Monday, February 13, 2012
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model.
Whitney Houston was born in what was then a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, the third and youngest child of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. (September 13, 1920 – February 2, 2003), and gospel singer Cissy Houston (née Emily Drinkard). She was mainly of African American descent, with some Native American and Dutch ancestry. Her mother, along with cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin were all notable figures in the gospel, rhythm and blues, pop, and soul genres. Houston was raised a Baptist, but was also exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle class area in East Orange, New Jersey when she was four.
Inspired by prominent soul singers in her family, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and her godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing with her New Hope Baptist Church's junior gospel choir at age 11. She also learned to play the piano in the church at Newark. Her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah".
After she began performing alongside her mother in night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis. Houston released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.
Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits ("Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know", "Greatest Love of All", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"). She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Album") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release. The album was named Rolling Stone's best album of 1986, and was ranked at number 254 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African-American female artists to follow in her footsteps.
Houston's first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single "I Will Always Love You", became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period. The album makes her the only female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history. Three years after the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love (1998), she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records. She released her fifth studio album Just Whitney in 2002, and the Christmas-themed One Wish: The Holiday Album in 2003. In 2009, Houston released her seventh studio album I Look to You.
In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time. Her awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards in her lifetime. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide.
On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California, of causes not immediately known. Beverly Hills paramedics arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. and found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR. Houston was pronounced dead at 4:00 p.m. PST. Local police said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent". Houston's death came on the night before music's biggest showcase, the Grammys.
I Will Always Love You
Note: I first know about her was during my travel to Melbourne in 1993. I saw her film The Bodyguard in the plane of Quantas's flight. The beautiful black lady with a powerful voice, her name is Whitney Houston. I was impressed with the song, which won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The song was the famous I Will Always Love You. Houston's version of the song was a massive worldwide success, appearing at number 68 on Billboard's "Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song stayed at number one in the United States throughout January and February in 1993, making it the first time Billboard didn't rank a new number one single until March of the new year. Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was also the year-end single of 1993 in the U.S. Similarly, in the U.K., Houston's version was ranked the number one single of 1992, and then made the countdown again in 1993 where it was ranked number nine, marking the first time any artist or group had the same single ranked in the top 10 of the year-end review two years in a row.In Australia, it was the number 17 single of 1992 and the number two song of 1993.
Her journey to popularity in the entertainment industry continues....Her success carried her beyond music to movies, and this time in Hollywood.
At her peak, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's bestselling artists.
By 1996, she told Oprah, "[doing drugs] was an everyday thing... I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself.(Source: wikipedia)
In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Houston admitted to using both cocaine and marijuana during her ill-fated marriage to Bobby Brown.(http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/whitney-houston-death-tony-bennett-drug-legalization-grammys-289618)
She struggle on, behind the glamor of her fame in the entertainment industry.
Sad life journey
It is pity that she died at such a young age of 48.....from a gospel singer she become a top pop singer, but the glory did not bring her good life, she was reported to have drug problem. A talented singer passed away so early when she is still able to continue to higher ground.....
A journey with heavy heart, behind the glory, behind the success, that was the sad reality of her private life, not disclose to her fans and outside world. I still remember that her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah"......she fell to drug on the way to her personal glory....she fell to the temptation of the world....of entertainment industry.....and lost her way...
On the Thursday before her death, February 9, 2012, Houston visited singers Brandy and Monica, together with Clive Davis, at their rehearsals for Davis' pre-Grammy Awards party. That same day, she made her last public performance, when she joined Kelly Price on stage at the party and sang " Yes, Jesus Loves Me".
A sad life for Whitney Houston, despite her successful singing career.
Good Bye, Whitney Houston......