Houston was inducted to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. In the following year, she got inducted to
the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.
Houston supported children’s organizations such as the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, Caudwell Children and Children’s Defense Fund. She also supported the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation. The Hearing and Language Disorder Clinic of the National Birth Defects Center has been renamed to the Whitney Houston Hearing and Language Disorder Clinic
Houston married Bobby Brown in 1992. They had a daughter together named Bobbi Kristina. They divorced in 2007. Houston gained full custody of her daughter. Whitney Houston passed on 11th February, 2012 at Beverly Hilton hotel. She was 48 years old. Official records state the cause of her death to be accidental drowning.
A documentary, Whitney, about her life was released in 2018. It was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Whitney: Can I Be Me is a documentary directed by Nick Broomfield which was screened in 2017.