Saturday, 18 February 2012

Whitney Houston


   Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time. Her awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards in her lifetime. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. Houston began singing with her New Jersey church's junior gospel choir at age 11. After she began performing alongside her mother in night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis. Houston released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.

   Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits ("Saving All My Love for You"; "How Will I Know"; "Greatest Love of All"; "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"; "Didn't We Almost Have It All"; "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"). She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Album") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts (Whitney Houston and The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album). Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release. The album was named Rolling Stone's best album of 1986, and was ranked at number 254 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African-American female artists to follow in her footsteps.

   Houston's first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single "I Will Always Love You", became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history. Three years after the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love (1998), she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records. She released her fifth studio album Just Whitney in 2002, and the Christmas-themed One Wish: The Holiday Album in 2003. In 2009, Houston released her seventh studio album I Look to You.

   On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California, of causes not immediately known. News of her death, the day before the 2012 Grammy Awards, dominated American and international media, especially cable news.

   Whitney Houston was born in what was then a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, the third and youngest child of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. (September 13, 1920 – February 2, 2003), and gospel singer Cissy Houston (née Emily Drinkard). She was of mostly African American, as well as more distant Native American and Dutch, descent. Her mother, along with cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin were all notable figures in the gospel, rhythm and blues, pop, and soul genres. Houston was raised a Baptist, but was also exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four.

   At the age of 11, Houston began to follow in her mother's footsteps and started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls' high school in Caldwell, New Jersey, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, whom she described as the "sister she never had". While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. In addition to her mother, Franklin, and Warwick, Houston was also exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack, most of whom would have an impact on her as a singer and performer.

   On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in a suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California, submerged in the bathtub. The cause of death is not immediately known. Beverly Hills paramedics arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. and found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR. Houston was pronounced dead at 4:00 p.m. PST. Local police said there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent".

   On the Thursday before her death, February 9, 2012, Houston visited singers Brandy and Monica, together with Clive Davis, at their rehearsals for Davis' pre-Grammy Awards party. That same day, she made her last public performance, when she joined Kelly Price on stage at the party and sang "Jesus Loves Me".

   Houston was a mezzo-soprano, and was commonly referred to as "The Voice" in reference to her exceptional vocal talent. Her vocal range extended from G below middle C (G3) to high B-flat (B♭5); she could belt out to treble F (F5). She was third in MTV's list of 22 Greatest Voices, and sixth on Online Magazine COVE's list of the 100 Best Pop Vocalists with a score of 48.5/50. In 2008, Rolling Stone listed Houston as the thirty-fourth of the 100 greatest singers of all time, stating, "Her voice is a mammoth, coruscating cry: Few vocalists could get away with opening a song with 45 unaccompanied seconds of singing, but Houston's powerhouse version of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" is a tour de force."

   Mariah Carey stated, "Whitney has a really rich, strong mid-belt that very few people have. She sounds really good, really strong." While in her review of I Look to You, music critic Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times writes, "[Houston's voice] stands like monuments upon the landscape of 20th century pop, defining the architecture of their times, sheltering the dreams of millions and inspiring the climbing careers of countless imitators", adding "When she was at her best, nothing could match her huge, clean, cool mezzo-soprano".

   Houston was the most awarded female artist of all time, according to Guinness World Records, with two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. She held the all-time record for the most American Music Awards of any female solo artist and shared the record with Michael Jackson for the most AMAs ever won in a single year with eight wins in 1994. Houston won a record 11 Billboard Music Awards at its fourth ceremony in 1993. She also had the record for the most WMAs won in a single year, winning five awards at the 6th World Music Awards in 1994.



   Whitney Houston is the debut album of American R&B and pop singer Whitney Houston, released February 14, 1985 on Arista Records. The album initially had a slow commercial response but began getting more popular in the summer of 1985. Eventually it topped the Billboard 200 chart for 14 weeks in 1986 and generated three number-one singles—"Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All"—on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the first debut album and the first album by a female artist to achieve that feat. The album was one of those very rare cases that enjoyed global success by a new black female artist, topping the albums chart in many countries such as Canada, Australia, Norway and Sweden, peaking at number two in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland. The album was certified Diamond for shipments of 10 million units or more on March 16, 1999, and later 13× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on July 29, 1999. It has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time.

At the 28th Grammy Awards in 1986, Whitney Houston received four nominations including Album of the Year and won one of which, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Saving All My Love for You". For the 29th Grammy Awards of 1987, the album earned one nomination for Record of the Year for "Greatest Love of All". In 2003, the album was ranked number 254 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In honor of its 25th anniversary, the album was re-released on January 26, 2010, in an expanded edition with five bonus tracks and a DVD.


   Whitney is the second studio album by American pop/R&B singer Whitney Houston, released in the United States on June 2, 1987 by Arista Records as the follow-up to her best selling debut album, Whitney Houston. She became an international star with this album, which made her the era's top female star. Whitney was certified 9× Platinum by the RIAA on November 29, 1995.

   The album met the expectations of many people and was sensationally popular after its release. With this album, Houston set historic records on the charts. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart the issue of June 27, 1987, becoming the first album by a female artist, and only the fifth album by a solo artist. The album remained at the top for eleven consecutive weeks, creating a record; the most cumulative weeks (25 weeks) at number one on the albums chart by a female artist during 1980s.

   Its first four singles—"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"—all peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making her the first female artist to achieve that feat. Along with three straight number one singles from the debut album, they established an unprecedented seven consecutive number one hits by a performer, surpassing the Beatles and the Bee Gees. As well as in United States, the album and the first single, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", were enormous hits worldwide, topping the charts in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and mainland Europe.

At the 30th Grammy Awards of 1988, the album received three nominations including Album of the Year, winning her second Grammy, "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female" for "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)".


   I'm Your Baby Tonight was the third studio album by the late American pop/R&B singer Whitney Houston; released by Arista Records on November 6, 1990. Following the run of this album, Houston continued to achieve widespread commercial success throughout the 1990s, venturing heavily into films—while continuing to record via their adjoining soundtrack albums. Subsequently, I'm Your Baby Tonight would not be followed up with another studio album until 1998's My Love Is Your Love.

   Like many artists, Houston's previous efforts featured material mostly chosen by the label. With this project, however, she had more control over the album's content. In addition to working with the previous producers of Narada Michael Walden and Michael Masser, she also worked with the production team of L.A. Reid and Babyface, as well as singer Luther Vandross, and did a collaboration with Stevie Wonder. Houston would also produce the song "I'm Knockin'", with tour music director Ricky Minor. Stylistically, the album was a mixture of contemporary R&B, pop and adult contemporary.


   My Love Is Your Love is the fourth studio album by American singer Whitney Houston, released worldwide on November 17, 1998. The album, her first studio album in eight years since I'm Your Baby Tonight, was composed of mid-tempo R&B, hip hop, ballads, urban-dance, reggae, and torch songs, produced by different musicians such as Rodney Jerkins, Soulshock & Karlin, Wyclef Jean, David Foster, and Babyface. Although the album only peaked at number thirteen—her lowest position at the point—on the Billboard 200, and it sold less than Houston's previous albums in the US, it was a hit globally, with successful world tour in support of the album. In particular, it was a hit in Europe, topping the charts in Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. It also reached the top five in other European countries like Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The album generated five hit singles, including three top five US Hot 100 hits: "Heartbreak Hotel", "It's Not Right But It's Okay" and the title track, "My Love Is Your Love", became Houston's third best-selling single ever. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI, Europe) certified 4× platinum for shipping of four million copies of the album in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Worldwide it has sold over ten million copies.

   With its commercial success, My Love Is Your Love received rave reviews from many critics, regarded as one of her best works. At the 42nd Grammy Awards of 2000, the album got seven nominations including Best R&B Album and two Best R&B Songs, and won one of which, Houston's sixth Grammy Award, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.


   Just Whitney... is the fifth studio album by American recording artist Whitney Houston, released on December 10, 2002 in North America by Arista Records. It was her first studio album in four years, since 1998's My Love Is Your Love, and after signing her new $100 million Arista contract.

  The album debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200, and number three of Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, with sales of 205,147 copies in the first week, not only beating her previous high first-week sales of 177,284 units with Waiting to Exhale Soundtrack Album but also logged her highest debut sales out of her SoundScan-era solo albums. The album received mixed reviews from music critics.

   It spawned four official singles―with three; "Whatchulookinat", "Love That Man" and "Try It on My Own" peaking at number-one on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart. Since its release, Just Whitney... has gone on to sell/ship more than 3 million units worldwide and has also earned Platinum certification in the U.S. and Switzerland and Gold in France, Brazil and other countries. The album's sales in the U.S. stands at over 747,000 units.

   To promote the album, Houston appeared on the 2002 MTV Europe Music Awards, performing her new single "Whatchulookinat". She also appeared on the 2003 VH1 Divas Duets: An Honors Concert for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and performed her hits including two songs from the album; "My Love" and "Try It on My Own". Apart from these, she also performed live on Good Morning America. No major tours were arranged to support the album.


   One Wish: The Holiday Album is the first Christmas album by American R&B/pop singer Whitney Houston, released in 2003. The album featured the single "One Wish (for Christmas)", which reached the top twenty on Billboard's U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. The album spent six weeks on the Billboard 200 and has sold 490,143 copies to date. The New York Times noted the "lavish swoops, the sultry whispers, the gospelly asides and the meteoric crescendos" from Houston. The album also features a duet with Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina on "The Little Drummer Boy". The album also re-uses "Joy to the World" and "Who Would Imagine a King" from 1996's The Preacher's Wife: Original Soundtrack Album.


   I Look to You is the seventh and final studio album by the late American recording artist Whitney Houston. It was first released on August 28, 2009 through Sony Music in Europe, then August 31, 2009 with Arista Records in the United States before being released by RCA Records in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2009. The album was Houston's first studio album since One Wish: The Holiday Album (2003), and the singer's last album released during her lifetime.

   It received favorable reviews from music critics, based on an aggregate score of 66/100 from Metacritic and debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at number one with sales of 305,000, beating her previous career best first-week sale of 205,000 units with Just Whitney (2002), and it was her first album to reach number one album in the United States since 1992's The Bodyguard. Additionally it became her fourth chart-topping album thus extending her lead as the female artist with the most cumulative weeks at the number one position.

   It has spawned two official singles: The title song, which became a top 20 U.S. R&B chart single, and the international single "Million Dollar Bill", which hit the top ten in several countries worldwide and also becoming a US top 20 R&B hit. Since its release, I Look to You has gone on to sell 2.5 million units worldwide, earning platinum certification in seven countries and gold certification in eight. A promotional single, "Nothing But Love", was only released to UK radio stations to promote the accompanying Nothing But Love World Tour.

And now some of her music for the fans of Whitney Houston:

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