Written by Briana Snow on December 15, 2019
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer. She had several relatives who were famous singers. Her mother was Cissy Houston (a gospel singer) and one of her cousins was Dionne Warwick, a famous singer. Plus her godmother was soul singer Aretha Franklin.
Early Life of Whitney Houston
She was born August 89, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey. Her first bout of singing in front of an audience was in her hometown church choir at the New Hope Baptist Church. When she was young, people flocked to hear her singing and it was said the church goers were in rapture at the sound of her voice. Later, Whitney was to say that she believed God gifted her with her singing voice.
At the age of 15 Whitney was trying to get a record deal, but instead she ended up becoming a teenage model, and ended up being one of the premiere black teen women who showed up on Seventeen magazine’s cover. But Whitney still loved music the best and wanted to get into making records.
She was to get that chance two years later when Clive Davis saw her sing at a nightclub. He worked for Arista Records and signed her right up. She started with gospel music and then went on to pop music. And finally, in 1983 she appeared on TV for the first time and sang the song “Home” from the musical show The Wiz on The Merv Griffin Show.
Her records and albums, etc.
Whitney did well with her record career, and her first 4 albums that came out from 1985 to 1992 that sold over 86 million discs worldwide. She also had three songs go to number one on the charts at the age of 22. Her first album was called Whitney Houston, and two songs on it were smash hits, “Saving All My Love For You” and “How Will I Know.” The first of those songs won her a Grammy award in 1986. She won another Grammy for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” a few years later and one in 1998 for “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.”
In her career she went on to have several other number one hits and released several hit albums, to include I’m Your Baby Tonight in 1990, My Love Is Your Love in 1998, a soundtrack to The Bodyguard in 1992 and Waiting to Exhale in 1995. Her biggest hit was “I Will Always Love You,” which broke a record by staying on the charts in the US for 14 weeks. In 2006, Guinness World Records called her the most-awarded female artist of all time.
And she was the sole musician to have seven number one hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 in a row. The songs were: “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.” Many of her songs also went platinum during her career.
Whitney had other high points. She was recognized for humanitarian efforts for places like St. Jude Children’s Hospital, as well as Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the United Negro College Fund, amongst other organizations. She started several herself, to include one called Teen Summit in 2007 to help teens and young people start over again.
Tragedy Follows Her Life
Sadly, even with all that success her life seemed far from perfect. She married a singer, Bobby Brown in 1992, but the marriage ended due to domestic abuse and the fact that both of them ended up using drugs. They divorced in 2007 and had one child, daughter Bobbi Kristina.
The drugs and bad marriage threw off her singing career and it wasn’t until 2009 when she got back into it with the song “I Look to You” and got to costar in the movie Sparkle, which was a musical. She was also in other musicals, such as in Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife, with both supplemented with hit soundtracks. The comeback was short lived, however as only a few years later in 2012, Whitney was to die when she drowned in a hotel on Feb. 11. Earlier in that same year she had be said to be having money issues, but had denied that rumor was true. She was only 48 at the time of her death.
Post Death Events
In 2016, four years after her death, fans actually got to hear another song from her as vocals she had recorded 35 years prior were combined with the Malaysian singer Siti Nurhalza’s voice in the single “Memories.” Three years after this, another single surfaced which had been meant to appear on an album she recorded in 1990 called “Higher Love” which was a cover for Steve Winwood.
In 2018 a documentary was made about Whitney, and her sister in law Pat was the executive producer. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
And in 2019, technology brought the singer back to life in the form of a hologram that is going to go on tour in 2020, created and developed by BASE Holograms. The company is also responsible for creating other holograms of famous singers like the Greek opera singer Maria Callas and an American Rock and Roll singer named Roy Orbison.
One strange and sad event that came out after Whitney’s death was the mysterious death of her daughter Bobbi Kristina, who was found face down in a bathtub in Roswell, Georgia. She later died at the hospital at the young age of only 22.
All in all, Whitney sold more than 200 million records, albums and videos all over the world. She is said to have influenced many other female singers, as well as male singers, and will always be remembered by the music world.