With her strong voice and iconic performances, Whitney Houston was a real icon of the music business. She won over admirers all around the world with her sultry ballads, pop classics, and astounding range. She was a trailblazer in every sense of the word, dismantling boundaries and setting the way for the next generations of musicians, thus her influence extends well beyond simply her music. The life and legacy of Whitney Houston will be examined in further detail in this article, along with how she influenced pop culture and why she is still regarded as one of the all-time great singers.
Whitney Houston was an American singer and actress who passed away on February 11, 2012. She had an amazing voice and sold over 200 million records worldwide. She was named the second-best vocalist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023. Whitney was the first singer to have seven consecutive number-one songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She also starred in the movie The Bodyguard, which became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Six of her songs were on the movie’s soundtrack, including “I Will Always Love You,” which won a Grammy and is one of the most commercially successful songs ever. Whitney was also in other movies and produced the soundtracks for them. She worked as a producer on various productions, including TV shows and movies.
Whitney’s first two albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987) were very successful and reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Her third album, I’m Your Baby Tonight (1990), also had number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Whitney’s fourth album, My Love Is Your Love (1998), and its songs were also hits. She signed a $100 million contract extension with her record label after her success, but her issues started to overshadow her career. Her final studio album, I Look to You (2009), helped her return to the top of the charts after six years. Sadly, Whitney died in 2012 from drowning in a bathtub. Cocaine usage and heart problems contributed to her death. The world was shocked by her passing, which was reported globally, and she was honored at the 2012 Grammy Awards. A biography called I Wanna Dance with Somebody was released in 2022 about her life and career.
Life and Career
The young daughter of John Russell Houston Jr. and Emily “Cissy”. In Newark, New Jersey, at what is now known as the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1920-2003) was born on August 9, 1963. Cissy Houston, the Grammy-winning gospel, and soul singer who founded The Sweet Inspirations and was a member of The Drinkard Singers, provided backup vocals for artists including Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis Presley. The group later received a Grammy nomination for their hit song, “Sweet Inspiration”. Cissy later left Sweet Inspirations and launched a solo career, which later yielded two Grammy Award nominations for gospel music. Her father John was a former Army serviceman who later worked as an administrator for Newark mayor Kenneth A. Gibson. Her parents were both of African ancestry. Through Cissy, Houston was a first cousin of famous singers Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick as well as a distant cousin of opera soprano Leontyne Price. On her mother’s side, Houston was said to have some Dutch and Native American blood. Darlene Love later served as Houston’s godmother. At the same time, Aretha Franklin was made an “honorary aunt” Through her father, Houston is descended from Jeremiah Burke Sanderson, an American abolitionist who fought for the civil and educational rights of black Americans in the mid-1800s. Houston was her parents’ youngest child. She had three elder brothers: Michael Houston, a composer and tour manager; Gary Garland, a former basketball player, and singer; and paternal half-brother John III (1943–2021).
Three years after the 1967 racial riots in Newark, the family eventually moved to an East Orange suburb. Houston would go to Franklin Elementary School, now the Whitney E. Houston Located nearby is the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts. Houston’s parents brought her up as a Baptist, and when she was five, she began piano lessons and joined the church chorus at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. Houston subsequently recalls being introduced to the Pentecostal church next door as well. At the age of 12, Houston had her first solo performance, singing the hymn “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” at New Hope. As a teenager, Houston confided in her mother that she wanted to pursue a music career. Cissy would teach Houston how to sing during her adolescent years. during her youth and adolescence, Houston was influenced by singers like Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack in addition to her mother and cousins Dionne and Dee Dee. When Houston was 16 years old, she worked as a counselor at a youth summer camp in East Orange where she met Robyn Crawford, who was a basketball player for Monmouth University at the time. Houston subsequently referred to Crawford as the “sister never had”. After Houston graduated, the two quickly become close friends and moved in together in an apartment building near East Orange. Crawford worked as Houston’s executive assistant when the singer went on to become a successful music artist. Following Houston’s success, rumors surfaced that the two were lovers, which both denied in an interview with Time magazine in 1987. In her 2019 autobiography, A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston, Crawford acknowledged that their early relationship included sexual activity but ended before Houston signed a recording deal.
Influence on pop culture
One cannot overstate Whitney Houston’s impact on popular culture. She was widely recognized as one of history’s finest vocalists, and the pop music of the 1980s and 1990s was influenced by her work. Houston raised the bar for vocal performance in the genre with her deep and strong voice as well as her utilization of gospel singing styles in pop songs.
For African American women in the music industry, Houston paved the way. She assisted in removing barriers for women of color in the entertainment business by being one of the first black women to grace the cover of Seventeen magazine. Many aspiring musicians, especially women of color, were inspired by Houston’s songs and success.
Houston has a wider cultural effect than only her music. The soundtrack of the movie, which included Houston’s legendary performance of “I Will Always Love You,” is still one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. Her leading role in the movie “The Bodyguard” paved the door for other singers to pursue acting careers.
Houston’s private life, addiction concerns, and turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown were extensively chronicled by the media, which raised awareness of problems including drug usage and domestic abuse.
Whitney Houston has had a substantial and enduring impact on popular culture. Her success as an African American woman in the entertainment industry paved the door for others, while her songs and vocal performance in pop music set new standards. Artists today are still influenced and inspired by her legacy.