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Friday, February 8, 2013

Black History Month Featuring Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was superstar born in Newark, New Jersey on August 9, 1963 to gospel singer Cissy Houston.

Bodyguard Whitney 24"x18" acrylic on canvas, 2011

Young Whitney 24"x18" acrylic on canvas, 2011

According to IMDb, she was the cousin of Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin.

She began singing in the choir at her church, The New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. By age 15, she sung back up with her mother on  “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan. She continued to sing back up for people such as Lou Rawls, Jermaine Jackson and her mom, Cissy.

She made the cover of ‘Seventeen’ magazine in November, 1981.

Whitney Houston was offered the role of Sondra Huxtable on the Cosby show but turned it down to pursue a career in music.

She signed with Arista as a member of Material,
a New York based funk band in 1983.

She stayed with Arista for the rest of her career. Her debut album, ‘Whitney Houston’, which I absolutely loved, was released in 1985 and it became ‘the biggest-selling album by a debut artist. That album included several hit singles including:

Saving All My Love for You
How Will I Know
You Give Good Love and
Somewhere there’s a video floating around of me singing this in high school.

This song was written by George Benson.

She succeeded the Beatles by having seven consecutive number one hits in a row.

Whitney Houston’, the album, sold 25 million copies worldwide winning her the first of her six Grammies. Her other Grammies were:

1999 Best Female R&B Vocal Performance - It's Not Right But It's Okay
1993 Record of the Year - I Will Always Love You (Click the link to order it on Amazon.)
1993 Album of the Year - The Bodyguard (Click the link to order it on Amazon.)
1993 Best Pop Vocal Performance Female - I Will Always Love You
1987 Best Pop Vocal Performance Female - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
1985 Best Pop Vocal Performance Female - Saving All My Love for You

IMBd also states that it was her film, “The Bodyguard” (Click the link to order it on Amazon) that sealed her place as one of the best selling artists of all time along with her cover of the Dolly Parton tune, “I Will Always Love You”. That cover of a Dolly Parton song sold 44 million copies worldwide. Way to go, Whitney!

Dolly Parton sings - I Will Always Love You

Whitney Houston sings - I Will Always Love You

Whitney then met Bobby Brown on April 12, 1989 at the Soul train music awards. They married in July 1992 at her home in Mendham, New Jersey DATE OF THEIR WEDDING and had one child, Bobbi Kistina Brown in March 1993. IMBd states that it was shortly after that, that ‘her documented drug use began and by 1996 she was a daily user. Sadly,  she admitted such in an interview with Barbara Walters.

She divorced in Bobby Brown in 2007.
She was admitted to rehab twice in 2010 and then once in 2011.

The talented, beautiful and successful singer captivated her audience. She was found dead in her hotel Beverly Hills hotel room on February 11, 2012 according to IMBd. It is said on their site that she became “…difficult to work with, if she showed up at all…” and that the drugs affected her voice and that her weight had begun to fluctuate. She was dropped from the 72nd Annual Academy Awards because she was out of it at the rehearsals. But as Kevin Costner said, perhaps she fell victim to “the unexplainable burden that comes with fame ­– call it doubt. Call it fear. I’ve had mine. I know the famous in the room have had theirs.”

Cissy Tyson has written a book about Whitney which has put Bobbi Kristina Brown in conflict with her Granny. Hopefully the family can mend.

The book is entitled Remembering Whitney. Click the link to order it on Amazon.

Here's a quote:

"That was the moment my life shattered. I don't know what I did or said after that. I was told later that I screamed so loudly that the whole building must have heard me, but my mind was absolute blank, except for one thought - that my baby had gone.
"Even now, nearly a year later, I sometimes just ache, wishing I could hug my Nippy one last time. I never ever thought she would go before me. The first days after the news blurred into a terrible haze. I would fall into a fitful sleep and wake up and realise an hour or two later that my greatest nightmare was real."

The movie, “Sparkle” was released after her death. It was reviewed in the Detroit Press in November, 2011.

Click the link above to shop Whitney on