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Whitney Houston is one of the greatest singer of all time. Her achievements are extraordinary, not only in music, but also in other areas of her career like movies and modelling. Being born in a talented family, it is not a surprise why singing comes naturally with her.
Career Beginnings and Debut album
Whitney Houston was born as the third and youngest child of John and gospel singer Cissy Houston. She was raised as a baptist, but was also exposed to Pentecostal church during her childhood years. Her family moved at the East Orange, New Jersey after a riot broke at their home in Newark on 1947 at the age of 4. By the age of eleven, Houston followed in her mother's footsteps and pursued singing career. She learned how to play the piano and had her first solo performance in their church. Her teenage life saw her continually improved her singing skills. Her mother continued to teach her how to sing while attending Mount Saint Dominic Academy High School.
By 1977 through 1984, Houston would spend most of her time touring around nightclubs singing. She would occasionally get the chance to perform with her mother on stage. At the age of fourteen, she became the lead vocals on the Michael Zager Band's single "Life's a Party." Subsequently, the head of the band wanted the young singer to strike a record deal. But her mother won't allow her to as she wanted her daughter to finish school.
While she was modelling, she continued her recording career, and strike her first major record deal after an A and R representative saw her performing with her mother in New York. The representative was too impressed and offered a worldwide recording contract to Houston. She signed with Arista on 1983. With production from Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson and Narada Michael Walden, Houston's self-titled debut album was released in February 1985. The album was promoted through singles. At the time, Houston released the best-selling debut album by a female artist. At the 1986 Grammy Awards, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year. She won her first Grammy award for 'Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female' for "Saving All My Love for You".
Houston’s second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987. The album was an enormous success. Houston became the first female artist in music history to debut at number one on the US and UK album chart while also hitting number one in several other countries around the world. The album's first four singles, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional", and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" all peaked at number one on the US Hot 100. At the Grammy Awards in 1988, Houston was nominated for three awards, including Album of the Year, winning her second Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)". In 1988, she recorded a song for NBC's coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics, "One Moment in Time", which became a Top 5 hit in the U.S., while reaching number one in the UK and Germany.
Her third studio album, I'm Your Baby Tonight, was released in November 1990. She produced and chose producers for this album and as a result, it featured production and collaborations with L.A. Reid and Babyface, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to be certified four times platinum in America. The singles released were also successful. With America at war, Houston performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV in January 1991. Her recording of the song was released as a commercial single, and reached the Top 20 on the US Hot 100.
After meeting R&B singer Bobby Brown at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, the two were married on July 18, 1992. Houston’s first film role was in The Bodyguard, released in 1992 and co-starring Kevin Costner. The film's soundtrack was a worldwide success. The soundtrack's lead single was "I Will Always Love You", written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton in 1974. Th single became a massive international hit. The song also hit number-one in nearly every other country worldwide. The soundtrack peaked at #1 and remained there for twenty non-consecutive weeks and became one of the fastest selling albums ever. With the follow-up singles "I'm Every Woman", a Chaka Khan cover, and "I Have Nothing" both peaking in the top five, Houston became the first female artist to ever have three singles in the Top 20 simultaneously. The album was certified 17x platinum in the United States with worldwide sales of 42 million. Houston won three Grammys for the album, including two of the Academy's highest honors, Album of the Year and Record of the Year. In addition, Houston won 8 American Music Awards, including the Award of Merit, and a BRIT award.
In 1995, Houston starred in her second film Waiting to Exhale. Like Houston's previous project, the film's accompanying soundtrack was also a huge hit. The album featured a range of contemporary R&B female recording artists along with Houston, such as Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Patti Labelle, and Brandy. Houston's "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" peaked at #1, and then spent a record eleven weeks at the #2 spot and eight weeks on top of the R&B Charts. The album debuted at #1, and was certified 7× Platinum in the United States, denoting shipments of seven million copies.
In 1996, Houston starred in the holiday comedy The Preacher's Wife, with Denzel Washington. The Preacher's Wife: Original Soundtrack Album included six gospel songs with Georgia Mass Choir that were recorded at the Great Star Rising Baptist Church in Atlanta. The album sold six million copies worldwide and scored hit singles with "I Believe in You and Me" and "Step by Step", becoming the largest selling gospel album of all time.
After spending much of the early and mid 1990s working on motion pictures and their adjacent soundtrack albums, Houston's first studio album in eight years, the critically acclaimed My Love Is Your Love, was released in November 1998. Recorded and mixed in only six weeks, it featured production from Rodney Jerkins, Wyclef Jean and Missy Elliott. The album debuted at #13 on Billboard 200 and became Houston's least successful album in the U.S. But, thanks to its singles the album did not disappoint Houston's career. All the singles released were Top 40 hits with four of them being dance club hits.
In May 2000, Whitney: The Greatest Hits was released. The double disc set peaked at number five in the United States and reached number one in the United Kingdom. While ballad songs were left unchanged, the album is notable for featuring house/club remixes of many of Houston's up-tempo hits, in place of their original version. Along with the album, an accompanying DVD was also released of the music videos to Houston's greatest hits. The greatest hits album was certified triple platinum in the U.S., with worldwide sales of ten million.
In August 2001, Houston signed the biggest record deal in music history with Arista/BMG. She renewed her contract for $100 million to deliver six new albums, on which she would also earn royalties. She later made an appearance on Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special. Within weeks, Houston's rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" would be re-released after the terrorist attacks of September 11. The song peaked at #6 this time on the US Hot 100. Houston donated her portion of the proceeds.
In December 2002, Houston released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney.... The album debuted at #9, position higher than her prevoius effort, on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and had the highest first week sales of any album she had released. However, all the singles—"Whatchulookinat", "One of Those Days", and "Try It on My Own"—failed to reach the top 40 on the Hot 100 chart. All three singles (along with "Love That Man") would also become Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, with two of the four hitting #1. Just Whitney was certified platinum in the United States.
In late 2003, Houston released her first holiday album One Wish: The Holiday Album, with a track listing of traditional Christmas songs. Houston produced the album with Gorden Chambers and Mervyn Warren. The album debuted at #49, very low compared to all her previous efforts, but hit top ten on Top Holiday albums. The single "One Wish (for Christmas)" reached the Top 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart but failed to create any radio pulse.
After years of controversy and turmoil, Houston separated from Bobby Brown in September 2006, filing for divorce the next month. The divorce was finalized on April 24, 2007, with Houston granted custody of the couple's daughter.
In October 2007, Arista released The Ultimate Collection. Houston released her new album, I Look To You, on August 2009. The album's first two singles are "I Look To You" and "Million Dollar Bill". The album entered the Billboard 200 at #1, with Houston's best opening-week sales of 305,000 copies, marking Houston's first number one album since The Bodyguard , and Houston's first studio album to reach number one since 1987's Whitney. "I Look to You" has been certified platinum by the RIAA for sales that exceed of one million copies, in the United States. On January 26, 2010, Houston re released her 25th anniversary edition of her debut album, entitled Whitney Houston – The Deluxe Anniversary Edition.
Today, Houston has become one of the most popular artist of all time having recording seven successful studio album. She has been dubbed "The Voice" for her power and range. She also paved way along with Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick for African-American singers, especially women to pursue their dreams in music career.
On February 11, 2012 Houston was found dead in suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub. The cause of death was not immediately known. It was later ruled by the coroner to have been "accidental drowning". Beverly Hills paramedics arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. and found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. PST. On March 22, 2012 the Los Angeles County coroner's office reported the cause of Houston's death was drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use". The office stated the amount of cocaine found in Houston's body indicates she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results revealed additional drugs in her system: Benadryl, Xanax, marijuana and Flexiril. The manner of death was listed as an "accident".
Awards & Certifications
|1986||Saving All My Love For You||Best Female Pop Vocal Performance|
|1988||I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)||Best Female Pop Vocal Performance|
|1994||The Bodyguard: Soundtrack||Album Of The Year|
|1994||I Will Always Love You||Record of the Year|
|1994||I Will Always Love You||Best Female Pop Vocal Performance|
|2000||It's Not Right but It's Okay||Best Female R&B Vocal Performance|
|I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)||Platinum|
|I Will Always Love You||4x Platinum|
|Exhale (Shoop Shoop)||Platinum|
|I Believe in You and Me||Platinum|
|My Love Is Your Love||Platinum|
|The Star Spangled Banner||Platinum|
|Whitney Houston (1985)||13x Platinum [Diamond]|
|Whitney (1987)||9x Platinum|
|I'm Your Baby Tonight (1990)||4x Platinum|
|The Bodyguard: Soundtrack (1992)||17x Platinum [Diamond]|
|Waiting To Exhale: Soundtrack (1995)||7x Platinum|
|The Preacher's Wife: Soundtrack (1996)||3x Platinum|
|My Love Is Your Love (1998)||3x Platinum|
|Just Whitney (2002)||Platinum|
|I Look To You (2009)||Platinum|
|1985||Saving All My Love For You||1||Whitney Houston|
|1985||How Will I Know||1||Whitney Houston|
|1986||Greatest Love of All||1||Whitney Houston|
|1987||I Wanna Dance With Somebody||1||Whitney|
|1987||Didn't We Almost Have It All||1||Whitney|
|1988||Where Do Broken Hearts Go||1||Whitney|
|1990||I'm Your Baby Tonight||1||I'm Your Baby Tonight|
|1990||All The Man That I Need||1||I'm Your Baby Tonight|
|1992||I Will Always Love You||1||The Bodyguard: Soundtrack Album|
|1995||Exhale (Shoop Shoop)||1||Waiting To Exhale: Soundtrack|
|1999||Heartbreak Hotel||2||My Love Is Your Love|
Tours & Concerts
No Tour Dates Announced
This is a Comprehensive list of the recordings made by Whitney Houston. It includes her Studio Albums, Soundtrack Albums and Compilations
|1985||Whitney Houston||February 14, 1985||Arista|
|1987||Whitney||June 29, 1987||Arista|
|1990||I'm Your Baby Tonight||November 6, 1990||Arista|
|1998||My Love is Your Love||November 17, 1998||Arista|
|2002||Just Whitney...||December 10, 2002||Arista|
|2003||One Wish: The Holiday Album||2003||Arista|
|2009||I Look To You||August 28, 2009||Arista|
|1992||The Bodyguard||November 17, 1992||Arista|
|1995||Waiting To Exhale||November 28, 1995||Arista|
|1996||The Preacher's Wife||November 26, 1996||Arista|
|1984||Hold Me (with Teddy Pendergrass)||46||Whitney Houston|
|1985||Someone for Me||-|
|Thinking About You||-|
|You Give Good Love||3|
|Saving All My Love For You||1|
|1986||How Will I Know||1|
|Greatest Love Of All||1|
|1987||I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)||1||Whitney|
|Didn't We Almost Have It All||1|
|1988||Where Do Broken Hearts Go||1|
|Love Will Save The Day||9|
|I Know Him So Well||-|
|One Moment in Time||5||Olympics '88: The Album|
|1990||I'm Your Baby Tonight||1||I'm Your Baby Tonight|
|All the Man That I Need||1|
|My Name Is Not Susan||20|
|I Belong To You||-|
|1992||We Didn't Know||-|
|I Will Always Love You||1||The Bodyguard|
|1993||I'm Every Woman||4|
|I Have Nothing||4|
|Run To You||31|
|Queen of the Night||-|
|1995||Exhale (Shoop Shoop)||1||Waiting To Exhale|
|1996||Count on Me (featuring CeCe Winans)||8|
|Why Does It Hurt So Bad||26|
|I Believe in You and Me||4||The Preacher's Wife|
|1997||Step By Step||15|
|My Heart Is Calling||77|
|1998||When You Believe(with Mariah Carey)||15||My Love Is Your Love|
|It's Not Right but It's Okay||4|
|My Love Is Your Love||4|
|2000||I Learned from the Best||27|
|Could I Have This Kiss Forever (with Enrique Iglesias)||52||Greatest Hits|
|If I Told You That||-|
|Same Script, Different Cast (with Deborah Cox)||70|
|2001||The Star Spangled Banner||6||Non album Single|
|2003||One of Those Days||72|
|Try It on My Own||84|
|Love That Man||-|
|One Wish (for Christmas)||-||One Wish: The Holiday Album|
|2009||I Look To You||70||I Look To You|
|Million Dollar Bill||100|
|2010||I Didn't Know My Own Strength||-|
Compilations & Live Releases
April 18, 2000
November 20, 2001
October 29, 2007
Whitney Houston Images
- BeBe & CeCe Winans
- Lionel Richie
- Diana Ross
- Tina Turner
- Cissy Houston
- Aretha Franklin
- Dionne Warwick
- Her remake of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" for The Bodyguard (1992) became the topic of the NBC news show "Now" (1993) because it was so overplayed and people were sick of it. It was the first song ever to be the topic on a news show for being too overplayed.
- She has fourteen Gold ceritified singles in US