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whitney houston

Whitney Houston

b. Whitney Elizabeth Houston, 9th August 1963, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.

d. 11th February 2012, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.

Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey, the third and youngest child of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. and the gospel singer Cissy Houston.

Whitney's Family

whitney with her mother and father

Her cousins are Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin are all performers in their own right.

Whitney was raised a Baptist, and in 1967 her family relocated to East Orange in New Jersey when she was four years old.

Whitney Houston

whitney in 1965

As a child she began to sing in the the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.

She also learned to play the piano.

Whitney attended the Catholic girls high school, Mount Saint Dominic Academy, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford.

She began to show the influences of having musical surroundings, which led to further progression within her musical emergence.

Whitney Houston

Whitney began singing sessions as backing singer with established acts, such as Chaka Khan, as well as lead vocals on the Michael Zager Band's single 'Life's A Party'.

By 1983, she signed a recording contract with Arista Records, and the following year had her first commercial success when 'Hold Me', a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, crept into the U.S. Top 50.

The rest of that year was taken up with the recording of a debut album.

Clive Davis, the head of Arista, began working on the release.

Whitney HoustonWhitneyI'm Your Baby TonightMy Love Is Your Love

whitney houston - 1985 / whitney - 1987 / i'm your baby tonight - 1990 / my love is your love - 1999

'Whitney Houston' was finally released in March 1984, from which time it would begin its slow progress up the album charts, topping them early the following year.

The singles 'You Give Good Love' and 'Saving All My Love For You', reached numbers 3 and 1, respectively.

The latter single also saw her on top of the charts in the U.K. and much of the rest of the world.

'How Will I Know' and 'Greatest Love Of All' (a cover of the old George Benson tune), both topped the U.S. charts in rapid succession.

Whitney received a Grammy for 'Saving All My Love For You' and an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Program On US TV.

'I Want To Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)', released in 1987, topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic once more, paving the way for 'Whitney' to become the first album by a female artist to debut at number 1 on the US album charts, which also happened in the U.K.

The album included a version of 'I Know Him So Well', sang as a duet with her mother Cissy Houston, and the ballad 'Didn't We Almost Have it All' which became her fifth successive U.S. number 1 shortly afterwards.

This was followed by 'So Emotional' and 'Where Do Broken Hearts Go'.

Nelson Mandela & Whitney

In 1988, she made an appearance at Nelson Mandela's 70th Birthday Party.

Later that year, 'Love Will Save The Day' reached number 9 on the charts.

Further awards followed, including Pop Female Vocal and Soul / R & B Female Vocal categories in the American Music Awards.

Her recording of the title track to the 1988 Olympics tribute, 'One Moment In Time', brought further success, whilst 'I'm Your Baby Tonight' put her back on top of the singles chart.

The album of the same name (number 3 in the U.S. charts), featured 'All The Man That I Need', which became her ninth number 1.

Whitney then performed 'The Star Spangled Banner' at Super Bowl XXV in Miami, which was released as a single shortly afterwards.

She also performed the song at Houston as she welcomed back U.S. troops returning from the Gulf War.

In 1992, Whitney married the singer Bobby Brown (the relationship would prove difficult).

The BodyguardWaiting To ExhaleThe Preacher's WifeThe Preacher's Wife

the bodyguard - 1992 / waiting to exhale - 1995 / the preacher's wife - 1996

The same year she made her acting debut in the film 'The Bodyguard'.

Two songs recorded by her were lifted from the soundtrack album.

These were cover versions of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You', which topped the U.S. chart for 12 weeks and the U.K. charts for nine, and her take on Chaka Khan's 'I'm Every Woman'.

Just WhitneyThe Holiday AlbumLiveI Look To You

just whitney - 2002 / the holiday album - 2003 / live a song for you - 2005 / i look to you - 2009

In 1999, she released 'My Love Is Your Love' on Arista.

The title track became a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the following years, Whitney released a few more album releases, 'Love Whitney' (in 2001), Just Whitney (in 2002), along with a festive album entitled 'One Wish - The Holiday Album'.

2009's 'I Look To You' was seen as a 'renaissance' album for the singer, however, her private live made as much tabloid news as her musical endeavours achieved.

Many of her more soulful sides found their way onto the b-sides of her major singles, notably 'Dancing On The Smooth Edge', which became popular on the U.K. jazz radio station, Jazz FM.

In 2002, the New York Daily News reported that the Child Welfare Authorities in New Jersey were looking at Whitney's fitness in being a mother to her 9 year old daughter, Bobby Christina, after, in an interview, she spoke about her use of cocaine, pills, marijuana and alcohol.

In 2012, following a night out in California, Whitney died in her hotel room at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in California.

There are no causes of death posted at this time.

She was reportedly found hin the rooms bathtub, whereupon the emergency services tried to resuscitate her, but without success.

Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston (Arista Records 1985)

Whitney (Arista Records 1987)

I'm Your Baby Tonight (Arista Records 1990)

various artists:

The Bodyguard film soundtrack (Arista Records 1992)

Waiting To Exhale film soundtrack (Arista Records 1995)

The Preacher's Wife film soundtrack (Arista Records 1996)


My Love Is Your Love (Arista Records 1999)

Love Whitney (Arista Records 2001)

Just Whitney (Arista Records 2002)

One Wish - The Holiday Album (Arista Records 2003)

Live A Song For You (Top Tape Records 2005)

I Look To You (Arista Records 2009)

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