Whitney Houston

American singer, actress, and film producer (1963–2012)

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012[1][2]) was an American singer and actress. Known as The Voice, she is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of all time and often ranked as the greatest singer of all time. Houston is the most awarded female artist of all time and among the best-selling recording artists of all time, with sales of over 300 million records worldwide.

Whitney Houston
Houston sings Greatest Love of All at the Welcome Home Heroes concert in 1991
Whitney Elizabeth Houston

(1963-08-09)August 9, 1963
DiedFebruary 11, 2012(2012-02-11) (aged 48)
Cause of deathAccidental drowning due to atherosclerotic heart disease and combined drug intoxication
Resting placeFairview Cemetery,
Westfield, New Jersey, U.S.
EducationMount Saint Dominic Academy
  • Singer
  • actress
  • producer
  • model
Years active1977–2012
(m. 1992; div. 2007)
ChildrenBobbi Kristina Brown
Musical career

Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and are among the best-selling albums of all time. She is the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, from "Saving All My Love for You" in 1985 to "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" in 1988.

Houston made her acting debut with the romantic thriller movie The Bodyguard (1992). She recorded six songs for the movie's soundtrack, including "I Will Always Love You", which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling physical single by a female in music history. It won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston starred and recorded soundtracks for two other high-profile movies, Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The latter's soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album of all time.

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and was featured prominently in international media. Houston was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

Early years


Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. [3][4]She was the second child of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. and gospel singer Cissy Houston.[5] Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick are her cousins.

Whitney began singing at a young age in gospel music at church, being influenced by her mother. She was described as having an impressive ranging spinto soprano voice. In 1983, she was discovered by an Arista Records representative and signed to the label.



Houston released her first album, Whitney Houston, in 1985. It featured the number-one singles "Saving All My Love for You", "Greatest Love of All", and "How Will I Know". Her second album, Whitney, was released in 1987 and featured the number-one hits "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and "So Emotional". In 1990, her album I'm Your Baby Tonight was released, and the song of the same name also reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, as did the single "All the Man That I Need". She sang the National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl and earned widespread praise for the performance. She starred in the film The Bodyguard in 1992 and performed several songs on its soundtrack, one of which was a cover of country singer-songwriter Dolly Parton's song, "I Will Always Love You". The song became Houston's biggest hit of her career and reached number one in countries around the world. Houston sat throughout much of the music video for "I Will Always Love You" because she was pregnant with her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. "I Will Always Love You" became the bestselling song by a female artist, with the soundtrack for The Bodyguard becoming the bestselling film soundtrack ever.[6] She performed with singer-songwriter Mariah Carey on the song "When You Believe" for the film The Prince of Egypt.

Houston released albums My Love Is Your Love, Just Whitney..., and I Look to You in 1998, 2002, and 2009, respectively. She also appeared in the film Sparkle alongside singer Jordin Sparks.

Whitney Houston has earned six Grammy Awards and seven number-one songs in a row on the Billboard Hot 100. She had a total of 11 Billboard Hot 100 number-ones, placing her in fourth place for women behind Mariah Carey (18 number-ones), Rihanna (14), and Madonna and The Supremes (12 each). She is the most-awarded female artist of all time.

Whitney Houston has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.



Houston married Bobby Brown in 1992. In 1993, they had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. In a 2009 interview, Houston indicated the marriage was both passionate and turbulent. Their marital relationship was marred by drug use and by Brown's professional jealousy, psychological abuse, and physical confrontations. The couple divorced in 2007.[7]

On the afternoon of February 11, 2012, at the age of 48, she was found dead in her guest room at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. The official coroner's report stated that she had accidentally drowned in the bath. Atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use were listed as contributing factors. Her funeral was televised.[8]


  1. "Whitney Houston, pop titan, dies at 48". LA Times. February 12, 2012. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  2. Marikar, Sheila. "Whitney Houston, Iconic Pop Star, Dies at 48". ABC News. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  3. "Whitney Houston". The MY HERO Project. Archived from the original on September 24, 2021. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  4. Heppermann, Christine (September 1, 2012). Whitney Houston: Recording Artist & Actress. ABDO Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-61480-173-3. Archived from the original on May 27, 2022. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  5. Jessie Carney Smith (1996). Notable Black American women. VNR AG. pp. 304–305. ISBN 978-0-8103-9177-2. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  6. Galindo, Brian. "Whitney Houston was never supposed to record "I Will Always Love You."". 11 Fascinating Facts About The Song "I Will Always Love You". Buzzfeed.com. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  7. Pareles, Jon; Nagourney, Adam (February 12, 2012). "NY Times: "Whitney Houston, Pop Superstar, Dies at 48"". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 18, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  8. Lovett, Ian (March 22, 2012). "NY Times: "Whitney Houston drowned coroner says"". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2022. Retrieved August 31, 2017.

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