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Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston

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Also Known As: Whitney Elizabeth Houston, Whitney Houston-Brown, Nippy Houston Died: February 11, 2012
Born: August 9, 1963 Cause of Death: Accidental Drowning, Drug Overdose
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: singer, actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A gifted R&B-pop-gospel singer possessing the most astonishing vocal range since Barbara Streisand, the model-turned-songstress Whitney Houston hit the scene in a big way in 1985, successfully alternating danceable mainstream pop with plush ballads on her self-titled debut album. Over a short period, she became one of the most successful female solo artists in the history of recorded music. No slouch in the acting department, Houston had the looks and talent for the big screen as well. Without question, she made her biggest onscreen splash as the damsel-in-distress in the iconic romantic-drama, "The Bodyguard" (1992) opposite Kevin Costner. She would later draw favorable reviews for other memorable films, including "Waiting to Exhale" (1995) and the "Preacher's Wife" (1996), but it was impossible to top the success of her freshman film effort and its seemingly omnipresent song, "I Will Always Love You." Unfortunately, a decade later, things began going downhill for Houston, with rumors of drug abuse, cancelled stage appearances and overall chaos reigning between the singer and her husband, R&B singer Bobby Brown. Following her divorce from Brown and a period of seclusion, she attempted a comeback...

A gifted R&B-pop-gospel singer possessing the most astonishing vocal range since Barbara Streisand, the model-turned-songstress Whitney Houston hit the scene in a big way in 1985, successfully alternating danceable mainstream pop with plush ballads on her self-titled debut album. Over a short period, she became one of the most successful female solo artists in the history of recorded music. No slouch in the acting department, Houston had the looks and talent for the big screen as well. Without question, she made her biggest onscreen splash as the damsel-in-distress in the iconic romantic-drama, "The Bodyguard" (1992) opposite Kevin Costner. She would later draw favorable reviews for other memorable films, including "Waiting to Exhale" (1995) and the "Preacher's Wife" (1996), but it was impossible to top the success of her freshman film effort and its seemingly omnipresent song, "I Will Always Love You." Unfortunately, a decade later, things began going downhill for Houston, with rumors of drug abuse, cancelled stage appearances and overall chaos reigning between the singer and her husband, R&B singer Bobby Brown. Following her divorce from Brown and a period of seclusion, she attempted a comeback with a new album in 2009 and world tour in 2010. Houston's return to outpatient rehab a year later suggested the struggling diva had more work to do on herself. Despite setbacks, fans remained devoted to Houston and waited for a comeback that never came. On Feb. 11, 2012, the beloved singer passed away at age 48, shocking the public and the music industry who were gathered that weekend to celebrate the Grammy Awards.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sparkle (2012)
2.
 Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997) Fairy Godmother
3.
 Scratch the Surface (1997) Herself
4.
 Preacher's Wife, The (1996) Julia Biggs
5.
 Waiting to Exhale (1995) Savannah Jackson
6.
 The Bodyguard (1992) Rachel Marron
7.
 VH1 Divas Duets (2003)
8.
 Primetime Special Edition: Whitney Houston (2002) Featuring Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1974:
Began singing at age 11 in her mother's choir (date approximate)
1978:
Worked as a background vocalist for singers Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls, beginning at age 15 (date approximate)
1981:
Appeared on the cover of several magazines at age 18; also sang a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, "Hold Me" (date approximate)
1983:
Signed to a recording contract by Clive Davis of Arista Records at age 19
1985:
Made professional solo performance debut at the New York nightclub "Sweetwater's"
1985:
Performed the song "Shock Me," for the film "Perfect"
1985:
Released debut album <i>Whitney Houston</i>; sold over 13 million copies, making it the best-selling debut ever by a female artist
1986:
Performed the song "The Greatest Love of All" for the film "School for Vandals"
1987:
Second album <i>Whitney</i> debuted at the top of the pop charts, the first time ever for a female solo act
1992:
Made feature film acting debut in "The Bodyguard," a romantic drama with Kevin Costner; re-recorded the Dolly Parton song "I Will Always Love You" for the soundtrack
1995:
Co-starred in the ensemble drama "Waiting to Exhale" and contributed the single "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" to the soundtrack
1995:
Starred alongside Denzel Washington in "The Preacher's Wife" and received Grammy Award nominations for the album's soundtrack, which featured traditional and contemporary gospel songs
:
Formed Houston Productions
1996:
Houston Productions signed two-year, non-exclusive first look deal with Touchstone Pictures
1997:
Co-executive produced and starred in an updated TV remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" (ABC); played the Fairy Godmother to Brandy's Cinderella
1998:
Collaborated with Mariah Carey on the single "When You Believe" for the animated film "The Prince of Egypt"
1998:
Released first album in eight years <i>My Love Is Your Love</i>; collaborated with Missy Elliott, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Q-Tip
2000:
Arrested in Hawaii when airline authorities reportedly found marijuana in her luggage (charges later dismissed)
2000:
Dropped from the Academy Awards telecast officially because of a sore throat, but reportedly due to poor rehearsals
2000:
Released the two-disc compilation <i>Greatest Hits</i>, which featured one disc of hits and one of remixes; included duets with Enrique Iglesias, George Michael, and Deborah Cox
2001:
Served as a producer of the Disney film "The Princess Diaries"
2001:
Signed exclusive long-term contract with Arista Records worth a reported $100 million
2002:
Sued for $100 million by her father's entertainment company for breach of contract; lawsuit later thrown out by a superior court judge
2002:
Admitted to Diane Sawyer on the ABC news program "Primetime Live" that she abused marijuana, cocaine and alcohol
2004:
Checked into a drug rehab center, but checked out within a week
2005:
Under orders from Fulton County probate court, was taken to Crossroads, a drug rehabilitation clinic in Antigua, West Indies founded by Eric Clapton
2005:
Appeared alongside husband Bobby Brown and family on the Bravo reality series "Being Bobby Brown"; couple filed for divorce the following year
2009:
Gave first interview in seven years on season premiere of "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
2009:
Released comeback album <i>I Look to You</i>; entered <i>Billboard</i> albums chart at No. 1
2012:
Final film appearance, a remake of the 1976 drama "Sparkle" opposite Jordan Sparks; released posthumously
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Houston has also won 11 American Music Awards

She is a recipient of a honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Grambling University.

"The press won't let me be a regular person. It used to hurt me really badly. Because I'm a true-to-myself person. I was raised that way. I don't live lies. It was hard to accept, because you go out in the public and people watch what you do. Now I know it's a commodity, a business, for them. ... To me, our society is very weird about what they get off on." --Whitney Houston quoted in New York Post, December 14, 1995

In October 2002, Whitney Houston's dad's company sues her for $100 million. John Houston Entertainment claims the singer owes management fees for helping sort out her legal troubles during her pot bust and helping negotiate her nine-figure record contract

In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer which aired in December 2002, Houston admitted to abusing drugs--including marijuana, alcohol, cocaine and pills--in her past but claimed she had beaten her addictions through prayer

In December 2003, Police considered whether to pursue charges against singer Bobby Brown, after officers responded to a domestic abuse call by his wife Whitney Houston. When officers arrived at the couple's home they found Houston with a cut upper lip and a bruised cheek.

Whitney Houston entered a drug rehab clinic at an undisclosed facility, March 15, 2003.

On March 23, 2005, it was reported than year after her first reported stay in rehab, Whitney Houston again checked into a rehabilitation facility.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Bobby Brown. Singer. Born c. 1969; began career with the teen singing group New Edition; had hit solo albums with "Don't Be Cruel" and "Bobby"; had three children born out of wedlock to two other women prior to marrying Houston; met in 1989; married July 18, 1992; couple admitted to marital problems in September 1995; reportedly separated in June 1998; have since reunited.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John R Houston. Manager. Houston's business manager and CEO of her company, Nippy Inc. (named for Whitney's childhood nickname); died on February 2, 2003 from diabetes and heart disease.
mother:
Cissy Houston. Singer.
cousin:
Dionne Warwick. Singer.
brother:
Gary Garland Houston. Singer. Arrested for possesion of drugs in March 1996.
brother:
Michael Houston. Arrested on drug charges in August 2001.
sister-in-law:
Donna Houston. Runs The Whitney Houston Foundation for Children.
daughter:
Bobbie Christina Brown. Born in March 1993; father Bobby Brown.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Good Girl, Bad Girl" Birch Lane Press

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