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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 -- male or female -- in her wake, and spawned a legion of imitators (despite some critics' complaints about over-singing). Always more of a singles artist, Houston largely shied away from albums during the '90s, releasing the bulk of her most popular material on the soundtracks of films in which she appeared. By the end of the decade, she'd gone several years without a true blockbuster, yet her status as an icon was hardly diminished.

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; their 1982 album One Down placed Houston alongside such unlikely avant-gardists as Archie Shepp and Fred Frith. The following year, Arista president Clive Davis heard Houston singing at a nightclub and offered her a record contract. Her first single appearance was a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, "Hold Me," which missed the Top 40 in 1984.

Houston's debut album, Whitney Houston, was released in March 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 charts and hitting number three pop. 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 pop charts, and a year to the month after its release, Whitney Houston hit number one on the album charts. It eventually sold over 13 million copies, making it the best-selling debut ever by a female artist. Houston cemented her superstar status on her next album, Whitney; despite the unimaginative title, it became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one, and sold over nine million copies. 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 (broken by "Love Will Save the Day"). 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 urban-sounding, 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 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 pop 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 single 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, 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; she was arrested in Hawaii when airline authorities reportedly found marijuana in her luggage (the charges were later dismissed). Speculation about Houston's 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; it also 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, and 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 during 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. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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

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Track List: I Look To You (Radio Single)

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

Comments

Rip whitney!
R.I.P miss u Whitney (gone but not forgetting). You r singing with god angels love u
Rip Whitney, you are still loved by many
I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY! MISS YOU WHITNEY!
One of the best voices of all times. What a shame that such a great artist fell to drugs. She can never be replaced. May she rest in peace.
Ms. Whitney is my idol
I will miss Whitney very I love all her songs
You will always be in my heart every time I here your song it makes me cry I love you your a wonderful woman R.i.P
One of our Greatly Missed Artists. ....... R.I.P..,, ......LUV U WHITNEY
I miss her sooooo much :(
I miss her voice!
Beautiful Women who was gravely misunderstoo d her voice was heavenly like no other her life and legacy will live on forever through her music rest easy nippy you are now with your father
I love this woman wish I could marry her listen to her every day things would have been different with me!!
Such a beautiful voice, my favorite
sexcimomma22
and she came from Newark new jersey. Jersey stand up. Love you whitney. JerseyStrong
What an amazing voice! There will never be another Whitney Houston! RIP. I will always love you.
I will never forget you R.I.P
R.I.P I LOVE YOU WHITNEY!!!!! I will never forget you!!!!!
RIP Whitney, i love you! you will never be forgotten, you were too amazing to be forgotten!!
Good songs love u
RIP Whitney you were a legend
That girl had someone in mind when she sang I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU ---it touches my heart
RIP Whitney. You are a great inspiration to millions of people god bless you and I hope gods have in his throne singing your lungs out!!!
Forgot about this song!!- My "Foolish Days"! All or Nothing(HA! HA!)- Young!- Glad I grew up!!!
R.I.p
I like this song by her but Christina took it to another level when she honored her!!!
We love you Whitney your the best but hey Michael Jackson and you can make a great song in paradise R.I.P you will forever be loved no one will forget you, the most beautiful of them all hey tell MJ I said hi love ya and so does everyone else in the world.
, RIP to the lovely Whitney Houston
we love u whiney
aww this song makes me sad everytime. RIP :(
R.I.P Whitney
virgotwins
One of my all time favorite singers. Whitney will never ever be forgotten because the gift that she left for all of us will remain in our hearts forever. Rest in Paradise Beautiful.
shawnkearns1
Love and miss Whitney very much. Rest in peace and thank you. �� LMK
kaliyahbowma n
U look old
Whitney was one of the Greatest Singer Ever.
I never for got about u):
sk8ergrl_78
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works.
Don't read this because it actually works.
The greatest singer of all times. There will never be another. I am one of her greatest fans
I like how they came together and harmonized so beautifully. . . Love Whitney, Faith and Kelly. Great singers
donaldopajci n i
The best singer ever. You will forever be missed xoxoxox
Rip Whitney Houston you will always be missed
kingjaivionw
I love whitney houston so much���� r.i.p
taylormartin o 1 0 9
I love all of your songs you are a good singer you are so nice
There's NO other..... One of the greatest vocalist of all time... RIP Whitney
20sreid
I love this song! Love you Whitney! R.I.P.
I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!
eimankhan17
U were the best!
eimankhan17
We love u Whitney!!!!! :) R.I.P ;(
Me my mom and my dad Love you. Hope you went to Heavan. And I will always love you! R.I.P :(
Yeah she was a good singer
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