Born in Newark (August 9, 1963), New Jersey, the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, cousin of the 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston was the only artist in the world to have released seven consecutive platinum albums. The singer started singing as a child in the church.
In her teens, Whitney used to go with her mother to concerts. She was a back-up singer for artists like Lou Rawls and Chaka Khan. Meanwhile, she pursued a modeling and acting career, appearing in the series “Gimme a Break” and “Silver Spoon”. Her first recording as a solo singer came with Bill Laswell’s album Material.
Winner of six Grammy Awards, Houston has sold over 140 million albums and 50 million singles, among which the song “I Will Always Love You”, released in 1993, became one of the best selling songs of all time.
In 1985, Houston launched her debut album, “Whitney Houston”, which sold millions of units. “Saving All My Love for You” earned her first Grammy for best pop artist.
Another multi-platinum winning album, “Whitney”, was released in 1987.
In 1992 she married Bobby Brown, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship. In 1993, Houston gave birth to a daughter, Bobbi Kristina. The couple divorced in 2007.
Also in 1992 she co-starred Kevin Costner in the classic movie “The Bodyguard”, which featured one of her most memorable songs, “I Will Always Love You”. Whitney also won the Grammy for best pop artist and the soundtrack received a Grammy for best album of the year.
In 1998, Whitney released the album “My Love Is Your Love” for which she collaborated with Babyface, David Foster, Missy Elliott, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Q-Tip.
In 1998, “My Love Is Your Love” earned her a Grammy for Best R & B artist.
In a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the singer said that, until the release of the movie “The Preacher’s Wife” she used to take drugs daily. In the same interview, Houston blamed her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown, who was charged with domestic violence in 1993.
Houston checked into rehab for addiction several times. In 2010 she said she was cured of this addiction, as also stated in an interview with Winfrey. However, during all this time, concerts were canceled, and her life was marked by bizarre public appearances and possession of drug.
Houston had a successful comeback in 2009 with the album “I Look To You”, which debuted at number 1 on her charts and went platinum.
But soon things began to escalate. At a concert to promote the album, during the TV show “Good Morning America,” her voice seemed broken.
A world tour to promote the album released in 2009 confirmed that Whitney had lost her voice. Many fans were left unimpressed, some even left the concerts. Canceled shows sparked speculation that the singer was abusing drugs again, but her spokesmen denied the allegations, blaming her condition on illness.
Recently, the press wrote that Whitney Houston was facing bankruptcy and that she was financially supported by her recording company, from which she was allegedly receiving a check in advance for the next album.
The pages of the Guinness Book Of World Records, Houston is included as the most awarded artist of all time.