Whitney Houston - American Singer

Whitney Houston was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as probably the most awarded female act of all-time. Houston is among pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, having an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide. She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts, along with her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African American women artists who follow in her footsteps.

Houston is the sole artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 songs. She's the 2nd artist behind Elton John and the sole woman to possess two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Albums") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's debut album, Whitney Houston (1985), became the best-selling debut album by a woman in history. Rolling Stone named it the very best album of 1986, and ranked it at number 254 on the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album, Whitney (1987), became the initial album by a woman to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Houston's first acting role was whilst the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. 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 initial act (solo or group, male or female) to offer greater 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 them all, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, like 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.

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California. The state coroner's report revealed that she'd accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and featured prominently in American and international media.

Background Information
Born : Whitney Elizabeth Houston - August 9, 1963 - Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died : February 11, 2012 (aged 48) - Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of death : Drowning due to drug intoxication
Resting place : Fairview Cemetery - Westfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Nationality : American
Education : Mount Saint Dominic Academy
Occupation : Singer - actress - film - producer - record producer - model
Spouse(s) : Bobby Brown - (m. 1992; div. 2007)
Children : Bobbi Kristina Brown
Parent(s) : John Russell Houston, Jr. - Cissy Houston
Relatives : Gary Garland (half-brother) - Dionne Warwick (cousin) - Dee Dee Warwick (cousin) - Leontyne Price (cousin)

Musical Career
Genres : R&B - pop - soul - gospel
Instruments : Vocals piano
Years active : 1977–2012
Labels : Arista - RCA
Associated acts : Jermaine Jackson - Aretha Franklin - Mariah Carey - George Michael - Brandy Norwood - Bobby Brown
Website : whitneyhouston.com

Life and Career
1963–1984: Early Life and Career Beginnings

Whitney Houston was created on August 9, 1963 in that which was a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. 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 musician, and her elder half-brother is former basketball player Gary Garland. Her parents were both African American. 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 grew up a Baptist, but was also subjected to the Pentecostal church. Following the 1967 Newark riots, the household moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four.

At age 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 an adolescent, 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 whilst the "sister she never had". While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to show her how exactly to sing. Houston was also subjected to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack, nearly all of whom would have an influence on her behalf as a musician and performer.

1985–1986: Rise to International Prominence
With production from Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson, and Narada Michael Walden, Houston's debut album Whitney Houston premiered in February 1985. 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 a fantastic 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 didn't chart in the country, was the first single while "All at Once" was such European countries since the Netherlands and Belgium, where the song reached the utmost effective 5 on the singles charts, respectively.

In the US, the soulful ballad "You Give Good Love" was chosen since the lead single from Houston's debut to determine her in the black marketplace first. Outside the US, the song failed to get enough attention to become hit, 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. Consequently, the album began to offer 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 Passion for You" premiered next and it'd become Houston's first No. 1 single in both US and the UK. She was then a beginning act for singer Jeffrey Osborne on his nationwide tour. "Thinking About You" premiered since the promo single simply to R&B-oriented stereo, which peaked at number ten on the US R&B Chart. At the time, MTV had received harsh criticism for not playing enough videos by black, Latino, and other racial minorities while favoring white acts. The third US single, "How Will I Know", peaked at No. 1, and the video introduced Houston to the MTV audience. Houston's subsequent singles from this, and future albums, would make her the first African-American woman for consistent heavy rotation on MTV.

1987–1991: Whitney, I'm Your Baby Tonight and "The Star Spangled Banner"
With many expectations, Houston's second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987. 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.

1992–1994: Marriage, Motherhood, and The Bodyguard
Throughout the 1980s, Houston was romantically linked to American football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy. She then met R&B singer Bobby Brown at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards. After a three-year courtship, the two were married on July 18, 1992. On March 4, 1993, Houston gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina, the couple's only child. Brown would go on to have several run-ins with the law, including some jail time.

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 did not feel the time was right. Houston's first film role was in The Bodyguard, released in 1992 and co-starring Kevin Costner. 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.

1995–1997: Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher's Wife, and Cinderella
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. 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.

1998–2000: My Love Is Your Love and Whitney: The Greatest Hits
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. 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.

2000–2005: Just Whitney and personal struggles
Though Houston was seen as a "good girl" with a perfect image in the 1980s and early 1990s, by the late 1990s, her behavior changed. She was often hours late for interviews, photo shoots and rehearsals, and canceling concerts and talk-show appearances. With the missed performances and weight loss, rumors about Houston using drugs with her husband circulated. 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. 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.

2006–2012: Return to music, I Look to You, tour and film comeback
After years of controversy and turmoil, Houston separated from Bobby Brown in September 2006, filing for divorce the following month. On February 1, 2007, Houston asked the court to fast track their divorce. The divorce was finalized on April 24, 2007, with Houston granted custody of the couple's daughter. 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. In March 2007, Clive Davis of Arista Records announced that Houston would begin recording a new album. In October 2007, Arista released another compilation The Ultimate Collection outside the United States.

Awards and Achievements
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. She held the all-time record for the most American Music Awards of any female solo artist and shared the record with Michael Jackson for the most AMAs ever won in a single year with eight wins in 1994. Houston won a record 11 Billboard Music Awards at its fourth ceremony in 1993. 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.

Houston's debut album is listed as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine and is on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Definitive 200 list. In 2004, Billboard picked the success of her first release on the charts as one of 110 Musical Milestones in its history. Houston's entrance into the music industry is considered one of the 25 musical milestones of the last 25 years, according to USA Today in 2007. It stated that she paved the way for Mariah Carey's chart-topping vocal gymnastics. In 1997, the Franklin School in East Orange, New Jersey was renamed to The Whitney E. Houston Academy School of Creative and Performing Arts. In 2001, Houston was the first artist to be given a BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide. She was ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 55 million certified albums sold in the US, and held an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Grambling State University, Louisiana. Houston was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013. In August 2014, Houston was inducted to the official Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in its second class.

Film
On April 27, 2016, it was announced that the British Academy Award winning film director Kevin Macdonald, who created Marley (2012) and the production team, Altitude, behind the controversial award-winning film about Amy Winehouse, Amy (2015), that a documentary film on Whitney Houston's life and death, entitled as Whitney: Can I Be Me is scheduled to be released in 2017. This is the first documentary to be officially authorized by the estate that will tell the unvarnished and authentic story of the singer’s life in a film, including access to never-before-seen footage of Houston, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances and audio archive. Macdonald also will interview those who knew her best, including Clive Davis, founder and president of Arista Records. Macdonald stated; "The story that is never told about Whitney is just how brilliant she was as an artist; by many measures she had the greatest voice of the last 50 years. She changed the way pop music was sung - bringing it back full circle to its blues and gospel roots. She was also completely unique in being a black pop star who transcended her race globally with her work sold in countries where black artists don’t sell." The biopic will be released theatrically on June 11, 2017.

World Tours
The Greatest Love World Tour (1986), Moment of Truth World Tour (1987–88), I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour (1991), The Bodyguard World Tour (1993–94), My Love Is Your Love World Tour (1999), Nothing but Love World Tour (2010)

Read Also : Whitney Houston Photo Gallery
Privacy Policy :
All images found here are believed to be in the "public domain". All of the images displayed are of unknown origin owner. We do not intend to infringe any legitimate intellectual right, artistic rights or copyright. Please do not ask for permissions to use images in our website to your projects, because we do not own the copyrights for them. All images displayed on the site are provided only for personal use as background wallpaper on computers, mobile and other devices. If you are the rightful owner of any of the images posted here, and you do not want your image to be displayed on this website, then please contact us and we will immediately remove the image. We do not intend to display any copyright protected images.