Whitney Houston was an American singer, actress, producer and model. She was born on August 9th 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. She was the daughter of entertainment executive John Russell Houston and Gospel singer Emily Houston. Whitney started singing from an early age. While she was still at school her mother taught her to sing. At the age of 11, she started performing as a soloist in the junior Gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark where she also learnt how to play the piano. She was exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys knight and Roberta Flack who all have influenced her singing. In 1977, at the age of 14, she was a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band’s single “Life’s a party”. At the age of 15, she was part of the background vocals on Chaka Khan’s hit single “I’m every woman” which would be a song where she would later turn into a larger hit for herself. She also sang back up on albums by Lou Rawls and Jermaine Jackson. Whitney spent most of her teenage years touring night clubs where her mother was performing. Occasionally she would get on stage and perform with her. By the age of 15, she was already performing often with her mother and trying to get a record deal of her own. She was discovered by a photographer who was very impressed by her beauty that very soon later she became a sought after teenage model, one of the first African American woman to be on the cover of “seventeen” magazine. Music remained her dream. At the age of 19, she was discovered in a nightclub by the renowned Clive Davis of Arista Records who signed her immediately. In 1983 she made her debut on television appearing on The Merv Griffin show to sing Home from the musical, The Wiz. She released her debut album at the age of 22 and got 3 number 1 singles. Her debut Album “Whitney Houston” became a large hit immediately becoming a smash pop sensation. Over the next year she released her hit singles “Saving all my love for you” and “How will I know”. This helped her album reach the top of the charts where it stayed there for 14 consecutive weeks. She won a Grammy in 1986 for “Saving all my love for you”. She followed this success with a new release in 1987, “Whitney”. This record also went platinum many times over and also earned her a Grammy for her single, “I wanna dance with somebody(who loves me)”. She then went on a world tour. Around this time she appeared at a concert for Nelson Mandela’s Birthday and founded the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, which is a non profit organisation which helps children in need all around the world. By 1992, she was an international celebrity but her life became very complicated with her marriage to R and B singer Bobby Brown. However she progressed through her career successfully acting in the film “The Bodyguard” in 1992 which was her first acting role. It’s lead single “I will always love you” became the best selling single by a woman in history. The movie’s original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for album of the year. Her cover of Dolly Parton’s 1994 “I will always love you” became Houston’s biggest hit ever. In the late 1990’s her complicated marriage, struggles with drug and health problems threatened her career. She made a comeback with 2009’s “I look to you” as well as co-starring in the film remake “Sparkle”. She released a new album in 2009. It reached the top of album charts. She died at the age of 48 in Los Angeles at a Beverly Hilton Hotel where a Grammy Party was being held by Clive Davis on February 11th 2012. The official cause of her death was accidental drowning.
Whitney Huston was one of pop music’s best selling artist of all time with an estimated 170-200 million records sold worldwide. She was the only artist to chart seven consecutive NO.1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. Her early albums include I’m your baby tonight(1990),My Love is your love(1998) as well as soundtracks To the Bodyguard(1992) and Waiting to Exhale (1995).She had one daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown who died on July 26th 2015 at the age of 22.Her second studio album Whitney(1987) became the first album by a woman to debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. Her 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best selling debut album by a woman in history.