Happy birthday Whitney Houston!

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Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 — February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, model, and producer. She is remembered for her impressive range and vocal control, and often considered as important to American popular music as Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Gladys Knight, and Aretha Franklin. Perhaps her most popular single was a cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You."

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Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey to John Russell Houston, Jr. and Cissy Houston (previously Emily Drinkard). Her father had served in the Army and went on to become an entertainment executive while her mother was a gospel singer. Houston was also the cousin of singer Dionne Warwick and had singer Aretha Franklin as her "honorary aunt." Houston was raised a baptist, and got her start singing as a soloist in the New Hope Baptist Church.

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As a teenager, she would tour with her mother, Cissy, and occasionally get up on stage to sing with her. By the time she was 15, she was singing backup vocals for Chaka Khan.

Around the same time, Houston was being pursued as a teen model. She became one of the first African American women to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. She also appeared in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Young Miss.

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Though she had received multiple recording offers, her mother declined, insisting that Houston first complete high school. In 1983, not only did she make her television debut on The Merv Griffin Show, but she also secured a record deal with Arista Records, who were ready to offer her a worldwide contract.

 

 

Before beginning work on her own album, she appeared on Teddy Pendergrass' "Hold Me," which climbed to the top 5 in the R&B charts. Clive Davis, the Arista executive who had spotted Houston, was intent on securing the very best producers and songwriters for Houston's debut album. When it was finally released in 1985, the single "You Give Good Love" peaked at no. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100 and no. 1 on the Hot R&B chart.

 

By 1986, a year after the album's initial release, it topped the charts for fourteen weeks. The single "Saving All My Love for You," one of the album's biggest hits, earned Houston a Grammy which was presented to her by her cousin, Dionne Warwick.

 

Houston's next album, Whitney (1987) went platinum and won more Grammys, cementing Houston in as one of the most popular artists of the decade.

In 1992, Houston married singer Bobby Brown. The marriage quickly became volatile, with both Houston and Brown battling substance abuse.

Also in 1992, Houston transitioned into film, starring opposite Kevin Costner in the film The Bodyguard. It was the first of many films in which she would release a hit single that would carry the film's soundtracks to the tops of the charts. Her single for The Bodyguard was perhaps her most famous hit to date, a cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You." The soundtrack also went on to win three Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year.

 

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw Houston's marriage to Brown crumble spectacularly. In 2004, Brown appeared in his own Bravo reality show called Being Bobby Brown, in which Houston was often shown. The show offered the couple more attention than they had received in years, but also depicted them as flailing, living a life of excess, and in poor health.

In 2007, Houston divorced Brown, and took her life into her own hands. She released the album I Look To You in 2009, to some success in the charts.

 

In 2012, Houston was preparing to launch the next phase of her career, having worked on the film Sparkle with singer Jordin Sparks. It was rumoured that she had been approached to be a judge on the reality musical show The X Factor. However, on February 11, 2012, she drowned in her bathtub as a result of the effects of drugs and heart disease.

 

 

 

 

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Saturday, 09 August 2014
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