Whitney Houston, singer of “I Will Always Love You,” has died at just 48 years old from a suspected drug overdose. There were “no signs of criminal intent.” Houston has left an incredible legacy behind her, as the recipient of 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among others. She was also the only singer to have seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She had just been approached to join Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid as a judge on “The X Factor.” New details report that just this past Thursday she was spotted exhibiting erratic behavior at the Davis annual gala at the Hilton. Her autopsy is complete but a toxicology report must also be completed before her autopsy report will be released.
A star among stars, Whitney Houston was born to gospel singer Cissy Houston and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr., on August 9th, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. Other famous family members include cousins Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick, and of course, Houston’s godmother, Aretha Franklin. Houston got her start in music singing in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. Houston began touring nightclubs as a teenager, and at age 14, she was a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band’s single, “Life’s a Party.” She continued to perform backup vocals for other artists, and eventually went on to fashion modeling in the 1980s. After seeing her perform in New York City with her mother, Clive Davis offered young Houston a recording contract which she accepted, despite having received numerous offers from other agencies.
Her first success came in 1984 when, after recording a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, “Hold Me,” the single became a Top 5 R&B hit. From that point on, Houston’s career continued to soar. Her 1985 debut album, Whitney Houston, was highly praised, and thrust her into the international spotlight. Her following albums, from Whitney to 2009’s I Look to You, continued to sell extremely well. With fame came highly publicized relationships with fellow celebrities like Randall Cunningham and Eddie Murphy, but none more talked-about than her marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown.
Despite all the controversy that surrounded her marriage and her later life, though, no one can deny Whitney Houston’s powerful influence on the music industry, and indeed, the world. The most awarded female artist of all time, she lives on in our hearts and will not soon be forgotten.