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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

x

Track List: Her Greatest Performances (Live)

Disc 1
Disc 2
x

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

x

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

x

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 Radio 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)

x

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'

x

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

x

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

x

Track List: Dance Vault Mixes -Step By Step

x

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

1. His Eye Is On The Sparrow

x

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

1. How Will I Know (Oliver Nelson Remix)

x

Track List: I Look To You (Radio Single)

1. I Look To You

x

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

1. The Star Spangled Banner

2. America The Beautiful

Comments

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Her voice is so beautiful! God given ,& so precious . LadyLove
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Missing you and your sweet voice
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RIP WHITNEY & BOBBIE
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I will always love you Whitney!!! Gone too soon! Your music will forever live on.
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Joshua
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I have nothing...if I dont have you !!! MS...�������
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�� Until next time Whitney and Bobbi Kristina.
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the brokenhearte d go to Pandora
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Does anybody find it disturbing how this woman went through a lot tryna quit drugs and next thing you know she accidentally drowns from cocaine use???? I mean do anybody notice that? This has ill-naughty written all over it.....resea r c h
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kimready46
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GONE WAY TOO SOON, Missing You Whitney! May you Rest Peaceful with your baby Bobbi Kristina
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Can we make them as Regal as this Queen right here anymore?
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Miss this lady and voice. She brought something to the music industry that will never be duplicated.
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Lol Bobbi Kris "I said the records not over yet"
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I still love that voice, rest in peace sista!
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Missing Whitney and her angelic voice (rest in Heaven)
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Miss her so much she had a beatiful still wish she was alive�������
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Thank you for the nostalgia when I hear you're unforgettabl e music. Rest in peace.
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Remarkable.. a m a z i n g Voice..Gone 2 soon
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I miss her...crying
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love this song
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There will never be another Whitney Houston ever!!!
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I still feel the pain from her and her daughter. May they both RIP. I truly truly miss Whitney and love all her songs. A great woman that will always be missed.
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My favorite Song
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I love to listen to the songs by Whitney Houston
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angeliakelsa y
I wish she hadn't died she was an amazing singer but her stupid husband turned her into a drug addict and she died and then her poor daughter committed suicide and it was really sad
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Quit picking on Bobby Brown.She had talent yes, but she was also human.S**t happens to tallented peopple too.But in all , there will never be another Whitney
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RIP angel
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I hate you okay you are so stupid
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HER PASSING CONTINUES REMAINS A PAINFULLY DIFFICULT PATH YET I MUST I SHALL PERSERVERE!! ! !
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cdokken7
Whitney will always be Americas Songbird❤️
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You are loved all over the world
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Can't believe your really gone. Knowing the fact that we'll never get to hear your voice ever again, is just saddening and depressing. You and daughter will never be forgotten, forever in our hearts. Rest in Peace Nippy and Bobbi Krissy.
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elainamathew s 4
I love you Whitney Houston, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU����!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Sssa as o in i
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I miss this angel! But I know she is singing up a storm in the highest of choirs singing for our Lord and making room for us all!
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I love ur movie "the body guard " �� made me cry ;(
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We love you so much if you don't love her then buy don't talk about her and daughter so we love you you are star and the heart
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sexyladies19 6 9 6 9
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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RIP Whitney!
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rosalvavelas c o 6 5
Beautiful voice & wasted talent over STUPiD drugs!!!!!!! ! We will always love u Whitney!!!!!
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BELIEVE BIG! Psalm 112:3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousnes s endures for ever. Everyman God has given riches and wealth, and have given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. He  shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answers him in the joy of his heart. Wisdom and knowledge is granted to me!
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God will give me riches, and wealth, and honour also, such as none have had that have been before me, neither shall there any after me have the like. I command my Riches, and Wealth, Wisdom, Knowledge and Honour to come to me; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into my bosom. For with the same measure that i mete withal it shall be measured to me again! My head is anointed with oil; my cup runs over! Blessings and FAVORE runs me down with God & men
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Length of days is in my right hand; and in my left hand riches and honour. Goodness and mercy follows me all the days of my life: I dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. All things work together for good to me. I AM called according to God's purpose. I am predestinate , justified and glorified to take back what the DEVIL has stole from me! I Charlene E McRae abide in JESUS, and He in me, Jesus and I are the same and the same brings forth much fruit!
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I sit with Princes, Queens, and Kings of God's people. In every thing i am Enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge! I am counted worthy of His calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness! I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. As a wait I don’t lack any gifts as I eagerly wait. God has grant me, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.
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That Christ may dwell in my heart by faith; that i may be rooted and grounded in love, able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; To know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that i may be filled with all the fulness of God. The words that i speak SHALL goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. In Jesus name! Amen!
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dianhow
Talent beauty & sweet Daughter .. the good life. Thrown away with Drugs & Bobby Brown who 'spit' in her face - per Whitneys TV interview RIP Whitney & Daughter
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Whitney you will be LOVED AND SO MISSED FOREVER FOR THE MUSICAL MIRACLES YOU CREATED AND SANG ABOUT. YOU'RE THE SOLE SOURCE OF WHAT MAKES GOD SO PLEASED WITH YOUR ACCOMPLISHED CAREER. TRUE WOMAN/ANGEL OF GOD!!!!!!! REST IN PEACE WE LOVE YOU AND WILL NEVER FORGET YOU EVER........
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R.I.Heaven Whitney
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fidelperezda r i a s
And I wanna dance with you Angel!!!!
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