AMERICAN SINGER AND ACTRESS
Whitney Houston was an American singer and actress whose first four albums, released between 1985 and 1992, amassed global sales in excess of 86 million copies.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide. She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 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 women artists who followed in her footsteps.
Houston began singing in church as a child and became a background vocalist while in high school. With the guidance of Arista Records chairman Clive Davis, she signed to the label at the age of 19. Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and became two of the world’s best-selling albums of all time. She became the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from “Saving All My Love for You” in 1985 to “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” in 1988.
Houston made her screen acting debut in the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992). She recorded seven songs for the film’s soundtrack, including “I Will Always Love You”, which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. The soundtrack album received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the world’s best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston made other high-profile film appearances, including Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996). The theme song “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” became her eleventh and final number-one single on the Hot 100 chart, while The Preacher Wife’s soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.
Following the critical and commercial success of My Love Is Your Love (1998), Houston signed a $100 million contract with Arista Records. However, her personal struggles began overshadowing her career, and the album Just Whitney (2002) received mixed reviews. Her drug use and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown were widely publicized in media. After a six-year break from recording, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart with her final studio album, I Look to You (2009).
In spite of these growing personal troubles, Houston continued to progress in her career, crossing over successfully into acting in 1992 by starring opposite Kevin Costner in the wildly popular The Bodyguard. With this project, she set a trend for her films to follow: For each movie she also released hit singles, creating sensational record sales for the soundtracks. Her smash single from The Bodyguard, a cover of Dolly Parton’s 1974 “I Will Always Love You,” proved to be Houston’s biggest hit ever, spending a record-breaking 14 weeks atop the U.S. charts. The soundtrack album went on to win Houston three Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Later in the 1990s, Houston also starred in Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife, both accompanied by hit soundtracks as well.
In 1998, Houston released My Love Is Your Love, her first non-soundtrack studio album in many years, and it earned her another Grammy for the single “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.” But the album could not top the chart performance of her previous full-length releases. However, her collaboration with Mariah Carey in the animated film The Prince of Egypt produced a hit single, “When You Believe,” which won an Academy Award.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Houston’s increasingly rocky marriage, struggles with drugs and health problems threatened to derail her career. Several concert cancellations and a notorious TV interview with Diane Sawyer in 2002 in which Houston appeared far too thin and in poor health led many to speculate that she was on the verge of a breakdown.
In 2004 Bobby Brown began filming a reality show for Bravo entitled Being Bobby Brown; Houston received substantial airtime. The show aired during the worst years of the couple’s crumbling marriage; drug use, lifestyle excess and bad behavior were all caught on tape and Houston’s reputation sunk to new lows. Houston tried to ignore the controversy, charging ahead with her music by releasing Just Whitney… to combat her detractors, but it did not match the success of her earlier works. In spite of her troubled relationship, Houston was still celebrated as a singer, being named the most-awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records in 2006.
Over the next few years, Houston attempted to repair her marriage and to break her drug habit, but after several relapses her mother Cissy had to step in. As Houston explained to Oprah Winfrey in 2009: “[My mother] walks in with the sheriff and she says: ‘I have a court injunction here. You do it my way or we’re not going to do this at all. You’re going to go on TV, and you’re going to retire. And say you’re going to give this up because it’s not worth it.'” Whitney took a break from her career, divorced Bobby Brown in 2007 and won sole custody of their child, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown.
On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, California. The coroner’s report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards, at which she was originally scheduled to perform, and featured prominently in international media.
Daughter Bobbi Kristina dealt with much tumult after the death of her mother. She was hospitalized immediately after the passing of Houston due to emotional trauma, but later spoke with Winfrey about returning to her mother’s home and feeling her mother’s presence. Houston left everything to her daughter, but with grandmother Cissy fearing that the fortune could become the target of predators, sister-in-law Pat Houston became the executor of the estate.
Bobbi Kristina had public conflicts with her grandmother over the publishing of the Houston biography Remembering Whitney. In early 2014 she was reported to have been married to Nick Gordon, who had been taken in by Houston during his childhood and raised with Bobbi Kristina, yet later reports stated that they weren’t legally wed. In another confrontation, she made disparaging comments via Twitter about Angela Bassett after the actress/director opted to cast a trained actress in the lead role of a Houston biopic instead of Bobbi Kristina.
On January 31, 2015, nearly three years to the date of her mother’s death, Bobbi Kristina was discovered face down in a bathtub in her Roswell, Georgia home by associate Max Lomas. After being admitted to North Fulton Hospital, she was eventually taken to Emory University Hospital, having been placed into a medically-induced coma.
Bobby Brown and grandmother Cissy visited her bedside amid calls for public support and prayer, with a public candlelight vigil held on February 10th in suburban Atlanta. Bobbi Kristina Brown died on July 26, 2015 at Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia. She was 22 years old.
Investigations remain ongoing into the circumstances of how the young woman was found and her home situation with Gordon. It was also revealed by the Associated Press via police reports that days before she was hospitalized, Bobbi Kristina had lost control of a jeep she was driving and crashed into another car, with two people receiving medical attention.
Copyright © 2018 SEAN-O-VISTA
Powered with By Wi-Mikandra