February 11, 2012 (aged 48) in Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
R&B, pop, soul, dance, gospel
Singer, actress, model, film producer, record producer, songwriter
Nippy, The Prom Queen of Soul, The Voice
5' 8" (1.73 m)
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into a musical family on 9 August 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of gospel star Cissy Houston, cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin.
She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, as a young child and by the age of 15 was singing backing vocals professionally with her mother on Chaka Khan's 1978 hit, 'I'm Every Woman'. She went on to provide backing vocals for Lou Rawls, Jermaine Jackson and her own mother and worked briefly as a model, appearing on the cover of 'Seventeen' magazine in 1981.
She began working as a featured vocalist for the New York-based funk band Material and it was the quality of her vocal work with them that attracted the attention of the major record labels, including Arista with whom she signed in 1983 and where she stayed for the rest of her career.
Her debut album, 'Whitney Houston', was released in 1985 and became the biggest-selling album by a debut artist. Several hit singles, including 'Saving All My Love For You', 'How Will I Know', 'You Give Good Love', and 'The Greatest Love of All', were released from the album, setting her up for a Beatles-beating seven consecutive US number ones. The album itself sold 3 million copies in its first year in the US and went on to sell 25 million worldwide, winning her the first of her six Grammys.
The 1987 follow-up album, 'Whitney', which included the hits 'Where Do Broken Hearts Go' and 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody', built on her success but it was the 1992 film The Bodyguard (1992) that sealed her place as one of the best-selling artists of all time. While the movie itself and her performance in it were not highly praised, the soundtrack album and her cover of the Dolly Parton song 'I Will Always Love You' topped the singles and albums charts for months and sold 44 million copies around the world.
That same year she married ex-New Edition singer Bobby Brown with whom she had her only child, their daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in March 1993. It was about this time that her much documented drug use began and by 1996 she was a daily user.
Her 1998 album, 'My Love Is Your Love' was well reviewed but the drug abuse began to affect her reputation and press reports at the time said that she was becoming difficult to work with, if she turned up at all. She was dropped from a performance at The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) (TV) because she was "out of it" at rehearsals. Her weight fluctuated wildly - she was so thin at a 'Michael Jackson' tribute in 2001 that rumors circulated the next day that she had died - and her voice began to fail her. She was twice admitted to rehab and declared herself drug-free in 2010 but returned to rehab in May 2011.
Her 2009 comeback album 'I Look To You' was positively received and sold well, but promotional performances were still marred by her weakened voice. Her final acting performance was in Sparkle (2012/I) (a remake of the 1976 movie, Sparkle (1976)), released after her death.
She was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room on 11 February 2012.
Whitney Houston: 23.000.000
I`m Your Baby Tonight: 10.000.000
The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album: 45.000.000
Waiting To Exhale Original Soundtrack Album: 10.000.000
The Preacher`s Wife Original Soundtrack Album: 5.500.000
My Love Is Your Love: 10.500.000
Whitney - The Greatest Hits: 9.000.000
Love, Whitney: 500.000
Just Whitney: 2.000.000
One Wish - The Holiday Album: 500.000
The Ultimate Collection: 1.500.000
I Look To You: 2.500.000
WORLDWIDE SINGLE SALES
Hold Me: 100.000
You Give Good Love: 600.000
Thinking About You: 50.000
Someone For Me: 30.000
Saving All My Love For You: 2.500.000
How Will I Know: 1.500.000
Greatest Love Of All: 2.000.000
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me): 4.200.000
Didn`t We Almost Have It All: 1.000.000
So Emotional: 1.700.000
Where Do Broken Hearts Go: 1.200.000
I Know Him So Well: 50.000
Love Will Save The Day: 400.000
One Moment In Time: 1.500.000
It Isn`t, It Wasn`t, It Ain`t Never Gonna Be: 200.000
I`m Your Baby Tonight: 1.400.000
All The Man That I Need: 1.200.000
Star Spangled Banner: 1.000.000
Takin' A Chance: 100.000
My Name Is Not Susan: 300.000
We Didn`t Know: 25.00
I Belong To You: 100.000
I Will Always Love You: 8.600.000
I`m Every Woman: 2.000.000
I Have Nothing: 1.700.000
Run To You: 500.000
Queen Of The Night: 300.000
Something In Common: 300.000
Exhale (Shoop Shoop): 2.200.000
Count On Me: 700.000
Why Does It Hurt So Bad: 400.000
Step By Step: 1.400.000
I Believe In You And Me: 1.400.000
My Heart Is Calling: 75.000
When You Believe: 1.000.000
Heartbreak Hotel: 1.800.000
It`s Not Right But It`s Okay: 1.200.000
My Love Is Your Love: 3.000.000
I Learned From The Best: 500.000
If I Told You That: 200.000
Same Script Different Cast: 20.000
Could I Have This Kiss Forever: 700.000
One Of Those Days: 10.000
Try It On My Own: 15.000
Love That Man: 5.000
4th Best selling female artist in the U.S (albums): 55.000.000
Whitney is the only artist to have 7 consecutive No. 1 singles at the US Hot 100, surpassing a record previously set by The Beatles and The Bee Gees
Whitney has an incredible 11 No. 1 singles in the US - beaten out only by Mariah Carey (18), Madonna and Rihanna (12). Diana Ross has 12 No. 1s with the Supremes and a further 6 in her own name
With fourteen songs, Whitney holds the record for the most consecutive Top Ten singles on the chart
Whitney was the first solo female artist to have 3 number one singles from one album
Whitney is the only artist to claim three Top Ten hits from all of her studio albums (1980s and 1990s)
Whitney has the most number-one covers. She`s covered the songs "Saving All My Love For You", "Greatest Love Of All", "All The Man That I Need" and "I Will Always Love You"
Whitney is the first and only female artist to concurrently top the US, UK and Australian charts with a single song ("I Will Always Love You")
Whitney is the only artist to have charted from 1984 to 2009. Other artists such as Elvis Presley have had longer streaks, but not during this time
Whitney is one of only two female artists (the other being Mariah Carey) to have three albums sell over 9 million copies each in the U.S.: "Whitney Houston", "Whitney" and "The Bodyguard OST"
Whitney was the first female artist to have two diamond albums (as of January 1994, both "Whitney Houston" and "The Bodyguard OST" were over ten times platinum). To date, Whitney, Madonna, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and The Dixie Chicks are the only female artists with multiple diamond albums
Whitney is the only artist with three albums to remain on top of the Top 200 for over ten weeks "Whitney Houston" (14 weeks), "Whitney" (11 weeks) and "The Bodyguard OST" (20 weeks)
Whitney`s albums have spent 50 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, more than any other female artist
Whitney has won 22 American Music Awards, more than any other female artist
Whitney won a record of 8 American Music Awards for "The Bodyguard OST" back in 1994. She is tied only with Michael Jackson, who won 8 AMA`s for "Thriller" at the 1984 ceremony
Whitney won a record of 11 Billboard Music Awards at the 1993 ceremony for "The Bodyguard OST"
Whitney is the only artist with at least one Grammy, Emmy, MTV Video Music Award, MTV Movie Award, People`s Choice Award and Billboard Music Award to their name
Whitney is the most covered artist on the TV Show American Idol with over 1.150 of 70.000 auditions being songs of hers during the show`s third season. The song "I Have Nothing" has been performed in the finals 6 times, more than any other song
Whitney Houston still has the highest ranking film debut by a music artist with her 1992 debut in "The Bodyguard", even ahead of Eminem`s debut, "8 Mile", despite "The Bodyguard" having opened & played in far fewer theatres and despite the inflationary factor that would increase Whitney`s lead
Whitney Houston is amongst the highest paid actresses in the world and is reported to have collected $10 million for her role in "The Preacher`s Wife"
The world`s best selling debut album by a female artist is "Whitney Houston" with over 23 million copies sold. (The record was broke in 1999 when ..."Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears was released with 27 million copies sold worldwide) The album also ranks as the number one best selling female album of the 1980s
The first album by a female to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 was 1987`s "Whitney"
"Whitney" (1987) has US sales of over 9 million, UK sales of over 2 million and total worldwide sales of 21 million copies
Whitney`s version of "The Star Spangled Banner" is the only version to be certified platinum
Whitney holds the record for the highest one week-single sales by a female artist as 632.000 copies of "I Will Always Love You" were sold in the final week of December 1992
"I Will Always Love You" spend an amazing 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It remains one of the longest No. 1 singles ever
"I Will Always Love You" is the best-selling single by a female artist and the biggest-selling non-charity single of all-time
Total world sales of "I Will Always Love You" stand at 8 million copies, making it the second biggest selling commercial single in world music history - recently losing it`s title to "Candle In The Wind" (sales now at 30 million copies)
The second biggest selling single by a female artist in the UK is "I Will Always Love You", with UK sales of over 1.56 million copies - this record was recently broken by Cher`s "Believe"
"The Bodyguard OST" sold an amazing one million copies in the final week of 1992 - at the time, it set a record for the most albums sold in a single week. The title was broken in 1998 and again in 1999 but this was due to changes in the way the Billboard 200 was compiled adding extras days sales for Garth Brooks and Backstreet Boys. More recently, 'N Sync, Britney Spears and Eminem have followed in the million-plus league
The largest initial certification of any album in US sales history is "The Bodyguard OST" with 6 million copies sold in it`s first two months on sale
The biggest selling album in the world in the 1990`s is "The Bodyguard OST" and the second biggest selling album ever
"The Bodyguard OST" was the first pop album in Korea to sell a million copies
"The Bodyguard OST" is the best-selling album by a foreign female artist in Brazil
The Bodyguard movie (Warner Bros.) was the 5th biggest grossing film ever ($ 400 million, as at 1995)
"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" was the third single ever to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the second single by a female artist
The longest running No. 2 (!) record in US chart history is "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" with 11 weeks in the runner up spot
Whitney has the longest stay at number one on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart, when "The Preacher's Wife OST" remained at number one for 26 weeks
"The Preacher`s Wife OST" is the best-selling Gospel album of all-time with sales of over three million copies in the U.S. and 5 million copies worldwide
Whitney and Madonna become the first two artists to reach the Hot 100's Top 10 in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s
Whitney becomes the first woman to place three albums in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart at the same time. ("Whitney: The Greatest Hits", "The Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album" and "Whitney Houston")
American Music Awards: 22
Billboard Music Awards: 31
Emmy Awards: 2
Grammy Awards: 6
Guinness World Records: 2
NAACP Image Awards: 19
People's Choice Awards: 6
Soul Train Music Awards: 8
World Music Awards: 6
RIAA certifications: 103
Totals Awards won: 490+
The Greatest Love World Tour - 4 Legs / Over 45
(not added the European shows)
• One of two Osaka-jō Hall shows was recorded and edit clips were aired on Yomiuri TV and the complete show broadcast on Japan radio.
Moment of Truth World Tour - 4 Legs / Over 151
• One of nine Wembley Arena shows in London was recorded and edit clips were aired on Raiuno in Italy.
Feels So Right Japan Tour - Japan Only / 14
• The Yokohama Arena show on January 7, was recorded and broadcast on cable TV in Japan.
I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour - 3 Legs / 101
• Yokohama Arena show on March 15, was recorded and broadcast on cable TV in Japan.
• The show in A Coruña, Spain on September 29, was recorded and broadcast in Spain.
The Bodyguard World Tour - 7 Legs / Over 120
• The show, during Hollywood Rock Festival in Rio de Janeiro on January 23, was broadcasted live on Globo in Brazil.
• The concert, in Santiago, Chile on April 14, was aired on MEGA in Chile.
• One of two Estadio José Amalfitani shows in Buenos Aires, was aired on Canal 13 in Argentina.
• Caracas' show on April 21, 1994 was broadcast on Venevisión, which is one of Venezuela's largest television networks.
• The Johannesburg concert at Ellis Park Stadium was broadcast on HBO.
The Pacific Rim Tour - 4 Legs / 9
The European Tour - Europe Only / 10
My Love Is Your Love World Tour - 2 Legs / 68
• On July 21, 1999, MTV All Access: Whitney Houston Special aired "It's Not Right But It's Okay" performance from Wang Center for the Performing Arts in Boston.
• Her show at Sopot Festival on August 22, which was aired on TVP1 in Poland.
• The concert in Mannheim, Germany on August 28, was recorded but not aired in any countries and also not released officially, except "My Love Is Your Love" performance included in "The Greatest Hits" DVD and "I Learned from the Best" performance, which was aired on NBC, The United Negro College Fund's "An Evening of Stars: A Celebration of Educational Excellence" telethon on January 8, 2000.
this is also amazing. I'm sorry, I love all the vocalists (Mariah, Celine, etc.) but there's something about Whitney's voice. It's memorizing. Idk if it's the tone, or the power, or the clarity or the inflections, but her voice is so special. It literally makes me wanna clap lol.