Whitney Houston
Birth Date:
August 9, 1963
Birth Place:
East Orange, New Jersey, USA
5' 8
Famous for:
Her album 'Whitney Houston' (1985)
actress, musician, producer
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I Will Always Love You


“I almost wish I could be more exciting, that I could match what is happening out there to me.” Whitney Houston

One of the top-selling pop stars of the 1980s and 1990s, Whitney Houston, born in 1963, died in 2012, broke into the music scene with her debut album, the Grammy-winning and international hit Whitney Houston (1985). She followed it up with the runaway success albums Whitney (1987), The Bodyguard Soundtrack (1992) and Waiting to Exhale (1995), among others. The multi-Grammy award winning singer, who holds records for having the most consecutive number one hits, delivered such phenomenal hits as "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," "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," "I'm Your Baby Tonight," "All the Man That I Need," a rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" (soundtrack to the movie The Bodyguard) and "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (soundtrack to the movie Waiting to Exhale).

Houston also branched out to acting. She starred in the films The Bodyguard (1992, opposite Kevin Costner), Waiting to Exhale (1995), The Preacher's Wife (1996, with Denzel Washington) and Cinderella (1997, TV). She is currently working on her new album, reportedly due for a late 2005 or April 2006 release.

A former model, 5' 8" tall Whitney, who had 34B-26-34 (1984 model card) measurements, was chosen as one of People magazine’s “The 50 Most Beautiful People in The World” (1991). She raised public attention with her rocky marriage (with musician Bobby Brown) and drug charges. In a 2002 TV interview with Diane Sawyer, Houston surprised her fans by admitting to the use of cocaine, marijuana, and various other drugs, which she claimed to have stopped.

"My message for women is to love and respect themselves, for if they love themselves then they can love others as well. I have learned to do this. Through love for myself and praying to our Lord, I have been able to overcome my personal problem." Whitney Houston


Childhood and Family:

The daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and first cousin of renowned pop singer Dionne Warwick (born on December 12, 1940), Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on August 9, 1963, in East Orange, New Jersey. Her father is John Houston, who later became Whitney’s business manager and CEO of her company, and her Godmother is queen of soul Aretha Franklin. Whitney Houston, named after actress Whitney Blake, received the nicknamed Nippy during her childhood. She has five siblings: sisters Cissy, Minique, and Donna, and brothers Gary and Michael.

"I've got a good man. He takes care of me. I don't have to be scared of anything because I know he will kick every ass... disrespect him and you've got a problem." Whitney Houston

On July 18, 1992, Houston tied the knot with musician Bobby Brown (born on February 5, 1969) and welcomed their first child, daughter Bobbie Christina Brown on March 4, 1993.

Whitney Houston had a school named after her, the Whitney E. Houston School of Creative and Performing Arts (formerly called Franklin School) located in her home town of East Orange, New Jersey. A recipient of an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Grambling University, Houston also formed the company Nippy Inc.

On February 11, 2012, Whitney was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California, of causes not directly known. She was 48 years old. Before her death, on Thursday, she visited singers Monica and Brandy, together with Clive Davis, at their rehearsals for Davis' pre-Grammy Awards party.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody


Growing up in a family with a musician mother, 11-year-old Whitney Houston began performing solo in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist church in Newark and frequently accompanied her mother to concerts. She appeared in her mother's 1978 album Think It Over and then worked as a back-up singer for such artists as Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and Lou Rawls. 16-year-old Houston was also featured as the lead vocalist on the Michael Zager Band's single, "Life's a Party."

The early 1980s saw Houston became a model and appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. An aspiring singer, Houston headlined her first recording as a featured vocalist with the Jazz-Funk ensemble, Material, in the song "Memories," which was featured on the group's album, One Down. Her life change began in 1983, when she performed at a nightclub with her mother and was noticed by Arista chief Clive Davis, who later signed her to a recording contract.

While working on her first album, Houston had her first commercial success with "Hold Me," a duet with Teddy Pendergrass in 1984. The song, which entered the top fifty on the U.S. pop chart and the top five of the R&B chart, appeared on Pendergrass' album Love Language and later on Houston's debut album. During that time, she was also auditioned for the part of Sondra Huxtable on The Cosby Show (which she lost to Sabrina Le Beauf) and guest starred on shows like “Gimme a Break’ and “Silver Spoons.”

Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut album was eventually released on February 14, 1985. It spawned the number 1 hits "Saving All My Love for You" (won Grammy’s Best Female Pop Vocal Performance), "How Will I Know," "Greatest Love of All" (nominated for Grammy’s Record of the Year) and the No. 3 hit "You Give Good Love" (nominated for Grammy’s Best Female R&B Vocal Performance). Produced by Jermaine Jackson and Narada Michael Walden, the album Whitney Houston topped the US Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at No. 1, and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys. It sold over 24 million copies worldwide (with over 14 million copies being sold in the U.S alone), making it the best-selling debut ever by a female artist, and eventually went platinum 13 times. Additionally, Houston was named “Top New Artist” and “Top New Black Artist” by Billboard Magazine and won an Emmy for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety Program on TV.” She later embarked on "The Greatest Love Tour" in 1986.

The sophomore album Whitney released in June of 1987 became an instant hit. It delivered the smash hit singles "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance), "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (nominated for Grammy's Best Female R&B Vocal Performance), "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go." With those No.1 hit songs, Houston had a total of seven consecutive number one hits in the U.S. and broke the previous record that was shared by The Beatles and The Bee Gees. For this accomplishment, Houston holds the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most consecutive number one hits. The album became the first album by a female artist ever to debut at #1, a record Houston still holds today (tied with Janet Jackson's 1989 album Rhythm Nation 1814 and Mariah Carey's 1990 debut album). It also set a then-record 4 #1 singles from one album, which later was broken by Michael Jackson in 1988. Meanwhile, Houston performed in the 1988 Olympics singing "One Moment in Time" (featured on album Whitney: The Greatest Hits), a Grammy-nominated single which went to the U.S. top five and the number one spot in the U.K.

I'm Your Baby Tonight, Houston's third studio album, hit the music stores in November of 1990. It spawned the Grammy-nominated singles "I'm Your Baby Tonight," "All the Man That I Need" (both went straight to number one in U.S.) and "I Belong To You." Under such producers as Babyface, L.A. Reid, Luther Vandross, Narada Michael Walden and Stevie Wonder, the album I'm Your Baby Tonight peaked the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at No. 1 and The Billboard 200 at No. 3. It sold over 13 million copies worldwide and four million copies in the U.S., and earned four times platinum.

Houston made a film-acting debut in Mick Jackson's musical romantic drama The Bodyguard (1992). In the film, written by Lawrence Kasdan, Houston starred as a well-known singer who hires a bodyguard (played by Kevin Costner) and then falls in love with him. For the film, Houston recorded six songs, most notably the cover version of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, a record at that time. It also won two Grammy awards, one for Record of the Year and one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Other minor hits included the Chaka Khan cover "I'm Every Woman" (nominated for Grammy's Best Female R&B Vocal Performance), "I Have Nothing," "Run to You," "Queen of the Night" and "Jesus Loves Me." Those songs were featured in the phenomenally successful soundtrack album, The Bodyguard Soundtrack. Released on November 8, 1992, the soundtrack went on to sell seventeen million copies in the U.S. and thirty-seven million worldwide, making it the best-selling soundtrack album of all time. The Bodyguard Soundtrack later went on to win a Grammy for Album of the Year and went platinum 17 times. As for the film, The Bodyguard grossed over $120 million in the U.S. and over $410 million worldwide, catapulting Whitney Houston to both film star and pop star status.

In 1995, Houston teamed with Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon to star in the drama comedy Waiting to Exhale. The film, based on Terry McMillan's novel and directed by Forest Whitaker, was very successful, earning over seventy million dollars in the U.S. alone. That same year, the soundtrack was released. It featured three songs by Houston: the number-one hit "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (nominated for Grammy’s Best Female R&B Vocal Performance), a top-ten duet with gospel artist CeCe Winans, "Count on Me" (nominated for Grammy's Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals) and "Why Does It Hurt So Bad." Also featuring some of the biggest names in the industry, including Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, the soundtrack stayed at number one on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart for five weeks and was nominated for Grammy’s Album of the Year and has sold over ten million copies to date.

In 1996, moviegoers watched Houston star as choir mistress Julia Biggs (and the wife to Courtney B. Vance’s character), in Penny Marshall's adaptation of Robert Nathan's novel, The Preacher's Wife (also starring Denzel Washington), a remake of the 1947 classic film, The Bishop's Wife. The film was of average success compared to its forerunners, and the soundtrack, a Gospel dominated album with fourteen new songs from Houston, also sold poorly compared to her earlier releases. However, it had two successful songs, the top five hit "I Believe in You and Me" (nominated for Grammy's Best Female R&B Vocal Performance) and the surprise pop and dance hit "Step by Step."

The subsequent year, Houston starred as Fairy Godmother in an all-star, multicultural version of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of the classic fairy-tale, Cinderella. Premiering on ABC on November 2, 1997, Cinderella won an Emmy Award and became the best selling video of a made-for-TV film.

After spending most of the 1990s on her acting career, Houston returned to the studio with the 1998 album My Love Is Your Love. It featured thirteen new tracks from Houston, including the international hit "When You Believe," a duet with Mariah Carey (nominated for Grammy's Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals). With the help of such songwriters as Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott , Diane Warren, and Wyclef Jean, among others, the album delivered the No. 2 hit "Heartbreak Hotel" (featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price, nominated for Grammy’s Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group) and the No. 4 hits "It's Not Right, but It's Okay" (won Grammy’s Best Female R&B Vocal Performance) and "My Love Is Your Love." The album eventually earned four times platinum and was nominated for Best R&B Album at the Grammy Awards.

Following her trouble with marijuana in early 2000, Arista released Whitney: The Greatest Hits, on April 18, 2000. It is a two CD compilation of Houston's biggest hits; "Disc One — Cool Down," featured a collection of her ballads as well as two new tracks, "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" (a duet with Enrique Iglesias) and "Same Script, Different Cast" (a duet with Deborah Cox), and "Disc Two — Throw Down" featured her dance songs and remixes, and also two new songs, "Fine" and "If I Told You That" (a duet with George Michael). In order to benefit the families of police officers and firefighters killed during the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Houston and Arista Records agreed to re-issue her version of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Love, Whitney, a follow-up to her multi-platinum "Greatest Hits" collection, was released on December 10, 2001. The album featured a collection of nine top twenty hits, including "Saving All My Love For You," "I Have Nothing" and the number 1 smash hit "I Will Always Love You." In December the following year, Houston's fifth studio album, Just Whitney, was released. It went to No. 9 on The Billboard 200 and No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart. The singles did poorly on charts, only hitting No. 96 for "Whatchalookinat," No. 72 for "One of Those Days" and No. 92 for "Try It on My Own." However, the remixes of "Love That Man" managed to reach number one on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in mid 2003. After all, Just Whitney sold over one million copies in the U.S. and two million copies worldwide.

On November 18, 2003, One Wish: The Holiday Album, was released. It spotted The Billboard 200 at No. 49 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at No. 14. The single "One Wish (for Christmas)" did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, but it went to No. 20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. One Wish: The Holiday Album has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide.

Houston also tried her hand in producing. She had produced the hit teen Disney comedy The Princess Diaries (2001, starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews), The Cheetah Girls (TV, 2003, starring Raven-Symone) and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004). She is currently appearing on her husband's reality TV show, the surprisingly hit "Being Bobby Brown."

While attending the World Music Awards in December 2004, Houston and Clive Davis announced Houston’s new album, in which a duet with Alicia Keys is rumored to be featured. The upcoming album, which was rumored to be released in late 2005 or April 2006, include duets with Wyclef Jean, Tony Bennet, R.Kelly and Toni Braxton.

"You know what I feel? I feel old. For the most part, since I was 11 years old, I've been working. I did the nightclubs. I did the modeling, all that stuff... When I first started I was having a lot of fun. But it ain't fun no more. I enjoy what I do... but it's not fun." Whitney Houston


- NAACP Image: Outstanding Female Artist "Heartbreak Hotel," 1999
- Grammy: Female R&B Vocal Performance, "It's Not Right but It's Okay," 1999
- People's Choice: Favorite Female Musical Performer; tied with Reba McEntire, 1998
- Image Awards: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture, The Preacher's Wife, 1997
- ASCAP Film and Television Music: Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures, Waiting To Exhale, 1997, for “Count On Me”
- NAACP Image: Outstanding Gospel Artist (Soundtrack), The Preacher's Wife; award shared with the Georgia Mass Choir, 1997
- NAACP Image: Outstanding Album, The Preacher's Wife, 1997
- American Music: Contemporary Artist, 1996
- Image Awards: Special Award - Entertainer of the Year, 1995
- NAACP Image: Best Female Artist, "Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)," 1995
- MTV Movie: Best Song, "I Will Always Love You," 1993
- People's Choice: Favorite Female Musical Performer, 1993
- Grammy: Record of the Year, "I Will Always Love You," award shared with David Foster, 1993
- Grammy: Album of the Year, The Bodyguard; award shared, 1993
- Grammy: Female Pop Vocal Performance, "I Will Always Love You," 1993
- American Music: Pop/Rock Single, "I Will Always Love You," 1993
- American Music: Pop/Rock Female Vocalist, 1993
- American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Single, "I Will Always Love You," 1993
- American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Vocalist, 1993
- Special American Music Award, 1993
- Billboard Music Award: #1 World Artist, 1993
- Billboard Music Award: # 1 World Single, "I Will Always Love You," 1993
- Billboard Music Award: #1 R&B Single, "I Will Always Love You," 1993
- Billboard Music: Top R&B Artist, 1991
- Billboard Music: Top R&B Album, “I'm Your Baby Tonight,” 1991
- People's Choice: Favorite Female Musical Performer, 1989
- People's Choice: Favorite Female Musical Performer, 1988
- Grammy: Female Pop Vocal Performance, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," 1988
- American Music: Pop/Rock Female Artist, 1988
- American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Female Artist, 1988
- People's Choice: Favorite Female Musical Performer; tied with Madonna, 1987
- American Music: Pop/Rock Single, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," 1987
- American Music: Pop/Rock Female Artist, 1987
- Emmy: Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, The 28th Annual Grammy Awards, 1986
- Grammy: Female Pop Vocal Performance, "Saving All My Love for You," 1986
- American Music: Pop/Rock Album, Whitney Houston, 1986
- American Music: Pop/Rock Female Artist, 1986
- American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Album, Whitney Houston, 1986
- American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Female Artist, 1986
- American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Video Single, "The Greatest Love of All," 1986
- MTV Video Music: Female Video, "How Will I Know," 1986
- American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Single, "You Give Good Love," 1985
-American Music: Soul/Rhythm and Blues Video Single, "Saving All My Love for You," 1985
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