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Whitney Houston (1963-2012)
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (Newark, August 9, 1963 – Los Angeles, February 11, 2012).
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Whitney Houston was an American R&B, pop and gospel singer, as well as an actress, in the city of Newark (NJ), New Jersey. She was one of the most popular and famous singers of the 1980s and 1990s, receiving six Grammy Awards, several American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, two Emmys, an MTV Video Music Award, and an MTV Movie Award. She has sold approximately 130 million records and more than 50 million singles.
Whitney Houston has influenced the career of various artists such as Kelly Price, Monica, Robin Thicke, Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys and other pop and R&B singers. Recognized for her great vocal ability (reaching third place on the list of the 22 Best Voices in Music according to MTV (see the list on the English Wikipedia). She owns one of the voices with the widest range and a one of the most beautiful in North America.
Daughter of Cissy Houston, cousin of Dionne Warwick, and godmother to Aretha Franklin, all of whom are respected gospel/R&B/soul singers, as a result, music has always been a part of her life.
At the age of eleven, he began to train as a vocalist in the children’s gospel choir of the “New Hope Baptist” church in Newark, New Jersey, and would later accompany his mother in concerts.
Although Baptist, she studied at a Catholic high school. After appearing on her mother’s 1978 album “Think It Over,” she began backing up other well-known performers such as Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson, and Lou Rawls. At the age of 16, he was offered to be the lead vocalist on the Michael Zager band’s single, “Life’s a Party” in 1978. In the early eighties he began to appear in various magazines as a model (even appearing on the occasional cover).
In 1982, she made the first recording of herself as a singer with the Jazz-Funk ensemble called “Material”. The song was titled “Memories” and was on the group’s album, “One Down.”
Whitney was offered a recording contract with Arista Records in 1983, shortly after a company boss, Clives Davis, overheard her performing at a nightclub with her mother. Immediately the process of making her first album was launched.
In 1984, she had her first commercial success with “Hold Me”, a duet with Teddy Pendergrass (which appeared on his album, “Love Language”, and later on her own first album). The single reached number fifty on the US Pop chart and the top 5 on the R&B chart. During that time, she auditioned for the role 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’s popularity was on the rise.
He debuted in 1985 with “Whitney Houston” at age 21. Hers, at first slow, her rise in the sales charts of hers was promoted by the success of her singles; with “You Give Good Love” she peaked at number 3 and “Saving All My Love For You”, “How Will I Know” and “Greatest Love Of All” were all number ones.
In March 1986, Whitney Houston reached number one on the record sales charts. The album sold nearly 10 million copies worldwide (5 million copies sold in the United States alone). The rest of 1986 she embarked on “The Greatest Love Tour.”
Released in June 1987, “Whitney” became the first album by a female artist to reach number one in the US and UK. The first single, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” (originally titled “I’m Gonna Dance With Somebody” on their 1986 tour) went straight to number one, along with the singles “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.
With this he achieved a total of seven consecutive number ones in the United States, thus surpassing the previous record of 6 consecutive number ones shared by The Beatles and the Bee Gees. With the single “One Moment In Time” she would get number 1 in England in 1988, as well as a new Top 5 in her native country and an international classic.
The third album of his career, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” was released in November 1990, reaching number 3 on the sales list of the US magazine Billboard. The first two singles; “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “All The Man That I Need” were number ones in the United States, giving her a total of nine number ones at this point in her career.
Two more songs were added to his collection of singles, “Miracle” and “My Name Is Not Susan”, peaking at number 9 and number 20 respectively. Another song from the album, “I Belong To You” also found airplay on urban stations across the country and peaked at number ten on the R&B charts. The album sold 10 million copies worldwide, 4 million of them in the United States. As always, after a record release, he kicked off the “I’m Your Baby Tonight” world tour. The album got 4 “Billboard Music Awards” at the 1991 ceremony.
In January 1991, he sang the United States national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”, at Super Bowl No. XXV (the American football final) held in Tampa (Florida). This interpretation was later recorded as a single due to popular demand, reaching number 20 in the United States, being the only version of the American anthem that manages to be a sales success, obtaining the platinum disc. The single also helped raise money for the American Red Cross to benefit Gulf War veterans and their families.
In 1989 he created his own foundation, “Whitney Houston Foundation For Children”, which deals with helping numerous children with problems that can range from being homeless to caring for children with cancer.
In 1992, he made his first foray into the cinema with Kevin Costner in the film The Bodyguard. Whitney recorded 6 new songs for the soundtrack, including a cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” with which she shattered all expectations. Released as a single in November, it was her tenth number one in the United States, becoming the best-selling single of 1992 in the United Kingdom and the United States, staying 10 weeks and 14 weeks respectively at that position.
Over time, it became one of the best-selling singles in history. The album also includes “I Have Nothing”, written by David Foster and Linda Thompson. “I Have Nothing” became a bestseller in 1993, and was nominated for Best Song at the Oscars. More hit singles followed: a cover of Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman,” “Run To You” (which would also receive an Oscar nomination for Best Song), and “Queen Of The Night,” which was co-written by Whitney herself. The album has sold 13 million copies worldwide in its first year and more than 6 million so far.
On July 18, 1992, Whitney married singer Bobby Brown in her home state of New Jersey. In March 1993, Whitney gave birth to a girl named Bobbi Kristina, who can be heard with her mother on the song “My Love Is Your Love” and on “Little Drummer Boy” from the album One Wish. – The Holiday Album”.
In 1995 he gets back in front of the cameras to shoot “Waiting To Exhale” (Waiting for a breath), based on a novel by Terry McMillans about the lives of four African-American women. Whitney plays one of the roles, a graceful but troubled woman named Savannah. The cast is completed by Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon. The film’s director is Forest Whitaker. Filming begins in the spring of 1995, and opens in December reaching 70 million dollars in box office collection.
The ‘Waiting To Exhale’ soundtrack featured 3 new Whitney songs; ‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)’, ‘Count On Me’ (duet with CeCe Winans), which was co-written by Whitney and Babyface, and ‘Why Does It Hurt So Bad’. The soundtrack quickly reached number 1, counting 10 million copies shipped. Her first single, ‘Exhale (Shoop Shoop)’, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in its first week, marking the third time in history that this has happened. The single moves to #2 the following week, where it stays for a record time that leads to becoming the single that has spent the most weeks at that position in chart history.
His next film starred opposite Denzel Washington, being a remake of the classic Hollywood film “The Bishop’s Wife” about an angel who comes down to Earth to help a Protestant church family and ends up falling in love with the bishop’s wife. Shepherd. This remake was titled “The Preacher’s Wife” (La Mujer del Preacher).
The film began shooting in January 1996, with Whitney as the preacher’s wife, Denzel as the angel, and Courtney B. Vance as the preacher. The film, directed by Penny Marshall, was released in the United States on December 13, 1996. Whitney had long been planning a Gospel album, and the film’s soundtrack provided her with the opportunity to do so.
The soundtrack for “The Preacher’s Wife” was released a month before the film and became the best-selling Gospel album in history. Whitney is the singing voice on 14 of the album’s 15 tracks, including the hits “I Believe In You And Me”, and “Step By Step”, written by Annie Lennox.
Whitney’s next job was the television movie ‘Cinderella’, shot in the summer of 1997. It was produced by Whitney’s own production company, Brown House Productions. The show aired on the US ABC television network on November 2, 1997. It drew an audience of over 60 million Americans (one of the most watched TV movies ever), garnering 7 Award nominations. Emmy. Houston served as an executive producer on the project, which starred Brandy, Whoopi Goldberg and Whitney herself as the Fairy Godmother.
In 1998 he recorded a duet with Mariah Carey in a New York studio, the two divas sang together for the first time a song titled “When You Believe” included in the soundtrack of the animated film “The Prince of Egypt”, which narrates the life of Moses. The song was released in November and won the Oscar for Best Song in March 1999.
After a long wait that included a series of international tours, Whitney returned to the studio to release her first non-soundtrack album in eight years, “My Love Is Your Love.” The album went on to sell close to 10 million copies worldwide, and earned Whitney her sixth Grammy (Best Female R&B Vocal Performance) for the single “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” in February 2000.
Three were the main singles; “Heartbreak Hotel” – which featured vocals from Kelly Price and Faith Evans – would go to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart, while the next two singles, “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” and “My Love Is Your Love” would become Top 5 hits in America and well-known hits internationally.
“My Love Is Your Love” was immediately followed by the release of “Whitney: The Greatest Hits” in May 2000. The double album, which includes Whitney’s hits as well as remixes and some rarities, has sold ten million copies. copies worldwide to date. In addition to the classic singles from his – at the time – 15-year career, he included four new tracks.
“If I Told You That” in a duet with George Michael and “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” in a duet with Enrique Iglesias, would serve to promote the work and would become Top 10 hits in England, a country where the album reached number 1 on the sales list.
Whitney released the album “Just Whitney” in December 2002, debuting at number 9 on the Billboard sales chart, while he was in the midst of a series of rather heavy personal problems related to his personal abuse and drugs. The artist acknowledged that she used cocaine, marijuana and other types of drugs.
“Just Whitney” was certified platinum by the RIIA a few months later, and contained the singles “Whatchulookinat”, “One Of Those Days”, “Try It On My Own” and “Love That Man”, three of which reached number 1 on the Billboard dance music chart.
Whitney then produced two new jobs for Disney in 2003: the TV movie “The Cheetah Girls” (starring Raven-Symone) and “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.” In November 2003, she saw the light of her sixth studio project, a Christmas album titled “One Wish: The Holiday Album”.
The album consisted of classic Christmas songs like “The First Noel”, “Deck The Halls/Silent Night”, “Little Drummer Boy” (featuring daughter Bobbi Kristina), and a remake of the Freddie Jackson song “One Wish”. It was certified gold in the United States.
After a five-day stay in a drug rehab center in March 2004 (repeating in March 2005 for two months), she embarked on the “Soul Divas” international tour with Natalie Cole and Dionne Warwick (which lasted throughout that summer). On September 14, 2004, she performed “I Believe In You And Me” and “I Will Always Love You” at the World Music Awards, as a tribute to her producer (and old friend of hers), Clive Davis.
More recently, American viewers had the opportunity to see Whitney on her husband’s television show “Being Bobby Brown”, which is a reality show that takes place in the married couple’s family home and is based on her daily life. .
Among her projects is participating in a remake of the 1970s thriller “Diva.” As of May 2006, Houston begins with the preparations for her new record work.
Various leaks report that Whitney is once again battling her drug addiction. The “National Enquirer” magazine published photos of her bathroom (supposedly from her house) with objects for the preparation of drugs, these photos being recognized by Tina Brown (Bobby Brown’s sister).
This story has received extensive media coverage, and in April 2006 it was rumored that she has returned to drug rehab for the third time, although her brother has denied these facts. Whitney’s official website issued the following note: “Please echo that the news about Whitney’s health currently circulating in the media is not true and totally unfounded.”
In September 2006, Whitney’s career and life in the face of public opinion took a radical turn. After speculation and false news Whitney reappears with Clive Davis radiant and visibly well recovered at the SHE, the rumors cease and the press once again shows good manners towards the artist. The artist’s representatives confirm the separation of the Houston-Brown couple.
Months later, in February 2007, Whitney appears spectacular and radiant at the pre-grammy gala, confirming her good physical condition and hinting that her return to the stage is getting closer. Clive Davis affirms that Whitney continues with the recording of her new album and announces that she is preparing a great return to the world of music for 2007.
At the beginning of 2007 the single “Family” appeared, belonging to a soundtrack, in which Whitney returned to the music scene with Cissy Houston (her mother), Dionne Warwick (her cousin) and Bobbi Kristina (her daughter).
On Thursday, February 9, 2012, Houston visited singers Brandy Norwood and Monica Arnold, along with their producer Clive Davis, to perform their rehearsals for the 2012 Grammy Awards pre-party.
On February 11, 2012, Whitney died at the age of 48 in a hotel in Beverly Hills (Los Angeles), initially of unknown causes.
In later information, it was reported that the American singer and actress was found lifeless in the bathtub of her room. Her death was determined at 3:55 p.m. (23:55 GMT) on Saturday, 12 minutes after her relatives called the emergency services. The paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers on him for around 20 minutes, to no avail. Local police said there were “no obvious signs of criminal intent.”
Meanwhile, according to the tabloid site TMZ, it is claimed that she died submerged in her bathtub. She was accompanied by her hairstylist, her hairdresser, and two of her bodyguards at the time of her death. As they narrated, the singer took a long time in the bathroom and the people she was waiting for outside her, in the Beverly Hilton hotel room, she began to miss each other. Her hairdresser decided to go in, and she found Whitney Houston face down in the bathtub, dead.
Although there is no official report until her autopsy and forensic analysis are carried out, it is speculated that she may have fallen asleep due to the effects of a sedative. They found evidence of water in her lungs, suggesting asphyxiation from drowning.