The music world was saddened as the news of Whitney Houston’s death at the age of 48 hit the media, and spread like a forest fire. How could a life so talented have burned out so quickly? That is the question that many people will be asking over the coming weeks.
According to her website, Whitney Houston has sold over 170 million combined albums, singles and videos worldwide during her career with Arista Records. Whitney was known for her soulful voice and ballads that touched your soul. She was born into a talented family on August 9, 1963. This bright girl from Newark, New Jersey was the daughter of Cissy Houston and was the cousin of Dee and Dionne Warwick.
Raised on gospel music, her family knew she was talented from day one and nurtured her love for music. During the 70’s and 80’s, Whitney had already performed with musicians like Chaka Khan, jazz flautist Herbie Mann, and the Neville Brothers. It was on a fateful night at a New York nightclub where Whitney’s life would change forever. While performing, she was spotted by legendary music executive Clive Davis, who knew he had something special right in front of him. Davis signed her right there in the club. The year was 1983 and life for Whitney would never be the same again.
In 1985, Whitney released her first self-titled album. This was the album that not only put Whitney Houston on the music map, but changed the face of music forever. With powerful ballads like “Saving All My Love For You,” Whitney would soon become known as a force to be reckoned with. Her debut album went on to sell over 12 million copies in the U.S., and millions more abroad. Whitney set a record with her very first album as the biggest selling debut by a solo artist ever.
Outside of her music appeal, Whitney was also known as a great actress. Starring in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner (which broke box office records), and Waiting to Exhale alongside the likes of Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon, Whitney exuded style and appeal at the box office. It seemed there wasn’t anything this talented woman couldn’t do.
With her third film, The Preacher’s Wife, she starred alongside Denzel Washington, setting into motion one of Whitney’s dreams to create a gospel album. The resulting movie soundtrack became the biggest-selling gospel album in Billboard chart history; an amazing task by an amazing singer.
It was evident that the world loved Whitney Houston. While her life was cut short, her movies and, most importantly, her music will live on forever. Her flame may have been extinguished early, but her star as a music legend will burn brightly forever.