Known for her singing and acting skills, Whitney Houston is one of the most popular singers in history. Her career has sold over 200 million records worldwide.
During her early life, Whitney Houston’s family was involved in the music industry. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, who was known for her backup singing for stars such as Elvis Presley and Dee Dee Warwick. Her mother also was the music director of her church.
Whitney Houston started singing as a child at her church, New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. At the age of 11, she performed her first solo. She was influenced by her godmother Aretha Franklin and her cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick.
She was a model in her teenage years, appearing in various magazines. She started pursuing a professional singing career after high school. She had several recording contract offers in the early 1980s. However, her mother wanted her to finish school first.
She recorded the song “Memories” for Bill Laswell’s avant-funk band Material. The song reached number five on the R&B chart. However, it was the song “Exhale” that would go on to become one of her most popular songs.
Whitney Houston was an award-winning singer who received many accolades. She also worked as an actress and humanitarian activist. She costarred with Denzel Washington in the 1996 film The Preacher’s Wife. Her movie soundtrack “Waiting to Exhale” sold over seven million copies.
She was the first African American to be featured on the cover of Seventeen magazine. She was also recognized for her humanitarian efforts to benefit the Children’s Diabetes Foundation. She received two Emmys.
She was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020. She has won six Grammy awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards.
Whitney Houston was also married to singer Bobby Brown. They were married in 1992.
Throughout her career, Whitney Houston has churned out numerous chart-topping hits. Her music has been praised for its unique style and emotional power. She has earned several awards and accolades for her work in the music industry.
A few years after her debut album, Houston crossed over into acting. She starred in two films – The Preacher’s Wife (1996) and Waiting to Exhale (1995). Her performance of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” in The Bodyguard won her a Grammy Award for best female pop vocal performance. This song spent a record-breaking 14 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, making it one of the most successful singles of all time.
In 1998, Houston released My Love Is Your Love. This album included two songs that went on to reach the top ten of the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. It also produced the Grammy-winning song “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay”.
In 2002, Houston released Just Whitney. The album was her first studio release in eight years. It was released in response to criticisms from the public and industry analysts. Despite its success, the album sold poorly.
Houston also released the single “I Will Always Love You” from the soundtrack of the movie The Bodyguard. This song was a success and won three Grammy awards. The soundtrack was also a hit. It spawned several chart-topping hits, including Houston’s rendition of “Million Dollar Bill” and “The Preacher’s Wife.”
After a number of years in which she didn’t connect with her fans, Houston embarked on a world tour in 2004. She also appeared in the film Sparkle, and a musical sequel, The Princess Diaries.
A few months before the release of Waiting to Exhale, Houston and Chris Brown broke up. Houston also began a rehab stint for drug addiction and alcohol problems.
Besides having a voice that was more than impressive, Whitney Houston had a film career that left an indelible mark on the world. The singer and actress appeared in four feature films and one television film. Unlike some of her peers, who had limited roles in Hollywood, Houston stayed active in the film industry for more than a decade.
Her first film was The Bodyguard, a blockbuster that grossed over $411 million worldwide. The soundtrack, which was a smash hit, sold over 4 million copies and became one of the best-selling albums of all time.
She also appeared in a handful of commercials. She made appearances on Saturday Night Live and on Mary Katherine Gallagher’s sketch show. However, she never received an Academy Award nomination for her big-screen work. She did win the Grammys for the album of the year for her self-titled debut album. She also earned an Emmy nomination for her role as the Fairy Godmother in made-for-TV Cinderella.
The next film to hit theaters was ‘Sparkle’, a remake of a 1976 movie musical. The film followed the story of three singing sisters. Although it did not earn as well as its predecessor, it did provide some signs of a comeback for Houston. She appeared in the film with Jordin Sparks.
The following year, she starred in Waiting to Exhale, an ensemble romance that paved the way for a new wave of black ensemble films. It was also one of the most successful films of the decade, averaging a $67 million domestic box office. Its soundtrack won the Grammy for best album of the year.
Houston’s career hit a rough patch in the late 1990s. Her performances in the film were more dramatic than the scripted ones.
During her lifetime, Whitney Houston was a philanthropist who donated to numerous charities. She has been recognized by many organizations for her efforts.
In 1997, Whitney Houston received an award from Essence Magazine for her charitable work. The Whitney Houston Foundation was founded in 1989, and continues to raise funds for children around the world. The foundation provides aid to homeless, sick, and abandoned children. The foundation also provides college scholarships to deserving students.
During her life, Whitney Houston donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to numerous charities. She also volunteered at hospitals and sent personal notes to charities. She donated money to several AIDS related organizations. She also supported the Jubilee 2000 campaign, which aims to erase the debt owed by 40 poor nations.
In 1991, Whitney Houston was elected to the board of directors for the American Red Cross. She was also involved with the United Negro College Fund. In 1995, she donated $5,000 to Michael’s House, a center that helps children who have lost a parent or sibling. She also participated in Lou Rawls’ Parade of Stars telethons.
In 1994, Whitney Houston participated in the “Commitment for Life” AIDS Benefit in Los Angeles. She performed “The Star Spangled Banner” at the concert. The benefit raised a total of $1 million.
She was also involved with the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies in 1987. In 1989, she recorded “Do You Hear What I Hear?” for free for the first benefit album for the Special Olympics. She also participated in the 1991 Carnegie Hall benefit.
After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Whitney Houston’s record company, Arista Records, donated royalties to the victims of the attack. They also released “The Star Spangled Banner” as a charity single.
Despite a six-year battle with drug addiction, Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 from drowning in a bathtub in the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, chronic cocaine use was a contributing factor to her death.
After her death, law enforcement officials confirmed a number of prescription medications were in Houston’s hotel room. Some prescriptions included Benadryl, Flexeril, and Xanax. Other substances found in her body included marijuana and cocaine.
According to the toxicology report, the best way to describe Whitney Houston’s death was an accidental drowning. Her body was discovered in the bathtub of her hotel room, and her wallet was sucked out of her purse. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has officially ruled the death accidental.
The toxicology report states that Whitney Houston was acutely intoxicated from cocaine. She also suffered small scald burns on her face. The coroner reports that her driver’s license was removed prior to her arrival in the hotel.
A private investigator’s hypothesis suggested two high-powered drug dealers infiltrated Houston’s entourage. He said the activity was caught on surveillance footage.
Another theory is that alcohol and drugs played a part in her death. Law enforcement sources have confirmed a dozen prescription drugs were in the room. But none of the claims have been substantiated.
A spoon found in the bathroom where the body was found contained a white crystal substance. It also contained a rolled up piece of paper.
The coroner’s report lists several other factors. According to the report, there were signs of chronic cocaine use, heart disease, and a “crystal-like substance” in the spoon. It’s also possible that Houston was suffering from a seizure before her death.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Brief Look at Ben Affleck Benjamin Affleck is a well-known American actor and director.