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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was inarguably one of the biggest female pop stars of all time. Her accomplishments as a hitmaker were extraordinary; just to scratch the surface, she became the first artist ever to have seven consecutive singles hit number one, and her 1993 Dolly Parton cover "I Will Always Love You" became nothing less than the biggest hit single in rock history. Houston was able to handle big adult contemporary ballads, effervescent, stylish dance-pop, and slick urban contemporary soul with equal dexterity; the result was an across-the-board appeal that was matched by scant few artists of her era, and helped her become one of the first black artists to find success on MTV in Michael Jackson's wake. Like many of the original soul singers, Houston was trained in gospel before moving into secular music; over time, she developed a virtuosic singing style given over to swooping, flashy melodic embellishments. The shadow of Houston's prodigious technique still looms large over nearly every pop diva and smooth urban soul singer who has followed, and spawned a legion of imitators.

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey, on August 9, 1963; her mother was gospel/R&B singer Cissy Houston, and her cousin was Dionne Warwick. By age 11, Houston was performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at her Baptist church; as a teenager, she began accompanying her mother in concert (as well as on the 1978 album Think It Over), and went on to back artists like Lou Rawls and Chaka Khan. Houston also pursued modeling and acting, appearing on the sitcoms Gimme a Break and Silver Spoons. Somewhat bizarrely, Houston's first recording as a featured vocalist was with Bill Laswell's experimental jazz-funk ensemble Material; the ballad "Memories," from the group's 1982 album One Down, placed Houston alongside Archie Shepp. The following year, Arista president Clive Davis heard Houston singing at a nightclub and offered her a recording contract. Her first single appearance was a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, "Hold Me," which missed the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 -- but reached number five on the R&B chart -- in 1984.

Houston's debut album, Whitney Houston, was released in February 1985. Its first single, "Someone for Me," was a flop, but the second try, "You Give Good Love," became Houston's first hit, topping the R&B chart and hitting number three on the Hot 100. Houston's next three singles -- the Grammy-winning romantic ballad "Saving All My Love for You," the brightly danceable "How Will I Know," and the inspirational "The Greatest Love of All" -- all topped the Hot 100, and a year to the month after its release, Whitney Houston hit number one on the Billboard 200. It eventually sold over 13 million copies in the U.S., making it the best-selling debut ever by a female artist. Houston cemented her superstar status on her next album, Whitney; it became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one, and sold over nine million copies in the U.S. Its first four singles -- "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (another Grammy winner), "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "So Emotional," and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" -- all hit number one, an amazing, record-setting run of seven straight. In late 1988, Houston scored a Top Five hit with the non-LP single "One Moment in Time," recorded for an Olympics-themed compilation album.

Houston returned with her third album, I'm Your Baby Tonight, in 1990. A more R&B-oriented record, it immediately spun off two number one hits in the title track and "All the Man That I Need." But the quality of the material was generally viewed as, overall, much weaker than her previous efforts, and following those two hits, sales of the album tapered off quickly, halting at around four million copies. Nevertheless, Houston remained so popular that she could even take a recording of "The Star Spangled Banner" (performed at the Super Bowl) into the Top 20 -- though, of course, the Gulf War had something to do with that. In retrospect, the erratic quality of I'm Your Baby Tonight seemed to signal Houston's declining interest in making fully fleshed-out albums. Instead, she began to focus on an acting career, which she hadn't pursued since her teenage years; she also married singer Bobby Brown in the summer of 1992. Her first feature film, a romance with Kevin Costner called The Bodyguard, was released in late 1992; it performed well at the box office, helped by an ad campaign that seemingly centered around the climactic key change in Houston's soundtrack recording of the Dolly Parton-penned "I Will Always Love You." In fact, the ad campaign undoubtedly helped "I Will Always Love You" become the biggest singles in pop music history. It set new records for sales (nearly five million copies) and weeks at number one (14), although those were later broken by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" and Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," respectively. Meanwhile, the soundtrack eventually sold an astounding 16 million copies, and also won a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Once Houston had stopped raking in awards and touring the world, she prepared her next theatrical release, the female ensemble drama Waiting to Exhale. A few months before its release at the end of 1995, it was announced that she and Brown had split up; however, they called off the split just a couple months later, and rumors about their tempestuous relationship filled the tabloids for years to come. Waiting to Exhale was released toward the end of the year, and the first single from the soundtrack, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," topped the charts; the album sold over seven million copies. For her next project, Houston decided to return to her gospel roots; the soundtrack to the 1996 film The Preacher's Wife, which naturally featured Houston in the title role, was loaded with traditional and contemporary gospel songs, plus guest appearances by Houston's mother, as well as Shirley Caesar and the Georgia Mass Choir. Houston also began making headlines for what appeared to be increasing unreliability, canceling several TV and concert appearances due to illness.

In 1998, Houston finally issued a new full-length album, My Love Is Your Love, her first in eight years. Houston worked with pop/smooth soul mainstays like Babyface and David Foster, but also recruited hip-hop stars like Missy Elliott, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Q-Tip. The album sold even fewer copies than I'm Your Baby Tonight, but it received Houston's most enthusiastic reviews in quite some time. Moreover, it produced one of her biggest R&B chart hits (seven weeks at number one) in the trio number "Heartbreak Hotel," done with Faith Evans and Kelly Price. She also duetted with Mariah Carey on "When You Believe," a song from the animated film The Prince of Egypt.

Unfortunately, Houston was also back in the tabloids in early 2000. Speculation about her personal life only grew when she was dropped from the Academy Awards telecast that March, officially because of a sore throat, but reputedly due to poor rehearsals and a generally out-of-it air. Later in the year, Arista released the two-disc compilation Greatest Hits, which actually featured one disc of hits and one of remixes and included new duets with Enrique Iglesias, George Michael, and Deborah Cox. It was also announced that Houston had signed a new deal with Arista worth $100 million, requiring six albums from the singer. The self-styled comeback album Just Whitney arrived in 2002, followed by One Wish: The Holiday Album in November of the following year. Two years later, however, her personal issues became even more public through the 2005 reality television series Being Bobby Brown. She eventually divorced her husband and went into intense rehabilitation.

An album of new material was initially set for release by the end of 2007, but delays pushed it -- titled I Look to You, featuring collaborations with Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz, R. Kelly, Akon, and Diane Warren -- back to September 2009. It became her first number one album since the Bodyguard soundtrack. She toured the world in 2010, and talked about beginning recording for her next album, but entered outpatient rehab in the summer of 2011 for continuing drug and alcohol problems. That fall, Houston filmed a role in a remake of the 1976 musical film Sparkle, starring alongside Jordin Sparks. In early 2012, rumors began to swirl that Simon Cowell was courting Houston for a mentor spot on The X Factor, but before anything came of it, tragedy occurred. On February 11, the day before the 2012 Grammys, Houston was found dead in her bathroom at the Beverly Hills Hilton. The cause of death was found to be accidental drowning caused by heart disease and cocaine use. The Grammy ceremony paid tribute to her life with a Jennifer Hudson performance of "I Will Always Love You." ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Her Greatest Performances (Live)

Disc 1
Disc 2

Track List: I Look To You

1. Million Dollar Bill

2. Nothing But Love

3. Call You Tonight

4. I Look To You

5. Like I Never Left (Feat. Akon)

6. A Song For You

7. I Didn't Know My Own Strength

8. Worth It

9. For The Lovers

10. I Got You

11. Salute


Track List: Just Whitney

1. One Of Those Days

2. Tell Me No

3. Things You Say

4. My Love (feat. Bobby Brown)

5. Love That Man

6. Try It On My Own

7. Dear John Letter

8. Unashamed

9. You Light Up My Life

10. Whatchulookinat


Track List: The Greatest Hits

Disc 1

1. You Give Good Love

2. Saving All My Love For You

3. Greatest Love Of All

4. All At Once

5. If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful

6. Didn't We Almost Have It All

7. Where Do Broken Hearts Go

8. All The Man That I Need

9. Run To You

10. I Have Nothing

11. I Will Always Love You

12. Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

13. Why Does It Hurt So Bad

14. I Believe In You And Me

15. Heartbreak Hotel

16. My Love Is Your Love

17. Same Script, Different Cast

18. Could I Have This Kiss Forever

Disc 2

1. Fine

2. If I Told You That (Feat. George Michael)

3. It's Not Right But It's Okay (Thunderpuss Mix)

4. My Love Is Your Love (Jonathan Peters Mix)

5. Heartbreak Hotel (Hex Hector Mix)

6. I Learned From The Best (HQ2 Mix)

7. Step By Step

8. I'm Every Woman (Clivilles & Cole Mix)

9. Queen Of The Night

10. I Will Always Love You (Hex Hector Mix)

11. Love Will Save The Day (Jellybean & David Morales Mix)

12. I'm Your Baby Tonight (Dronez Mix)

13. So Emotional (David Morales Mix)

14. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Junior Vasquez Mix)

15. How Will I Know (Junior Vasquez Mix)

16. Greatest Love Of All (Junior Vasquez Mix)

17. One Moment In Time

18. Bonus Track: The Star Spangled Banner (From Super Bowl XXV) (Live)


Track List: I'm Your Baby Tonight

1. I'm Your Baby Tonight

2. My Name Is Not Susan

3. All The Man That I Need

4. Lover For Life

5. Anymore

6. Miracle

7. I Belong To You

8. Who Do You Love

9. We Didn't Know

10. After We Make Love

11. I'm Knockin'


Track List: Whitney

1. I Wanna Dance With Somebody

2. Just The Lonely Talking Again

3. Love Will Save The Day

4. Didn't We Almost Have It All

5. So Emotional

6. Where Were You

7. Love Is A Contact Sport

8. You're Still My Man

9. For The Love Of You

10. Where Do Broken Hearts Go

11. I know Him So Well


Track List: Whitney Houston

1. You Give Good Love

2. Thinking About You

3. Someone For Me

4. Saving All My Love For You

5. Nobody Loves Me Like You Do

6. How Will I Know

7. All At Once

8. Take Good Care of My Heart

9. Greatest Love Of All

10. Hold Me


Track List: His Eye Is On The Sparrow (From The Motion Picture "Sparkle") (Single)

1. His Eye Is On The Sparrow


Track List: How Will I Know (Oliver Nelson Remix) (Single)

1. How Will I Know (Oliver Nelson Remix)


Track List: I Look To You (Radio Single)

1. I Look To You


Track List: The Star Spangled Banner / America The Beautiful (Single)

1. The Star Spangled Banner


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Seemed she had it ALL except she had a husband who abused her verbally Such a waste
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Three beautiful people have left us to SOON... Gone But Not Forgotten..
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R.i.p u have an amazing voice��we love u so much❤️
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you will be missed we love u
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you will be missed
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There will never be another angel with that beautiful voice. .rip Ms.Whitney. .
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You will always be the high light of my life
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fidelperezda r i a s
You left us phisically when we all were waiting more from your voice!!!
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fidelperezda r i a s
I dreamed about be your bodygard
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R.I.P. Whitney you will never be forgotten we all love u and your music
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I love Whitney Huston ...she have a powerful voice ...����
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I love this music make me feel sad
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You want to here something sad.....I didn't know she was dead u til 2 years after I knew she existed
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How will I know....
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She's the queen Michael Jackson is the King and Prince is the Prince R.I.P.
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C mm
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She is my favorite artist of oldies. I like the song were do broken hearts go
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Yeah! She is the best. I am so sad. The Whitney's songs remember my junior high school years.
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I am so sad that you died but we all love you I had you for a project on school
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thepinkgener a l
Say iPhone 5 times
Say a color
Post this on 5 other songs
Look under your pillow
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
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I grew up listening to Whitney. I remember my parents buying me her first album for xmas. Yes, I will always love you.
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Xoxoxo. Love this woman she's impactable great person beautiful. Voice hand's down. Her memory s & music will outstand the test of time..
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I miss my queen so much. she amazed me throughout the years from the beginning in 84 until the end, WHITNEY HOUSTON was music to me.
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Love her
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She's the bae ��
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Some of whineys songs lift me up I like to sings with her
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she da best!!!!!!
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Love you! Continue to RIH with your baby girl.
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Both doing me yr thu Tyngsboro Tyngsnnmyyu guy
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Whitney's legacy will be on going for generations to come. She is dearly missed. RIP with your baby girl! Until we see you again!!
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She was one of the best!
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Still can't get over the fact that you are no longer with us. RIP with your baby.

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fidelperezda r i a s
Yes Babe, You are the Queen!!!
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johnetta.ras b e r r y
I Love The Lord
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loving you hate rap
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Baby, to my love Dominique Bastian... I wished u when run to me....
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
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Next to her The Greatest Love of All, This is my favorite song of Whitney, heart broken, you would feel it piercing through! You're a legend Whitney!!!
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Ur in a better place ✌️✌✌
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I'm happy
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Sorry to hear about Whitney Houston
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Gone to soon miss u Whitney Houston
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I love this song. Use to have the voice to sing it now, I sound like an ol' hound dog. LOL
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Gone to soon
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