Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

Whitney Houston

1963 On August 9th, Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. Almost from birth, she seemed to be destined to become a singer. Her mother, Cissy Houston, her cousin, Dionne Warwick and her godmother, Aretha Franklin, were the symbolic figures of American soul music. Cissy Houston was the head of choir of New Hope Baptist Church, a favourable atmosphere for developing Whitney’s abilities.

1978 When she was 15, her mother tried to obtain a recording contract, and almost at the same age she was discovered by a photographer who was amazed by her natural beauty. She became quickly a searched model, a teenager, one of the first African-American women who would have appeared on the cover of Seventeen Magazine. But, despite of her success as a model, music remained her real love.

1982 When she was 19, Whitney Houston was discovered in a night club by famous Clive Davis from Arista Records, wherewith she immediately signed a recording contract, starting her career, passing from gospel songs to pop stardom.

1983 Houston debuted to the national television. She and Davis spent next two years working for her debut album, for finding the best producers and composers, for demonstrating her amazing voice talent.

1985 She launched her debut album, at the age of 22, reaching the first position on tops with three singles. The album reached very up on tops, where it remained for fourteen weeks.

1986 Houston won her first Grammy Award for “Saving All My Love for You”, prize given to her by her cousin, Dionne Warwick.

1987 Houston followed the great success of her first album, with a new second version “Whitney”. This recording went also to platinum and won many Grammy Awards, which drove to a successful worldwide tournament. During this time, the singer appeared to a concert for Nelson Mandela’s birthday and established “Whitney Houston Foundation for Children”, a non-profit organization whose projects were made to help needy children.

Until 1992, Whitney Houston was on the top of success, but her life would have to become very complicated in a short time.

1992 Once she married Bobby Brown, an R&B singer, her career got off the track, after an engagement of three years. At the beginning of the marriage he was very loving and passionate, but after one decade things changed. Brown began to abuse banned substances and behaved increasingly erratic.

Despite these increasing personal problems, Whitney Houston continued to advance in her career. In 1992 she also decided to play with Kevin Costner in a very famous movie, “Bodyguard”.

1998 Houston launched ”My Love Is Your Love”, album which brought her another Grammy Award, but which could not have overcome the performances of her former albums. Her collaboration with Mariah Carey, in an animated film, “Prince of Egypt”, brought her the Academy Award.

1990-2000 During this period, her increasingly rocky marriage, drugs and health problems put her career in danger. Many concert cancellations made many people believe she was passing one of the latest phases. Over the next few years, Houston tried to fix her marriage and destroy the habit of consuming drugs.

2009 After almost one decade of fight against her personal life, Houston seemed to be recovered. She launched another album, “I Look at You”. The recording was very appreciated by the audience, but there were discussions about the quality of her voice. Gossips said that Houston would have had financial problems, but she denied this statement, in fact, she seemed to be ready for a rising career.

2012 On February 11th, Whitney Houston died, in Los Angeles. Coroners announced that Houston had died because of a combination of Xanax, alcohol and other pills. They sustained that the singer had died before sinking in the bath of the hotel room she had been in, because she had had too little water in her lungs, fact that could not have provoked her death. Once she died, music world lost one of the legendary stars. Her supporter and mentor, Clive Davis said one day about Houston: ”She is in the great tradition of great, great singers, whether it’s Lena Horne or Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughn or Gladys Knight”.




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