“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” Whitney Houston
Diva # 9
Born into a musical family on August 9, 1963, Whitney was born into a poor area of Newark, New Jersey, but was surrounded by loving family who took great pride in their faith and their gospel. Whitney’s success might’ve been foretold. Her legendary heritage is as familiar as America’s greatest icons: the daughter of famed singer Cissy Houston (who made her name in the Drinkards gospel quartet, and later the Sweet Inspirations vocal group of Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley renown); and the cousin of singers Dee Dee Warwick (who introduced the original ’60s versions of “You’re No Good” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”) and her sister, superstar Dionne Warwick. Whitney’s mother and cousins nurtured her passion for gospel music since birth. Whitney certainly had the pedigree to make it as a singer. And when the diminutive little starlet let loose in church, anyone within earshot (basically within five square blocks) knew she had the pipes to do it, too So with flawless skin, 4% body fat and likely the best voice of all time, Whitney alway will bring a lot to the table.
The facts- Houston is a mezzo-soprano. She came in third on MTV’s 22 Greatest Voices , sixth on COVE’s list of the 100 Best Pop Vocalists with a score of 48.5/50, and thirty-fourth on Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers list. With over 170 million combined album, singles and videos sold worldwide during her career with Arista Records, Whitney Houston has established a benchmark for superstardom that will quite simply never be eclipsed in the modern era. She is a singer’s singer who has influenced countless other vocalists female and male.
I Will Always Love You,” the first single release, became the biggest selling commercial single in history, and reaped Grammys for Record Of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal. The Bodyguard soundtrack album, featuring six Whitney Houston songs in all, has sold more than 42 million copies worldwide.
Though Houston was seen as a “good girl”with a perfect image in the ’80s and early ’90s, during the late ’90s her behavior changed. For a while there, it seemed Whitney Houston was like Midas everything she touched turned to gold or platinum. But like that mythical character, Whitney’s power eventually overwhelmed her and nearly destroyed her life. Bad news for her, but fun, juicy news for celebrity bloggers.. At first things started off decently. then she was often hours late for interviews, photo shoots and rehearsals, and canceling concerts and talk-show appearances. With the missed performances and weight loss, rumors about Houston using drugs with her husband circulated. On January 11, 2000, airport security guards discovered marijuana in both Houston’s and husband Bobby Brown’s luggage at a Hawaiian airport, but the two boarded the plane and departed before authorities could arrive. Charges were later dropped against her and Brown, but rumors of drug usage among the couple would continue to surface.
Shortly thereafter, Houston was scheduled to perform at the Academy Awards but was fired from the event by musical director and long time friend Burt Bacharach. Though her publicist cited throat problems as the reason for the cancellation, many speculated it was drugs. In his book The Big Show: High Times And Dirty Dealings Backstage At The Academy Awards, author Steve Pond revealed that “Houston’s voice was shaky, she seemed distracted and jittery, and her attitude was casual, almost defiant,” and that while Houston was to sing “Over The Rainbow”, she would start singing a different song. Houston later admitted to having been fired.
Step two was to get Whitney back where she belonged. Clive Davis took the frail singer back under his wing and ushered her back into the studio in 2007. That record-setting team clearly meant business this time, because they have been recording ever since. On August 31, 2009, the album, I Look to You, was released. It was the final piece of her comeback puzzle. ,
True to her church upbringing, the Whitney Houston Foundation For Children Inc. was established in 1989 as a non-profit organization that cares for such problems as homelessness, children with cancer and AIDS, and other issues of self-empowerment. In June 1995, the Foundation was awarded a VH1 Honor for its charitable work. Funds have been raised for numerous causes involving children around the world, from South Africa to Newark, and generated over $300,000 for the Children’s Defense Fund as a result of a 1997 HBO concert.
Whitney’s tireless efforts have earned recognition from such organizations as St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the United Negro College Fund, and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, all of whom have benefited from the heart and soul of a great artist and humanitarian. Singing to audiences on every continent, Whitney has won her worldwide following the old-fashioned way, digging deep down into her soul and finding common threads with her millions of fans.
Here’s to Whitney making it all the way back, because a world with her silky voice is a superior place!