188 Facts About Whitney Houston


Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress.


Whitney Houston had 11 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and is the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the chart.


Whitney Houston's accolades include six Grammy Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, two Emmy Awards, and 28 Guinness World Records.


Whitney Houston's inductions include the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.


Whitney Houston began singing in church as a child and became a background vocalist while in high school.


Whitney Houston was one of the first black women to appear on the cover of Seventeen after becoming a teen model in 1981.


Whitney Houston made her acting debut with the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard, which became the tenth highest-grossing film to that date despite receiving poor reviews for its screenplay and lead performances.


Whitney Houston recorded six songs for the film'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 woman in music history.


Whitney Houston went on to star and record soundtracks for Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife.


Whitney Houston produced the latter's soundtrack, which became the bestselling gospel album of all time.


On February 11,2012, Whitney Houston accidentally drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors.


Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on August 9,1963 at Newark Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Emily "Cissy" and John Russell Houston Jr.


Whitney Houston's mother Cissy was a Grammy-winning gospel and soul singer, who was a member of The Drinkard Singers and the founder of The Sweet Inspirations, a popular session vocal group that recorded background vocals for the likes of Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley.


On her mother's side, Whitney Houston was alleged to have partial Dutch and Native American ancestry.


Whitney Houston had three older brothers, paternal half-brother John III, maternal half-brother Gary Garland, a former basketball player and singer, and Michael Houston, a songwriter and road manager.


Whitney Houston was raised in the Baptist faith by her parents and joined the church choir of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark at age five where she learned to play piano.


Whitney Houston later recalled being exposed to the Pentecostal church nearby as well.


Whitney Houston made her solo performance debut at New Hope singing the hymn, "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah", at age 12.


When Whitney Houston became a teenager, she told her mother that she wanted to pursue a career in music.


On February 18,1978, a fourteen-year-old Whitney Houston made her non-church performance debut at Manhattan's Town Hall singing the Broadway standard, "Tomorrow" from the musical, Annie, receiving her first standing ovation.


Later that year, Whitney Houston sang background on mother Cissy's solo album, Think It Over, with the title track later reaching the top 5 of the Billboard disco chart.


Whitney Houston became a fashion model after she was discovered by a photographer who filmed her and her mother during a performance for the United Negro College Fund at Carnegie Hall.


Whitney Houston became one of the first black women to appear on the cover of a fashion magazine when she appeared on the cover of Seventeen.


Whitney Houston would appear inside other magazines such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Young Miss.


Whitney Houston's looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought-after teen models.


In February of 1981, Whitney Houston recorded three demo recordings of gospel music with producer and music executive Steven Abdul Khan Brown in hopes of Whitney Houston getting signed to a recording deal.


Weeks after graduation, Whitney Houston signed with Tara Productions, under the advice of her cousin Dionne, and hired Gene Harvey as her manager, with co-managers Daniel Gittelman and Seymour Flics, working closely with the singer.


Whitney Houston convinced Arista head Clive Davis to make time to see her perform.


Davis was impressed and immediately offered a worldwide record deal, which Whitney Houston eventually signed on April 10,1983; since she was only nineteen, her parents signed for her.


Whitney Houston performed "Home", a song from the musical The Wiz.


Whitney Houston first recorded a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, "Hold Me", which appeared on his gold album, Love Language.


Whitney Houston appeared as a duet vocalist and background singer on Jermaine Jackson's Dynamite album and Kashif's Send Me Your Love.


Two days after the song hit number one, Whitney Houston opened the first of three shows at Carnegie Hall.


Whitney Houston's popularity grew further after she began performing in late night talk shows, which were not usually accessible to non-established black acts.


Whitney Houston was credited for breaking barriers for black female artists on the channel resulting in videos by Janet Jackson, Jody Watley and Tracy Chapman to be immediately accepted to the channel's playlist.


In July 1986, Whitney Houston launched her first world tour, The Greatest Love World Tour, where she performed mainly in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan.


Whitney Houston would become just the second female artist, after Madonna to top Billboard's list as the top artist of the year, while her debut topped the Billboard 200 Year-End chart, making her the first woman to earn that distinction.


Almost immediately after performing "Saving All My Love for You" live on the program, Whitney Houston was announced as the winner of the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance by her cousin Dionne Warwick.


Whitney Houston became the first woman in music history to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart and the first artist to enter the albums chart at number one in both the US and UK, while hitting number one or top ten in dozens of other countries around the world.


The song's success was boasted by yet another colorful video by Brian Grant and much like previous Whitney Houston videos, received heavy rotation on every music video channel.


Whitney Houston remains the only artist to ever accomplish this feat as of 2023.


Whitney Houston has been certified diamond in the US for shipments of over ten million copies and has sold a total of 20 million copies worldwide.


Again, like her previous album, Whitney Houston was honored for her work.


At the 1988 Grammys, Whitney Houston again was nominated for three awards, including Album of the Year.


Whitney Houston won two American Music Awards in 1988 and 1989, respectively and a Soul Train Music Award.


Almost immediately after the album's release, Whitney Houston embarked on her second world tour titled the Moment of Truth World Tour.


Whitney Houston's success resulted in her being ranked the eighth highest-earning entertainer of the year by Forbes.


Whitney Houston was the highest-earning African-American woman overall, highest-earning musician and the third highest entertainer after Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy.


Whitney Houston was a supporter of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement.


On June 11,1988, during the European leg of her tour, Whitney Houston joined other musicians to perform a set at Wembley Stadium in London to celebrate a then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela's 70th birthday.


Whitney Houston's continued success led to her being featured on the Forbes list of highest-earning talents in October 1988 while the singer still toured overseas.


At the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, when Whitney Houston's name was called out for a nomination, a few in the audience jeered.


Whitney Houston took a more urban direction with her third studio album, I'm Your Baby Tonight, released in November 1990.


Whitney Houston sang live, but the microphone was turned off.


Whitney Houston donated her share of the proceeds to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund and was named to the Red Cross Board of Governors.


Whitney Houston's rendition was critically acclaimed and is considered the benchmark for singers; VH1 listed the performance as one of the greatest moments that rocked TV.


Later in 1991, Whitney Houston put together her Welcome Home Heroes concert with HBO for the soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf War and their families.


Whitney Houston played a star who is stalked by a crazed fan and hires a bodyguard to protect her.


However, controversy arose as some felt Whitney Houston's face had been intentionally left out of the film's advertising to hide the film's interracial relationship.


The Washington Post remarked that Whitney Houston was "doing nothing more than playing [herself]", but added that she came out "largely unscathed if that is possible in so cockamamie an undertaking".


Whitney Houston's role resulted in several MTV Movie Award nominations, winning Best Song from a Movie for "I Will Always Love You" and was nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance as well as a People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite Actress in a Dramatic Motion Picture.


Whitney Houston's version was highly acclaimed by critics, regarding it as her "signature song" or "iconic performance".


Whitney Houston posthumously joined singers Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey as only the third female artist to earn both a diamond single and album.


Whitney Houston won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1994 for "I Will Always Love You".


Whitney Houston won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year for the soundtrack, becoming just the second African American woman to win in that category after Natalie Cole's Unforgettable.


Whitney Houston placed in the top five of Entertainment Weeklys annual "Entertainer of the Year" ranking and was labeled by Premiere magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood.


In October 1994, Whitney Houston attended and performed at a state dinner in the White House honoring newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela.


In 1995, Whitney Houston starred alongside Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon in her second film, Waiting to Exhale, a motion picture about four African-American women struggling with relationships.


Whitney Houston played the lead character Savannah Jackson, a TV producer in love with a married man.


Whitney Houston chose the role because she saw the film as "a breakthrough for the image of black women because it presents them both as professionals and as caring mothers".


Whitney Houston has shed the defensive hauteur that made her portrayal of a pop star in 'The Bodyguard' seem so distant.


In 1996, Whitney Houston starred in the holiday comedy The Preacher's Wife, with Denzel Washington.


Whitney Houston plays the gospel-singing wife of a pastor.


The San Francisco Chronicle said Whitney Houston "is rather angelic herself, displaying a divine talent for being virtuous and flirtatious at the same time" and she "exudes gentle yet spirited warmth, especially when praising the Lord in her gorgeous singing voice".


Whitney Houston was again nominated for an NAACP Image Award and won for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.


Whitney Houston recorded and co-produced, with Mervyn Warren, the film's accompanying gospel soundtrack.


Whitney Houston won Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist at the 1997 American Music Awards for The Preacher's Wife soundtrack.


Whitney Houston was initially offered the role of Cinderella in 1993, but other projects intervened.


Whitney Houston was to play Dandridge, the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.


Later that year, Houston paid tribute to her idols, such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick, by performing their hits during the three-night HBO Concert Classic Whitney: Live from Washington, DC.


Whitney Houston received the Quincy Jones Award for outstanding career achievements in the field of entertainment at the 12th Soul Train Music Awards.


In 1999, Houston participated in VH-1's Divas Live '99, alongside Brandy, Mary J Blige, Tina Turner and Cher.


Whitney Houston was often hours late for interviews, photo shoots and rehearsals, she canceled concerts and talk-show appearances and there were reports of erratic behavior.


Two months later, Clive Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Whitney Houston had been scheduled to perform at the event, but was a no-show.


Shortly thereafter, Whitney Houston was scheduled to perform at the Academy Awards, but was fired from the event by musical director and longtime friend Burt Bacharach.


Whitney Houston's publicist cited throat problems as the reason for the cancellation.


In 2019, Crawford said she had left after Whitney Houston declined to seek help for her drug dependency.


Whitney Houston later made an appearance on Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special, where her extremely thin frame further spurred rumors of drug use.


Whitney Houston canceled a second performance scheduled for the following night.


In 2002, Whitney Houston became embroiled in a legal dispute with John Whitney Houston Enterprise.


Whitney Houston stated that her 81-year-old father had nothing to do with the lawsuit.


Also in 2002, Whitney Houston gave an interview with Diane Sawyer to promote her then-upcoming album.


Whitney Houston did admit to using alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and pills; she acknowledged that her mother had urged her to seek help regarding her drug use.


Whitney Houston denied having an eating disorder and that her very thin appearance was connected to drug use.


Whitney Houston further stated that Bobby Brown had never hit her, but acknowledged that she had hit him.


In December 2002, Houston released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney.


The album included productions from then-husband Bobby Brown, as well as Missy Elliott and Babyface, and marked the first time that Whitney Houston did not produce with Clive Davis, as Davis had been released by top management at BMG.


The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart and it had the highest first week sales of any album Whitney Houston had ever released.


Just Whitney Houston was certified platinum in the United States and sold about two million worldwide.


In late 2003, Whitney Houston released her first Christmas album One Wish: The Holiday Album, with a collection of traditional holiday songs.


Whitney Houston produced the album with Mervyn Warren and Gordon Chambers.


Police reported that Whitney Houston had visible injuries to her face.


Whitney Houston was a prominent figure throughout the show, receiving as much screen time as Brown.


Years later, The Guardian opined that through her participation in the show, Whitney Houston had lost "the last remnants of her dignity".


Whitney Houston gave her first interview in seven years in September 2009, appearing on Oprah Winfrey's season premiere.


Whitney Houston admitted on the show to having used drugs with Brown during their marriage; she said Brown had "laced marijuana with rock cocaine".


Whitney Houston told Winfrey that she had attended a 30-day rehabilitation program.


Whitney Houston acknowledged to Oprah that her drug use had continued after rehabilitation and that at one point, her mother obtained a court order and the assistance of law enforcement to press her into receiving further drug treatment.


Whitney Houston released her new album, I Look to You, in August 2009.


Whitney Houston appeared on European television programs to promote the album.


Whitney Houston performed the song "I Look to You" on the German television show Wetten, dass.


Whitney Houston appeared as a guest mentor on The X Factor in the United Kingdom.


Whitney Houston performed "Million Dollar Bill" on the following day's results show, completing the song even as a strap in the back of her dress popped open two seconds into the performance.


Whitney Houston later commented that she "sang [herself] out of [her] clothes".


Whitney Houston appeared on the Italian version of The X Factor, where she performed "Million Dollar Bill" to excellent reviews.


In November, Whitney Houston performed "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California.


Two days later, Whitney Houston performed "Million Dollar Bill" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody " on the Dancing with the Stars season 9 finale.


Whitney Houston later embarked on a world tour, entitled the Nothing but Love World Tour.


Whitney Houston canceled some concerts because of illness and received widespread negative reviews from fans who were disappointed in the quality of her voice and performance.


In January 2010, Whitney Houston was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards, one for Best Female Artist and one for Best Music Video.


Whitney Houston won the award for Best Music Video for her single "I Look to You".


In May 2011, Whitney Houston enrolled in a rehabilitation center again, citing drug and alcohol problems.


In September 2011, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Whitney Houston would produce and star alongside Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps in the remake of the 1976 film Sparkle.


Whitney Houston is credited as an executive producer of the film.


Debra Martin Chase, producer of Sparkle, stated that Whitney Houston deserved the title considering she had been there from the beginning in 2001, when Whitney Houston obtained Sparkle production rights.


Whitney Houston's death derailed production, which would have begun in 2002.


Whitney Houston's remake of Sparkle was filmed in late 2011 over two months and was released by TriStar Pictures.


On May 21,2012, "Celebrate", the last song Whitney Houston recorded with Sparks, premiered at RyanSeacrest.


When Whitney Houston was 16, she met Robyn Crawford, then a collegiate basketball player for Monmouth University, while both worked as counselors at a youth summer camp in East Orange.


Shortly after Whitney Houston signed with Arista, Crawford became the singer's executive assistant.


On March 4,1993, Whitney Houston gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, the couple's only child.


Whitney Houston revealed in a 1993 interview with Barbara Walters that she had a miscarriage during the filming of The Bodyguard.


Police reported that Whitney Houston had visible injuries to her face.


In September 2006, a year after Being Bobby Brown aired, Whitney Houston filed for legal separation from Brown, later filing for divorce the following month.


The divorce was granted on April 24,2007, with Whitney Houston admitting Brown was "unreliable" in supporting their teenage daughter.


Whitney Houston reportedly appeared "disheveled" and "erratic" in the days before her death.


On February 9,2012, Whitney Houston visited singers Brandy and Monica, together with Clive Davis, at their rehearsals for Davis's pre-Grammy Awards party at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.


Whitney Houston was buried on February 19,2012, in Fairview Cemetery, in Westfield, New Jersey, next to her father, John Russell Whitney Houston, who had died in 2003.


On March 22,2012, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office reported that Whitney Houston's death was caused by drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use".


The office said the amount of cocaine found in Whitney Houston's body indicated that she used the substance shortly before her death.


Whitney Houston was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn't scheduled to perform.


Whitney Houston was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare.


Whitney Houston graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years.


Simply put, Whitney Houston would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on.


All three featured live interviews with people who had known Whitney Houston, including those that had worked with her, along with some of her peers in the music industry.


The first full hour after the news of Whitney Houston's death broke saw 2,481,652 tweets and retweets on Twitter alone, equating to a rate of more than a thousand tweets every second.


The 2012 Brit Awards, which took place at the O2 Arena in London on February 21, paid tribute to Whitney Houston by playing a 30-second video montage of her music videos with a snippet of "One Moment in Time" as the background music in the ceremony's first segment.


Whitney Houston was featured, alongside other recently deceased figures from the film industry, in the In Memoriam montage at the 84th Academy Awards on February 26,2012.


Whitney Houston topped the list of Google searches in 2012, both globally and in the United States, according to Google's Annual Zeitgeist most-popular searches list.


Two other Whitney Houston songs jumped back on the Hot 100: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody " at 25 and "Greatest Love of All" at 36.


Whitney Houston went from 868,000 views in the week prior to her death to 40,200,000 views in the week following her death, a 45-fold increase.


Houston's first posthumous greatest hits album, I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston, was released on November 13,2012, by RCA Records.


Whitney Houston had a mezzo-soprano vocal range, and was referred to as "the Voice" for her vocal talent.


Jon Pareles of The New York Times stated Whitney Houston "always had a great big voice, a technical marvel from its velvety depths to its ballistic middle register to its ringing and airy heights".


Whitney Houston's voice was an instrument and she knew how to use it.


Whitney Houston had years and years of honing her craft on stage and in the studio before she ever got signed to a record label.


Lauren Everitt from BBC News commented on melisma used in Whitney Houston's recording and its influence.


Whitney Houston has been regarded as one of the greatest vocalists of all time and a cultural icon.


Black female artists, such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker, were successful in popular music partly because Whitney Houston paved the way.


The New York Times stated that "Whitney Houston was a major catalyst for a movement within black music that recognized the continuity of soul, pop, jazz and gospel vocal traditions".


Stephen Holden of The New York Times said that Whitney Houston "revitalized the tradition of strong gospel-oriented pop-soul singing".


Whitney Houston drew comparisons between Houston's influence and other big names on 1980s pop:.


Whitney Houston was, alongside Michael Jackson and Madonna, one of the crucial figures to hybridize pop in the 1980s, though her strategy was far less radical than that of her peers.


Whitney Houston was someone more to be admired, like a museum piece, than to be emulated.


Whitney Houston won numerous accolades, including 2 Emmy Awards, 8 Grammy Awards, 14 World Music Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards.


Whitney Houston holds the record for the most American Music Awards received in a single year by a woman with eight wins in 1994.


Whitney Houston won a record 11 Billboard Music Awards at its fourth ceremony in 1993.


Whitney Houston holds the record for the most WMAs won in a single year, winning five awards at the sixth World Music Awards in 1994.


In 2001, Whitney Houston was the first artist to be given a BET Lifetime Achievement Award.


Since she received the honor at just the age of 37 at the time, Whitney Houston was and remains the youngest artist to receive the honor.


Five years earlier, in 1996, Whitney Houston became the second recipient of the BET Walk of Fame and was, at 33, the youngest to receive that honor.


Whitney Houston was only one of two artists to receive all three honors from the BET network.


In May 2003, Whitney Houston placed at number three on VH1's list of "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era".


Whitney Houston is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with more than 200 million records sold worldwide.


Whitney Houston had sold more physical singles than any other female solo artist in history.


Whitney Houston released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum or platinum.


Whitney Houston is the first and only black artist to have three Diamond-certified albums.


Whitney Houston held an honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Grambling State University, Louisiana.


Whitney Houston was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013.


In October 2019, Whitney Houston was announced as a 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee, one of nine first-time nominees and 16 total.


In May 2023, Whitney Houston was one of the first of thirteen artists to be given the BRIT Billion Award by the BPI for reaching 1 billion career streams in the United Kingdom.


Whitney Houston was a long-time supporter of several charities all around the world.


At a 1988 Madison Square Garden concert, Whitney Houston earned more over $250,000 for the United Negro College Fund.


Whitney Houston donated all of the earnings from her 1991 Super Bowl XXV performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" sales to Gulf War servicemen and their families.


Whitney Houston declined to perform in apartheid-era South Africa in the 1980s.


That film, entitled Whitney Houston, premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was released internationally in theaters on July 6,2018.


In 2015, Lifetime premiered the biographical film Whitney, which mentions that Whitney Houston was named after prominent television actress Whitney Blake, the mother of Meredith Baxter, star of the television series Family Ties.


The film was directed by Whitney Houston's Waiting to Exhale co-star Angela Bassett, and Whitney Houston was portrayed by model Yaya DaCosta.