Whitney Houston
American popular singer, songwriter, actress, arranger, film producer, model
Whitney Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all-time. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. She released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.
Biography
Whitney Houston's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Whitney Houston from around the web
Dear Beyhive: Stop Whining. Beyonce Still Hasn't Earned Her Album Of The Year Grammy
Huffington Post - 8 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It’s funny. With all of the furor over Beyonce’s losing the Album of the Year Grammy for the third time, you’d think Katy Perry or Britney Spears had snatched the prize out of Queen Bey’s outstretched hands. But people, she was beaten by Adele. While I personally think there wasn’t much to 25 beyond “Hello” (for me, 19 remains Adele’s strongest album-length work), are we really going to start slamming an artist as important as the Brit with the big, boomin ...
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Chance The Rapper Took Us To Church Last Night. Here's Why That Matters.
Huffington Post - 11 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Chance the Rapper thanked God like a trillion times in his acceptance speech for Best New Artist at Sunday night’s Grammys. Then he took the Grammys to church with a passionate, gospel-filled performance that featured a poppin’ choir, Kirk Franklin, and Tamela Mann. It was a rousing, meaningful on-stage moment for the 23-year-old Chicago rapper, who won his first three Grammy awards that evening with no record sales.  Performing a medley of “How Great,” “A ...
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Huffington Post article
'I Hope She Felt Love': Whitney Houston Remembered 5 Years After Her Death
ABC News - 13 days
Essence magazine's Cori Murray remembers the icon.
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ABC News article
Leonard Cohen's Favorite Greek Singer: Athena Andreadis
Huffington Post - 19 days
Many years ago while visiting Greece, Leonard Cohen was asked who his favorite Greek singer was. "Athena," he replied without hesitation. While making his final CD, "You Want It Darker," Cohen found out that Athena had moved to Los Angeles and immediately asked her to sing the chorus of his song "Traveling Light." Before moving to Los Angeles, Athena had been on a dynamic trajectory in Europe releasing three albums and performing at the Glastonbury Festival, Royal Festival Hall and throughout France and Greece. The Guardian called her "brave and original" and The Daily Mail wrote that Athena was "Radiating class and oodles of talent... a voice blessed... this rare diamond ought to shine." Here in the U.S., Billboard hailed her as "a talented rising pop star" with "a voice blessed." Produced by Ethan Allen, Athena's debut U.S. CD "Ready for the Sun" features studio greats Adam Levy (Norah Jones), Deron Johnson (Miles Davis), Jimmy Paxson (Stevie Nicks), Michael Ward (Ben Harpe ...
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Debra Wilson Talks Queer Legacy of MADtv Whitney Houston Parodies, New Series 'My Sister Is So Gay'
Huffington Post - 27 days
Debra Wilson has never been one to hold back. The comic’s parodies of a chemically altered Whitney Houston and an overly enthusiastic Oprah Winfrey – played without remorse or reservation during her 14-year run on MADtv ― proved as iconic as they were scathing. The fiery actress doesn’t mince words about the queer community either. “I don’t give a fuck who you fuck; that’s your business,” said Wilson emphatically. “That, to me, doesn’t define you as gay [people],” she continued during an interview on Party Foul Radio with Pollo & Pearl. “The complexities of your relationships, and the commitment to your relationships, define you as a human being who happens to be in love with another man.” In 1995, when Wilson was cast as a series original on sketch comedy MADtv, she had no idea her performances would lead to a cult-like queer following. When she started to spoof legendary vocalist Whitney Houston, however, the actress noticed an increasing number of LGBT fans. “The ‘diva’ ...
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Todrick Hall Discusses His Return To Broadway After YouTube Stardom
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Todrick Hall is a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, choreographer, playwright, costume designer, Broadway performer, American Idol finalist, star of his own self-titled MTV Show and viral YouTube sensation with over 2 million subscribers and 350 million views. Dancing since the young age of 9, Hall is a classically trained ballet dancer who has traveled the world performing with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Royal Caribbean & Holland America Cruise lines, Walt Disney World and Disneyland’s California Adventure. His Broadway credits include Oprah Winfreys “The Color Purple” and The 2010 Tony Award Winning Musical “Memphis!” In the four years he has been a full-time YouTuber, he has had the honor of opening the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, being a Judge on “Rupaul’s Drag Race” and “Gay for Play,” choreographing music videos for Beyonce, writing and starring in the Virgin America Safety Video, Fiat Commercials and the theme song for the ...
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Huffington Post article
Here's Rihanna And Calvin Harris' 'This Is What You Came For' As An '80s Power Ballad
Huffington Post - about 2 months
The ‘80s were a glorious time. We were given classic jams like Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” There was no better time for music. Luckily, a YouTube user/genius named Saint-Laurent, with help on guitar by one Daniel Mackay, has taken a modern classic — Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ “This Is What You Came For” — and has turned it into an EPIC ‘80s power ballad. The song, which usually makes you feel like you’ve had an espresso shot administered via IV, is slowed down and combined with a keyboard in this iteration. The result is a jam that makes us want to grab some leggings and start back-combing our hair immediately.  Enjoy the VHS-style remake of the music video above, complete with Rihanna rockin’ a Whitney-esque do.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but m ...
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Why Getting Older Is Hard To Do When You Are Older
Huffington Post - about 2 months
I lost my youth when Michael Jackson died and his passing became a heart wrenching circus of events that piled up to equal the realization that almost everything I had bet on while frolicking through those fragile years  —  couldn’t withstand the heat  —  borne from the changing times. Things were already shifting towards the direction that we have now found ourselves. An icon, a musical genius, the wizard of movements and the King of Pop who made fans all around the world bow with tears and gratitude  —  was reduced to a shell of a fallen star with a polluted past. And the uncanny ability to generate sordid headlines that eventually killed any hope of him reclaiming the throne he worked so fucking hard to earn. I am one of those people who can’t decipher how to process a legacy that I had a hand in creating. Did he or didn’t he? How could he have died in such a graceless manner? Who was Michael Jackson and why couldn’t the demons permit him to die in greatness and live on in m ...
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Whitney Houston, Cher, Tina Turner and Donna Summer: The Musicals
New York Times - about 2 months
With shows about these divas in the works — and one now onstage in a full production — it will be as if the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s never ended.
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New York Times article
Adventurous cat is a better indoor rock climber than most people
Yahoo News - 3 months
Climbing an entire indoor rock wall can prove difficult for humans, but came easily to this cat.  YouTube user M GOAN shared this clip of a cat gracefully hopping from rock to rock up an entire bouldering wall. And though there are a few momentary slip-ups, climbing cat manages to make it to the top with little problem. No fear of heights here. We just wonder how it plans to get down... Stoat has a hell of a good time on a patch of garden netting 'Rocky' hits 40 and we've rounded up all the things you didn't know You will cringe as a hydraulic press crushes a $40,000 gold bar Mom sings sweet Whitney Houston duet with her young daughter
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Aretha Franklin Serenaded America With 5-Minute National Anthem
Huffington Post - 3 months
National treasure Aretha Franklin performed a showstopping rendition of the National Anthem ahead of the Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit’s Ford Field on Thursday. Franklin’s 5-minute performance surprised viewers accustomed to versions that typically last for about half that time, like Whitney Houston’s iconic, fast-paced rendition, which clocked in at about 2 minutes. Twitter erupted with reactions, with many fans celebrating Franklin’s incredible performance. Others were not so thrilled. Either way, it probably gave families across America something to talk about other than the election. I'm glad #ArethaFranklin sang an extended version of the National Anthem.. took them to Church ..made them search their hearts @Iam360WISE — MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) November 24, 2016 Y'all better let Aretha Franklin sing this National Anthem. No interruptions. Happy Thanksgiving! #MINvsDET #NFL https://t.co/jyoUfv4n ...
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Huffington Post article
Judge Orders Nick Gordon To Pay $36 Million For Bobbi Kristina Brown Death
Huffington Post - 3 months
A judge in Atlanta ordered Bobbi Kristina Brown’s longtime boyfriend Nick Gordon to pay $36 million in damages to the Brown family estate more than a year after her tragic death, The Associated Press reported on Thursday. In September, Gordon was found legally responsible for Bobbi Kristina’s death after the estate filed a $50 million wrongful death suit against him when he failed to appear in court.   Bobbi Kristina, singer Whitney Houston’s only daughter, was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her suburban Atlanta home after she had been in an altercation with Gordon, who allegedly put her in a bathtub and injected her with a “toxic cocktail” of drugs. She was placed in a medically induced coma, but succumbed to her injuries six months later at the age of 22.  The $36 million in damages includes $15 million for loss of life and potential future earnings, $13.8 million for pain and suffering, and various other charges relating to Gordon’s alleged intoxication and abusive be ...
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Huffington Post article
Sting to be honored at American Music Awards
Yahoo News - 4 months
Sting joins the ranks of Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson in receiving The American Music Award of Merit at the awards show next month. In addition to releasing five studio albums with his band The Police, Sting went on to release 14 solo albums and receive a slew of awards, including 10 Grammys and most recently, a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score for his Broadway musical "The Last Ship" last year.
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Yahoo News article
Why Tearing Women Down Gives Us A Thrill
Huffington Post - 5 months
A couple years ago, we hated Anne Hathaway. Remember that? Maybe you (specifically) still do. Maybe you (specifically) never did. But it’s true. We hated her big, effortful smile. We hated how she tremulously murmured “it came true” when accepting an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. We hated her molars and uvula, visible thanks to some close camera work as she belted “I Dreamed a Dream” in “Les Misérables,” the film for which she won that Oscar. We hated how she let us see her trying. We hated how she reminded us of our own need to be liked and our own carefully disguised efforts to impress. Jennifer Lawrence, the starlet who tripped over her gown at the Academy Awards and professed her love for junk food ― she was genuine, America’s effortlessly perfect dream bestie. Until she wasn’t. This cycle might feel painfully familiar: We anoint an It Girl, a beloved female icon, then rapidly begin to find things to despise about her. Soon she’s left torn and trampled in ...
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Huffington Post article
Artist Interview: Erick Morillo
Huffington Post - 5 months
Erick Morillo speaks with the kind of energy and passion that immediately gets other people excited. This has no doubt served him very well over his lengthy international career, from his beginnings producing and playing in New York and New Jersey, to the commercial success of "I Like to Move It," to the recent revival of his Subliminal Records imprint (you can get a full career update here). Following a break from music and a move to Los Angeles, Erick is back in the studio working on tracks to sex up the dance floor, most recently collaborating with Eddie Thoneick and Angel Taylor on the underground meets mainstream "Lost in You." Is there anything you want to say? I'm really excited about how things are going, and this relaunch of Subliminal Records. I feel like I've been humbled in life, and now I see things in a different way. Why did you revive the Subliminal Records label? And what is the signature style you are trying to bring with this? I went through some personal ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Whitney Houston
    FORTIES
  • 2012
    Age 48
    On May 21, 2012, "Celebrate", the last song Houston recorded with Sparks, premiered at RyanSeacrest.com.
    More Details Hide Details It was made available for digital download on iTunes on June 5. The song was featured on the Sparkle: Music from the Motion Picture soundtrack as the first official single. The movie was released on August 17, 2012 in the United States. The accompanying music video for "Celebrate" was filmed on May 30, 2012. The video was shot over 2 days, and a sneak peek of the video premiered on Entertainment Tonight on June 4, 2012.
    Houston was also featured, alongside other recently deceased figures from the movie industry, in the In Memoriam montage at the 84th Academy Awards on February 26, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Houston was a mezzo-soprano, and was commonly referred to as "The Voice" in reference to her exceptional vocal talent. She was third in MTV's list of 22 Greatest Voices, and sixth on Online Magazine COVEs list of the 100 Best Pop Vocalists with a score of 48.5/50. Jon Pareles of The New York Times stated she "always had a great big voice, a technical marvel from its velvety depths to its ballistic middle register to its ringing and airy heights". In 2008, Rolling Stone listed Houston as the thirty-fourth of the 100 greatest singers of all time, stating, "Her voice is a mammoth, coruscating cry: Few vocalists could get away with opening a song with 45 unaccompanied seconds of singing, but Houston's powerhouse version of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You' is a tour de force." Matthew Perpetua from Rolling Stone also eulogized Houston's vocal, enumerating ten performances, including "How Will I Know" from the 1986 MTV VMAs and "The Star Spangled Banner" at the 1991 Super Bowl. "Whitney Houston was blessed with an astonishing vocal range and extraordinary technical skill, but what truly made her a great singer was her ability to connect with a song and drive home its drama and emotion with incredible precision", he stated. "She was a brilliant performer, and her live shows often eclipsed her studio recordings."
    The 2012 BRIT Awards, which took place at London's O2 Arena on February 21, also paid tribute to Houston by playing a 30-second video montage of her music videos with a snippet of "One Moment in Time" as the background music in the ceremony's first segment.
    More Details Hide Details New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that all New Jersey state flags would be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, February 21 to honor Houston.
    Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the 54th Grammy Awards, announced that Jennifer Hudson would perform a tribute to Houston at the February 12, 2012 ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details
    Some celebrities opposed Davis' decision to continue on the party while a police investigation was being conducted in Houston's hotel room and her body was still in the building. Chaka Khan, in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan on February 13, 2012, shared that she felt the party should have been canceled, saying: "I thought that was complete insanity.
    More Details Hide Details And knowing Whitney I don't believe that she would have said 'the show must go on.' She's the kind of woman that would've said 'Stop everything! Un-unh. I'm not going to be there.' I don't know what could motivate a person to have a party in a building where the person whose life he had influenced so enormously and whose life had been affected by hers. They were like... I don't understand how that party went on." Sharon Osbourne condemned the Davis party, declaring: "I think it was disgraceful that the party went on. I don't want to be in a hotel room when there's someone you admire who's tragically lost their life four floors up. I'm not interested in being in that environment and I think when you grieve someone, you do it privately, you do it with people who understand you. I thought it was so wrong."
    In June 2012, the McDonald's Gospelfest in Newark became a tribute to Houston.
    More Details Hide Details The Clive Davis's pre-Grammy party that Houston was expected to attend, which featured many of the biggest names in music and movies, went on as scheduled although it was quickly turned into a tribute to Houston. Davis spoke about Houston's death at the evening's start: "By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney's passing. I don't have to mask my emotion in front of a room full of so many dear friends. I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn't scheduled to perform. Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on."
    Houston was buried on February 19, 2012, in Fairview Cemetery, in Westfield, New Jersey, next to her father, John Russell Houston, who died in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details
    Houston had an invitation-only memorial on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.
    More Details Hide Details The service was scheduled for two hours, but lasted four. Among those who performed at the funeral were Stevie Wonder (rewritten version of "Ribbon in the Sky", and "Love's in Need of Love Today"), CeCe Winans ("Don't Cry", and "Jesus Loves Me"), Alicia Keys ("Send Me an Angel"), Kim Burrell (rewritten version of "A Change Is Gonna Come"), and R. Kelly ("I Look to You"). The performances were interspersed with hymns by the church choir and remarks by Clive Davis, Houston's record producer; Kevin Costner; Rickey Minor, her music director; her cousin, Dionne Warwick; and Ray Watson, her security guard for the past 11 years. Aretha Franklin was listed on the program and was expected to sing, but was unable to attend the service. Bobby Brown, Houston's ex-husband, was also invited to the funeral but he left before the service began.
    On March 22, 2012, the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported the cause of Houston's death was drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use."
    More Details Hide Details The office stated the amount of cocaine found in Houston's body indicated that she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results revealed additional drugs in her system: diphenhydramine, alprazolam, cannabis and cyclobenzaprine. The manner of death was listed as an "accident."
    On February 9, 2012, Houston visited singers Brandy and Monica, together with Clive Davis, at their rehearsals for Davis' pre-Grammy Awards party at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills.
    More Details Hide Details That same day, she made her last public performance, when she joined Kelly Price on stage in Hollywood, California, and sang "Jesus Loves Me". Two days later, on February 11, Houston was found unconscious in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub. Beverly Hills paramedics arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. and found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. PST. The cause of death was not immediately known. Local police said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent."
    On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California.
    More Details Hide Details The official coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors.
  • 2011
    Age 47
    An image montage of Houston and important black figures who died in 2011 was followed by video footage from the 1994 ceremony, which depicted her accepting two Image Awards for outstanding female artist and entertainer of the year.
    More Details Hide Details Following the video tribute, Yolanda Adams delivered a rendition of "I Love the Lord" from The Preacher's Wife Soundtrack. In the finale of the ceremony, Kirk Franklin and the Family started their performance with "The Greatest Love of All".
    Later in the program, following a montage of photos of musicians who died in 2011 with Houston singing "Saving All My Love for You" at the 1986 Grammys, Hudson paid tribute to Houston and the other artists by performing "I Will Always Love You".
    More Details Hide Details The tribute was partially credited for the Grammys telecast getting its second highest ratings in history. Houston was honored in the form of various tributes at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards, held on February 17.
    Houston's remake of Sparkle was filmed in the fall of 2011 over a two-month period, and was released by TriStar Pictures.
    More Details Hide Details
    In September 2011, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Houston would produce and star alongside Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps in the remake of the 1976 film Sparkle.
    More Details Hide Details In the film, Houston portrays Sparks' "not-so encouraging" mother. Houston is also credited as an executive producer of the film. Debra Martin Chase, producer of Sparkle, stated that Houston deserved the title considering she had been there from the beginning in 2001, when Houston obtained Sparkle production rights. R&B singer Aaliyah – originally tapped to star as Sparkle – died in a 2001 plane crash. Her death derailed production, which would have begun in 2002.
    In May 2011, Houston enrolled in a rehabilitation center again, as an out-patient, citing drug and alcohol problems.
    More Details Hide Details A representative for Houston said that it was a part of Houston's "longstanding recovery process".
    Early in 2011, she gave an uneven performance in tribute to cousin Dionne Warwick at music mogul Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala.
    More Details Hide Details
    Houston also performed the song "I Look to You" on the 2011 BET Celebration of Gospel, with gospel–jazz singer Kim Burrell, held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details The performance aired on January 30, 2011.
  • 2010
    Age 46
    Houston was the most awarded female artist of all time, according to Guinness World Records, with two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010.
    More Details Hide Details
    In April 2010, the UK newspaper The Mirror reported that Houston was thinking about recording her eighth studio album and wanted to collaborate with will.i.am (of The Black Eyed Peas), her first choice for a collaboration.
    More Details Hide Details
    In January 2010, Houston was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards, one for Best Female Artist and one for Best Music Video.
    More Details Hide Details She won the award for Best Music Video for her single "I Look to You". On January 16, she received The BET Honors Award for Entertainer citing her lifetime achievements spanning over 25 years in the industry. The 2010 BET Honors award was held at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. and aired on February 1, 2010. Jennifer Hudson and Kim Burrell performed in honor of her, garnering positive reviews. Houston also received a nomination from the Echo Awards, Germany's version of the Grammys, for Best International Artist.
    On January 26, 2010, her debut album was re-released in a special edition entitled Whitney Houston – The Deluxe Anniversary Edition.
    More Details Hide Details Houston later embarked on a world tour, entitled the Nothing but Love World Tour. It was her first world tour in over ten years and was announced as a triumphant comeback. However, some poor reviews and rescheduled concerts brought some negative media attention. Houston canceled some concerts because of illness and received widespread negative reviews from fans who were disappointed in the quality of her voice and performance. Some fans reportedly walked out of her concerts.
  • 2009
    Age 45
    In November, Houston performed "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California.
    More Details Hide Details Two days later, Houston performed "Million Dollar Bill" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" on the Dancing with the Stars season 9 finale. As of December 2009, I Look to You has been certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than one million copies in the United States.
    Houston gave her first interview in seven years in September 2009, appearing on Oprah Winfrey's season premiere.
    More Details Hide Details
    Houston released her new album, I Look to You, in August 2009.
    More Details Hide Details The album's first two singles were the title track "I Look to You" and "Million Dollar Bill". The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1, with Houston's best opening week sales of 305,000 copies, marking Houston's first number one album since The Bodyguard, and Houston's first studio album to reach number one since 1987's Whitney. Houston also appeared on European television programs to promote the album. She performed the song "I Look to You" on the German television show Wetten, dass.. Three days later, she performed the worldwide first single from I Look to You, "Million Dollar Bill", on the French television show Le Grand Journal. Houston appeared as guest mentor on The X Factor in the United Kingdom. She performed "Million Dollar Bill" on the following day's results show, completing the song even as a strap in the back of her dress popped open two seconds into the performance. She later commented that she "sang herself out of her clothes".
  • 2007
    Age 43
    In March 2007, Clive Davis of Arista Records announced that Houston would begin recording a new album.
    More Details Hide Details In October 2007, Arista released another compilation The Ultimate Collection outside the United States.
    The divorce was finalized on April 24, 2007, with Houston granted custody of the couple's daughter.
    More Details Hide Details On May 4, Houston sold the suburban Atlanta home featured in Being Bobby Brown for $1.19 million. A few days later, Brown sued Houston in Orange County, California court in an attempt to change the terms of their custody agreement. Brown also sought child and spousal support from Houston. In the lawsuit, Brown claimed that financial and emotional problems prevented him from properly responding to Houston's divorce petition. Brown lost at his court hearing as the judge dismissed his appeal to overrule the custody terms, leaving Houston with full custody and Brown with no spousal support.
    On February 1, 2007, Houston asked the court to fast track their divorce.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2006
    Age 42
    After years of controversy and turmoil, Houston separated from Bobby Brown in September 2006, filing for divorce the following month.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2005
    Age 41
    The series aired in 2005 and featured Houston in, what some would say, not her most flattering moments.
    More Details Hide Details The Hollywood Reporter said it was "undoubtedly the most disgusting and execrable series ever to ooze its way onto television". Despite the perceived train-wreck nature of the show, the series gave Bravo its highest ratings in its time slot and continued Houston's successful forays into film and television. The show was not renewed for a second season after Houston stated that she would no longer appear in it, and Brown and Bravo could not come to an agreement for another season.
  • 2004
    Age 40
    In September 2004, she gave a surprise performance at the World Music Awards in a tribute to long-time friend Clive Davis.
    More Details Hide Details After the show, Davis and Houston announced plans to go into the studio to work on her new album. In early 2004, husband Bobby Brown starred in his own reality TV program, Being Bobby Brown on the Bravo network, which provided a view into the domestic goings-on in the Brown household. Though it was Brown's vehicle, Houston was a prominent figure throughout the show, receiving as much screen time as Brown.
    Having always been a touring artist, Houston spent most of 2004 touring and performing in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Russia.
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 2003
    Age 39
    In late 2003, Houston released her first Christmas album One Wish: The Holiday Album, with a collection of traditional holiday songs.
    More Details Hide Details Houston produced the album with Mervyn Warren and Gordon Chambers. A single titled "One Wish (for Christmas)" reached the Top 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and the album was certified gold in the US.
    On a June 2003 trip to Israel, Houston said of her visit, "I've never felt like this in any other country.
    More Details Hide Details I feel at home, I feel wonderful."
    Houston's father later died in February 2003.
    More Details Hide Details The lawsuit was dismissed on April 5, 2004, and Skinner was awarded nothing.
  • 2002
    Age 38
    In December 2002, Houston released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney.
    More Details Hide Details The album included productions from then-husband Bobby Brown, as well as Missy Elliott and Babyface, and marked the first time that Houston did not produce with Clive Davis as Davis had been released by top management at BMG. Upon its release, Just Whitney received mixed reviews. The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart and it had the highest first week sales of any album Houston had ever released. The four singles released from the album did not fare well on the Billboard Hot 100, but became dance chart hits. Just Whitney was certified platinum in the United States, and sold approximately three million worldwide.
    Also in 2002, Houston did an interview with Diane Sawyer to promote her then-upcoming album.
    More Details Hide Details During the prime-time special, Houston spoke on topics including rumored drug use and marriage. She was asked about the ongoing drug rumors and replied, "First of all, let's get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is whack." The line was from Keith Haring's mural which was painted in 1986 on the handball court at 128th Street and 2nd Avenue. Houston did, however, admit to using other substances at times, including cocaine.
    In 2002, Houston became involved in a legal dispute with John Houston Enterprise.
    More Details Hide Details Although the company was started by her father to manage her career, it was actually run by company president Kevin Skinner. Skinner filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit and sued for $100 million (but lost), stating that Houston owed the company previously unpaid compensation for helping to negotiate her $100 million contract with Arista Records and for sorting out legal matters. Houston stated that her 81-year-old father had nothing to do with the lawsuit. Although Skinner tried to claim otherwise, John Houston never appeared in court.
  • 2001
    Age 37
    In August 2001, Houston signed one of the biggest record deals in music history, with Arista/BMG.
    More Details Hide Details She renewed her contract for $100 million to deliver six new albums, on which she would also earn royalties. She later made an appearance on Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special. Her extremely thin frame further spurred rumors of drug use. Houston's publicist said, "Whitney has been under stress due to family matters, and when she is under stress she doesn't eat." The singer was scheduled for a second performance the following night but canceled. Within weeks, Houston's rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" would be re-released after the September 11 attacks, with the proceeds donated to the New York Firefighters 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police. The song peaked at No. 6 this time on the US Hot 100, topping its previous position.
  • 2000
    Age 36
    On January 11, 2000, airport security guards discovered marijuana in both Houston's and husband Bobby Brown's luggage at a Hawaii airport, but the two boarded the plane and departed before authorities could arrive.
    More Details Hide Details Charges were later dropped against them, but rumors of drug usage between the couple would continue to surface. Two months later, Clive Davis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Houston had been scheduled to perform at the event, but failed to show up. Shortly thereafter, Houston was scheduled to perform at the Academy Awards but was fired from the event by musical director and longtime friend Burt Bacharach. Her publicist cited throat problems as the reason for the cancellation. In his book The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards, author Steve Pond revealed that "Houston's voice was shaky, she seemed distracted and jittery, and her attitude was casual, almost defiant", and that while Houston was to sing "Over the Rainbow", she would start singing a different song. Houston later admitted to having been fired. Later that year, Houston's long-time executive assistant and friend, Robyn Crawford, resigned from Houston's management company.
  • 1999
    Age 35
    In November 1999, Houston was named Top-selling R&B Female Artist of the Century with certified US sales of 51 million copies at the time and The Bodyguard Soundtrack was named the Top-selling Soundtrack Album of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
    More Details Hide Details She also won The Artist of the Decade, Female award for extraordinary artistic contributions during the 1990s at the 14th Soul Train Music Awards, and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best R&B. In May 2000, Whitney: The Greatest Hits was released worldwide. The double disc set peaked at number five in the United States, reaching number one in the United Kingdom. In addition, the album reached the Top 10 in many other countries. While ballad songs were left unchanged, the album features house/club remixes of many of Houston's up-tempo hits. Included on the album were four new songs: "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" (a duet with Enrique Iglesias), "Same Script, Different Cast" (a duet with Deborah Cox), "If I Told You That" (a duet with George Michael), and "Fine", and three hits that had never appeared on a Houston album: "One Moment in Time", "The Star Spangled Banner", and "If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful", a duet with Jermaine Jackson from his 1986 Precious Moments album. Along with the album, an accompanying VHS and DVD was released featuring the music videos to Houston's greatest hits, as well as several hard-to-find live performances including her 1983 debut on The Merv Griffin Show, and interviews. The greatest hits album was certified 3× platinum in the US, with worldwide sales of 10 million.
    In 1999, Houston participated in VH-1's Divas Live '99, alongside Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Tina Turner, and Cher.
    More Details Hide Details The same year, Houston hit the road with her 70 date My Love Is Your Love World Tour. The European leg of the tour was Europe's highest grossing arena tour of the year.
  • 1998
    Age 34
    After spending much of the early and mid-1990s working on motion pictures and their soundtrack albums, Houston's first studio album in eight years, the critically acclaimed My Love Is Your Love, was released in November 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Though originally slated to be a greatest hits album with a handful of new songs, recording sessions were so fruitful that a new full-length studio album was released. Recorded and mixed in only six weeks, it featured production from Rodney Jerkins, Wyclef Jean and Missy Elliott. The album debuted at number thirteen, its peak position, on the Billboard 200 chart. It had a funkier and edgier sound than past releases and saw Houston handling urban dance, hip hop, mid-tempo R&B, reggae, torch songs, and ballads all with great dexterity. From late 1998 to early 2000, the album spawned several hit singles: "When You Believe" (US No. 15, UK No. 4), a duet with Mariah Carey for 1998's The Prince of Egypt soundtrack, which also became an international hit as it peaked in the Top 10 in several countries and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song; "Heartbreak Hotel" (US No. 2, UK No. 25) featured Faith Evans and Kelly Price, received a 1999 MTV VMA nomination for Best R&B Video, and number one on the US R&B chart for seven weeks; "It's Not Right but It's Okay" (US No. 4, UK No. 3) won Houston her sixth Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance; "My Love Is Your Love" (US No. 4, UK No. 2) with 3 million copies sold worldwide; and "I Learned from the Best" (US No. 27, UK No. 19).
  • 1997
    Age 33
    In 1997, Houston's production company changed its name to BrownHouse Productions and was joined by Debra Martin Chase.
    More Details Hide Details Their goal was "to show aspects of the lives of African-Americans that have not been brought to the screen before" while improving how African-Americans are portrayed in film and television. Their first project was a made-for-television remake of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. In addition to co-producing, Houston starred in the movie as the Fairy Godmother along with Brandy, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bernadette Peters. Houston was initially offered the role of Cinderella in 1993, but other projects intervened. The film is notable for its multi-racial cast and nonstereotypical message. An estimated 60 million viewers tuned into the special giving ABC its highest TV ratings in 16 years. The movie received seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy, while winning Outstanding Art Direction in a Variety, Musical or Comedy Special. Houston and Chase then obtained the rights to the story of Dorothy Dandridge. Houston was to play Dandridge, the first African American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Houston wanted the story told with dignity and honor. However, Halle Berry also had rights to the project and got her version going first. Later that year, Houston paid tribute to her idols, such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Dionne Warwick, by performing their hits during the three-night HBO Concert Classic Whitney: Live from Washington, D.C.. The special raised over $300,000 for the Children's Defense Fund.
    She won Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist for the Preacher's Wife at the 1997 American Music Awards for the Preacher's Wife Soundtrack.
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  • 1996
    Age 32
    She told Oprah that before The Bodyguard her drug use was light, but after the film's success and the birth of her daughter it got heavier, and by 1996 "drugs was an everyday thing...
    More Details Hide Details I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself."
    In 1996, Houston starred in the holiday comedy The Preacher's Wife, with Denzel Washington.
    More Details Hide Details She plays a gospel-singing wife of a pastor (Courtney B. Vance). It was largely an updated remake of the film The Bishop's Wife (1948), which starred Loretta Young, David Niven and Cary Grant. Houston earned $10 million for the role, making her one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood at the time and the highest earning African-American actress in Hollywood. The movie, with its all African-American cast, was a moderate success, earning approximately $50 million at the U.S. box offices. The movie gave Houston her strongest reviews so far. The San Francisco Chronicle said Houston "is rather angelic herself, displaying a divine talent for being virtuous and flirtatious at the same time", and she "exudes gentle yet spirited warmth, especially when praising the Lord in her gorgeous singing voice". Houston was again nominated for an NAACP Image Award and won for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.
  • 1995
    Age 31
    In 1995, Houston starred alongside Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon in her second film, Waiting to Exhale, a motion picture about four African-American women struggling with relationships.
    More Details Hide Details Houston played the lead character Savannah Jackson, a TV producer in love with a married man. She chose the role because she saw the film as "a breakthrough for the image of black women because it presents them both as professionals and as caring mothers". After opening at number one and grossing $67 million in the US at the box office and $81 million worldwide, it proved that a movie primarily targeting a black audience can cross over to success, while paving the way for other all-black movies such as How Stella Got Her Groove Back and the Tyler Perry movies that became popular in the 2000s. The film is also notable for its portrayal of black women as strong middle class citizens rather than as stereotypes. The reviews were mainly positive for the ensemble cast. The New York Times said: "Ms. Houston has shed the defensive hauteur that made her portrayal of a pop star in 'The Bodyguard' seem so distant." Houston was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture", but lost to her co-star Bassett.
  • 1994
    Age 30
    At the start of the awards ceremony, footage of Houston performing "I Will Always Love You" from the 1994 Grammys was shown following a prayer read by host LL Cool J.
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    In October 1994, Houston attended and performed at a state dinner in the White House honoring newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela.
    More Details Hide Details At the end of her world tour, Houston performed three concerts in South Africa to honor President Mandela, playing to over 200,000 people. This would make the singer the first major musician to visit the newly unified and apartheid free nation following Mandela's winning election. The concert was broadcast live on HBO with funds of the concerts being donated to various charities in South Africa. The event was considered the nation's "biggest media event since the inauguration of Nelson Mandela".
    Houston won three Grammys for the album in 1994, including two of the Academy's highest honors, Album of the Year and Record of the Year.
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    The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
    More Details Hide Details Its lead single, "I Will Always Love You", won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period under Nielsen SoundScan system. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1993
    Age 29
    Houston won a record 11 Billboard Music Awards at its fourth ceremony in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details She also had the record for the most WMAs won in a single year, winning five awards at the 6th World Music Awards in 1994. In May 2003, Houston placed at number three on VH1's list of "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era", behind Madonna and Janet Jackson. She was also ranked at number 116 on their list of the "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons of All Time". In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 50th anniversary, ranking Houston at number nine. Similarly, she was ranked as one of the "Top 100 Greatest Artists of All Time" by VH1 in September 2010. In November 2010, Billboard released its "Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years" list and ranked Houston at number three who not only went on to earn eight number-one singles on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but also landed five number ones on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
    Her concerts, movie, and recording grosses made her the third highest earning female entertainer of 1993–94, just behind Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand according to Forbes magazine.
    More Details Hide Details Houston placed in the top five of Entertainment Weeklys annual "Entertainer of the Year" ranking and was labeled by Premiere magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood.
    Following the success of the project, Houston embarked on another expansive global tour, The Bodyguard World Tour, in 1993–94.
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    In addition, she won a record 8 American Music Awards at that year's ceremony including the Award of Merit, 11 Billboard Music Awards, 3 Soul Train Music Awards in 1993–94 including Sammy Davis, Jr. Award as Entertainer of the Year, 5 NAACP Image Awards including Entertainer of the Year, a record 5 World Music Awards, and a BRIT award.
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    Still, controversy arose as some felt the film's advertising intentionally hid Houston's face to hide the film's interracial relationship. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1993, the singer commented that "people know who Whitney Houston is – I'm black.
    More Details Hide Details You can't hide that fact." Houston received a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress. The Washington Post said Houston is "doing nothing more than playing Houston, comes out largely unscathed if that is possible in so cockamamie an undertaking", and The New York Times commented that she lacked passion with her co-star. Despite the film's mixed reviews, it was hugely successful at the box office, grossing more than $121 million in the U.S. and $410 million worldwide, making it one of the top 100 grossing films in film history at its time of release, though it is no longer in the top 100 because of rising ticket prices since the time the film was released. The film's soundtrack also enjoyed big success. Houston executive produced and contributed six songs for the motion picture's adjoining soundtrack album. Rolling Stone said it is "nothing more than pleasant, tasteful and urbane". The soundtrack's lead single was "I Will Always Love You", written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton in 1974. Houston's version of the song was acclaimed by many critics, regarding it as her "signature song" or "iconic performance". Rolling Stone and USA Today called her rendition "the tour-de-force". The single peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for a then-record-breaking 14 weeks, number one on the R&B chart for a then-record-breaking 11 weeks, and number one on the Adult Contemporary charts for five weeks.
    On March 4, 1993, Houston gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina, the couple's only child.
    More Details Hide Details Brown would go on to have several run-ins with the law, including some jail time.
  • 1992
    Age 28
    With the commercial success of her albums, movie offers poured in, including offers to work with Robert De Niro, Quincy Jones, and Spike Lee; but Houston felt the time wasn't right. Houston's first film role was in The Bodyguard, released in 1992 and co-starring Kevin Costner.
    More Details Hide Details Houston played Rachel Marron, a star who is stalked by a crazed fan and hires a bodyguard to protect her. USA Today listed it as one of the 25 most memorable movie moments of the last 25 years in 2007. Houston's mainstream appeal allowed people to look at the movie color-blind.
    After a three-year courtship, the two were married on July 18, 1992.
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  • 1991
    Age 27
    Later in 1991, Houston put together her Welcome Home Heroes concert with HBO for the soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf War and their families.
    More Details Hide Details The free concert took place at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia in front of 3,500 servicemen and women. HBO descrambled the concert so that it was free for everyone to watch. Houston's concert gave HBO its highest ratings ever. She then embarked on the I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour. Throughout the 1980s, Houston was romantically linked to American football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy, whom she dated. She then met R&B singer Bobby Brown at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards.
    During the Persian Gulf War, Houston performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991.
    More Details Hide Details This performance was later reported by those involved in the performance to have been lip synced or to have been sung into a dead microphone while a studio recording previously made by Houston was played. Dan Klores, a spokesman for Houston, explained: "This is not a Milli Vanilli thing. She sang live, but the microphone was turned off. It was a technical decision, partially based on the noise factor. This is standard procedure at these events." (See also Star Spangled Banner lip sync controversy. A commercial single and video of her performance were released, and reached the Top 20 on the US Hot 100, making her the only act to turn the US national anthem into a pop hit of that magnitude (José Feliciano's version reached No. 50 in November 1968). Houston donated all her share of the proceeds to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund. As a result, the singer was named to the Red Cross Board of Governors.
  • 1990
    Age 26
    In 1990, Houston was the spokesperson for a youth leadership conference hosted in Washington, D.C. She had a private audience with President George H. W. Bush in the Oval Office to discuss the associated challenges.
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    Houston took a more urban direction with her third studio album, I'm Your Baby Tonight, released in November 1990.
    More Details Hide Details She produced and chose producers for this album and as a result, it featured production and collaborations with L.A. Reid and Babyface, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder. The album showed Houston's versatility on a new batch of tough rhythmic grooves, soulful ballads and up-tempo dance tracks. Reviews were mixed. Rolling Stone felt it was her "best and most integrated album". while Entertainment Weekly, at the time thought Houston's shift towards an urban direction was "superficial". The album contained several hits: the first two singles, "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and "All the Man That I Need" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; "Miracle" peaked at number nine; "My Name Is Not Susan" peaked in the top twenty; "I Belong to You" reached the top ten of the US R&B chart and garnered Houston a Grammy nomination; and the sixth single, the Stevie Wonder duet "We Didn't Know", reached the R&B top twenty. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to be certified 4× platinum in the US while selling twelve million total worldwide.
  • 1989
    Age 25
    At the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, when Houston's name was called out for a nomination, a few in the audience jeered.
    More Details Hide Details Houston defended herself against the criticism, stating, "If you're gonna have a long career, there's a certain way to do it, and I did it that way. I'm not ashamed of it."
    In 1989, Houston formed The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children, a non-profit organization that has raised funds for the needs of children around the world.
    More Details Hide Details The organization cares for homelessness, children with cancer or AIDS, and other issues of self-empowerment. With the success of her first two albums, Houston was undoubtedly an international crossover superstar, the most prominent since Michael Jackson, appealing to all demographics. However, some black critics believed she was "selling out". They felt her singing on record lacked the soul that was present during her live concerts.
  • 1988
    Age 24
    In the same year, she recorded a song for NBC's coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics, "One Moment in Time", which became a Top 5 hit in the US, while reaching number one in the UK and Germany.
    More Details Hide Details With her world tour continuing overseas, Houston was still one of the top 20 highest earning entertainers for 1987–88 according to Forbes magazine.
    Houston was a supporter of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement. During her modeling days, the singer refused to work with any agencies who did business with the then-apartheid South Africa. On June 11, 1988, during the European leg of her tour, Houston joined other musicians to perform a set at Wembley Stadium in London to celebrate a then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details Over 72,000 people attended Wembley Stadium, and over a billion people tuned in worldwide as the rock concert raised over $1 million for charities while bringing awareness to apartheid. Houston then flew back to the US for a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City in August. The show was a benefit concert that raised a quarter of a million dollars for the United Negro College Fund.
    Houston also won two American Music Awards in 1988 and 1989, respectively, and a Soul Train Music Award.
    More Details Hide Details Following the release of the album, Houston embarked on the Moment of Truth World Tour, which was one of the ten highest-grossing concert tours of 1987. The success of the tours during 1986–87 and her two studio albums ranked Houston No. 8 for the highest earning entertainers list according to Forbes magazine. She was the highest earning African-American woman overall and the third highest entertainer after Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy.
    At the 30th Grammy Awards in 1988, Houston was nominated for three awards, including Album of the Year, winning her second Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)".
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  • 1987
    Age 23
    With many expectations, Houston's second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987.
    More Details Hide Details The album again featured production from Masser, Kashif and Walden as well as Jellybean Benitez. Many critics complained that the material was too similar to her previous album. Rolling Stone said, "the narrow channel through which this talent has been directed is frustrating". Still, the album enjoyed commercial success. Houston became the first woman in music history to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and the first artist to enter the albums chart at number one in both the US and UK, while also hitting number one or top ten in dozens of other countries around the world. The album's first single, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", was also a massive hit worldwide, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and topping the singles chart in many countries such as Australia, Germany and the UK. The next three singles, "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional", and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" all peaked at number one on the US Hot 100 chart, which gave her a total of seven consecutive number one hits, breaking the record of six previously shared by The Beatles and the Bee Gees. Houston became the first woman to generate four number-one singles from one album. Whitney has been certified 9× Platinum in the US for shipments of over 9 million copies, and has sold a total of 20 million copies worldwide.
  • 1986
    Age 22
    Houston won seven American Music Awards in total in 1986 and 1987, and an MTV Video Music Award. The album's popularity would also carry over to the 1987 Grammy Awards when "Greatest Love of All" would receive a Record of the Year nomination, ten years after the original recording of "The Greatest Love of All" by George Benson, which was the main theme of the boxer Muhammad Ali biopic "The Greatest" in 1977.
    More Details Hide Details Houston's debut album is listed as one of Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and on The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Definitive 200 list. Houston's grand entrance into the music industry is considered one of the 25 musical milestones of the last 25 years, according to USA Today. Following Houston's breakthrough, doors were opened for other African-American women such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker to find notable success in popular music and on MTV.
    At the 1986 Grammy Awards, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year.
    More Details Hide Details She was not eligible for the Best New Artist category because of her previous hit R&B duet recording with Teddy Pendergrass in 1984. She won her first Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Saving All My Love for You". Houston's performance of the song during the Grammy telecast later earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.
    Houston was No. 1 artist of the year and Whitney Houston was the No. 1 album of the year on the 1986 Billboard year-end charts, making her the first woman to earn that distinction.
    More Details Hide Details At the time, Houston released the best-selling debut album by a solo artist. Houston then embarked on her world tour, Greatest Love Tour. The album had become an international success, and was certified 13× platinum (diamond) in the United States alone, and has sold 25 million copies worldwide.
    By 1986, a year after its initial release, Whitney Houston topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and stayed there for 14 non-consecutive weeks.
    More Details Hide Details The final single, "Greatest Love of All", a cover of "The Greatest Love of All", originally recorded by George Benson in 1977, became Houston's biggest hit at the time after peaking No. 1 and remaining there for three weeks on the Hot 100 chart, which made her debut the first album by a woman to yield three No. 1 hits.
  • 1985
    Age 21
    With production from Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson, and Narada Michael Walden, Houston's debut album Whitney Houston was released in February 1985.
    More Details Hide Details Rolling Stone magazine praised Houston, calling her "one of the most exciting new voices in years" while The New York Times called the album "an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent". Arista Records promoted Houston's album with three different singles from the album in the US, UK and other European countries. In the UK, the dance-funk "Someone for Me", which failed to chart in the country, was the first single while "All at Once" was in such European countries as the Netherlands and Belgium, where the song reached the top 5 on the singles charts, respectively. In the US, the soulful ballad "You Give Good Love" was chosen as the lead single from Houston's debut to establish her in the black marketplace first. Outside the US, the song failed to get enough attention to become a hit, but in the US, it gave the album its first major hit as it peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and No. 1 on the Hot R&B chart. As a result, the album began to sell strongly, and Houston continued promotion by touring nightclubs in the US. She also began performing on late-night television talk shows, which were not usually accessible to unestablished black acts. The jazzy ballad "Saving All My Love for You" was released next and it would become Houston's first No. 1 single in both the US and the UK.
    It would also appear on her debut album in 1985.
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  • 1984
    Age 20
    The single was released in 1984 and gave Houston her first taste of success, becoming a Top 5 R&B hit.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1983
    Age 19
    Houston signed with Arista in 1983, but did not begin work on her album immediately.
    More Details Hide Details The label wanted to make sure no other label signed the singer away. Davis wanted to ensure he had the right material and producers for Houston's debut album. Some producers had to pass on the project because of prior commitments. Houston first recorded a duet with Teddy Pendergrass entitled "Hold Me" which appeared on his album, Love Language.
    In 1983, Gerry Griffith, an A&R representative from Arista Records, saw her performing with her mother in a New York City nightclub and was impressed.
    More Details Hide Details He convinced Arista's head Clive Davis to make time to see Houston perform. Davis too was impressed and offered a worldwide recording contract which Houston signed. Later that year, she made her national televised debut alongside Davis on The Merv Griffin Show.
    She also appeared as a lead vocalist on one track on a Paul Jabara album, entitled Paul Jabara and Friends, released by Columbia Records in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details Houston had previously been offered several recording agencies (Michael Zager in 1980, and Elektra Records in 1981), but her mother declined the offers stating her daughter must first complete high school.
  • 1978
    Age 14
    In 1978, at age 15, Houston sang background vocals for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1980s, Houston started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother. She appeared in Seventeen and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of the magazine. She was also featured in layouts in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Young Miss, and appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial. Her looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models of that time. While modeling, she continued her burgeoning recording career by working with producers Michael Beinhorn, Bill Laswell and Martin Bisi on an album they were spearheading called One Down, which was credited to the group Material. For that project, Houston contributed the ballad "Memories", a cover of a song by Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice called her contribution "one of the most gorgeous ballads you've ever heard".
  • 1977
    Age 13
    Houston spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where her mother Cissy was performing, and she would occasionally get on stage and perform with her. In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band's single "Life's a Party".
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1967
    Age 3
    After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four.
    More Details Hide Details At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls' high school in Caldwell, New Jersey, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, whom she described as the "sister she never had". While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. Houston was also exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack, most of whom would have an influence on her as a singer and performer.
  • 1963
    Born
    Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963 in what was then a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey.
    More Details Hide Details She was the daughter of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. (September 13, 1920 – February 2, 2003), and gospel singer Emily "Cissy" (Drinkard) Houston. Her elder brother Michael is a singer, and her elder half-brother is former basketball player Gary Garland. Her parents were both African American, and she was also said to have Native American and Dutch ancestry. Through her mother, Houston was a first cousin of singers Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick. Her godmother was Darlene Love and her honorary aunt was Aretha Franklin, whom she met at age 8 or 9 when her mother took her to a recording studio. Houston was raised a Baptist, but was also exposed to the Pentecostal church.
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