Whitney Houston, Superstar of Records, Films, Dies

LOS ANGELES February 12, 2012 (AP)

Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.whitney

Publicist Kristen Foster said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.

At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."

She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.

She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.

But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.

"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.

It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.

She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.

Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.

"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club ... it was such a stunning impact," Davis told "Good Morning America."

"To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine," he added.

Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with "Whitney Houston," which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. "Saving All My Love for You" brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. "How Will I Know," ''You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All" also became hit singles.

Another multiplatinum album, "Whitney," came out in 1987 and included hits like "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."

The New York Times wrote that Houston "possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity."

Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the "Soul Train Awards" in 1989.

"Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?" she told Katie Couric in 1996. "You're not black enough for them. I don't know. You're not R&B enough. You're very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them."

Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop's pure princess while he had a bad-boy image, and already had children of his own. (The couple had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993.) Over the years, he would be arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.

But Houston said their true personalities were not as far apart as people may have believed.

"When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place," she told Rolling Stone in 1993. "You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that's their image. It's part of them, it's not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody's angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy."

It would take several years, however, for the public to see that side of Houston. Her moving 1991 rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, amid the first Gulf War, set a new standard and once again reaffirmed her as America's sweetheart.

In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with "The Bodyguard." Despite mixed reviews, the story of a singer (Houston) guarded by a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) was an international success.

It also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit: a searing, stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which sat atop the charts for weeks. It was Grammy's record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the "Bodyguard" soundtrack was named album of the year.

She returned to the big screen in 1995-96 with "Waiting to Exhale" and "The Preacher's Wife." Both spawned soundtrack albums, and another hit studio album, "My Love Is Your Love," in 1998, brought her a Grammy for best female R&B vocal for the cut "It's Not Right But It's Okay."

But during these career and personal highs, Houston was using drugs. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2010, she said by the time "The Preacher's Wife" was released, "(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. ... I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day. ... I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself."

In the interview, Houston blamed her rocky marriage to Brown, which included a charge of domestic abuse against Brown in 1993. They divorced in 2007.

Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Winfrey in 2010. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.

She was so startlingly thin during a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert that rumors spread she had died the next day. Her crude behavior and jittery appearance on Brown's reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," was an example of her sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, where she declared "crack is whack," was often parodied. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years.

Houston staged what seemed to be a successful comeback with the 2009 album "I Look To You." The album debuted on the top of the charts, and would eventually go platinum.

Things soon fell apart. A concert to promote the album on "Good Morning America" went awry as Houston's voice sounded ragged and off-key. She blamed an interview with Winfrey for straining her voice.

A world tour launched overseas, however, only confirmed suspicions that Houston had lost her treasured gift, as she failed to hit notes and left many fans unimpressed; some walked out. Canceled concert dates raised speculation that she may have been abusing drugs, but she denied those claims and said she was in great shape, blaming illness for cancellations.


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Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
Bill Carson posted on 02-12-2012, 15:32:10 PM
Three reasons I will let you (and your woman) off lightly

1.I love Whitney too much and I'm in mourning over her sudden death as such will not engage nincompoops on her memorial thread.
2.This is valentine weekend,too much love in the air

3.The aroma of my baked chicken wings with bell peppers and onions has filled this room.

This is your lucky day

15 mins later

I even stopped to get you the left over just to tell you how much I love you


I hear you my non-nincompoop........ All mouth and no action!!!

not a bad meal sha!
Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
Purple posted on 02-12-2012, 15:50:50 PM
Whitney Houston was a trailblazer. A bundle of talents and a musical inspiration to millions. She was also a poster child for the ravages of hard core drugs and the battered woman.
Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
First-lady posted on 02-12-2012, 15:52:41 PM
In 2001, Whitney bagged the biggest record deal in music history, landing six-album deal, which earned her a whopping $100 million.

Nna mehn,how does someone who earned 100 million in 2001 become bankrupt in 2012
I am just looking for one million dalass (dollars)
Just one million dollars in raw cash in my hands,let me enter market
Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
Cagedheart posted on 02-12-2012, 16:26:50 PM
Whitney has been my favourite singer for all times and I bet nothing will change that not even her death. I was glad to see her comeback with ' I Look To You' which became an instant hit with me. She will be greatly missed. Enjoy one of my inspirational boosters. RIP Whitney.

Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
First-lady posted on 02-12-2012, 16:35:13 PM
I was at the store a short while ago looking for a CD of hers and they are all gone and the clerk told me people have been trooping in looking for her CDs
Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
DoubleCaramel posted on 02-12-2012, 16:52:44 PM
I am still stunned by this news. This one has hit me as hard the death of Michael Jackson. She was very beautiful and uber talented.
What a monumental loss. My heart is broken. May her soul rest in peace.
Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
Big-K posted on 02-12-2012, 17:24:13 PM
There are unconfirmed reports that Whitney's 18-year old daughter was rushed to hospital today.
Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
DoubleCaramel posted on 02-12-2012, 17:33:19 PM
There are unconfirmed reports that Whitney's 18-year old daughter was rushed to hospital today.

OMG! Lord have mercy! I pray for the peace of God for this girl. My heart bleeds for her. Peace oh Lord.
Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
Anwulika posted on 02-12-2012, 17:40:56 PM
Whitney Houston's daughter in hospital a day after singer's death

UPDATE: WHITNEY Houston's daughter has been rushed to hospital less than 24 hours after her mother was found dead in a hotel bath.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, was taken by ambulance from the the Beverly Hilton Hotel on a stretcher and transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

"She was taken to hospital and treated for stress,'' a friend told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Bobbi Kristina is Houston's daughter from her stormy 15-year marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

"She was having some anxiety and she was transported to Cedars Sinai'' hospital, a spokesman for the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) told AFP, giving no further details.

The TMZ celebrity news website reported that various prescription pills were found in Houston's hotel room, quoting family members as saying she used Xanax, which is often used to treat anxiety.

The news about Bobbi Kristina came as Houston's family broke their silence on the tragedy, issuing a statement saying they were devastated by the "unimaginable tragedy'' of the singer's death.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends,'' said the statement.

It emerged yesterday that Whitney Houston had been partying heavily only hours before she was found dead in a hotel bath.

The troubled superstar, 48, was seen drinking and talking loudly with friends at a hotel bar not long before a member of her entourage discovered her unconscious in the tub and called for help.

Paramedics tried for 20 minutes to resuscitate Houston, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Houston's stunned mother, Cissy, said she spoke to the singer only half an hour before she died and she "seemed fine".

The pair even made plans to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party together later in the day.

Houston's death has cast a huge shadow over the US music industry's night of nights.

Grammy executive producer Ken Erhlich said Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan will pay "respectful musical tribute" to Houston.

Her death was "too fresh in everyone's memory to do more at this time," Erhlich said according to the Los Angeles Times, "but we would be remiss if we didn't recognise Whitney's remarkable contribution to music fans in general, and in particular her close ties with the Grammy telecast and her Grammy wins and nominations over the years."

Houston won six Grammy Awards over the course of her career, and performed live at the 1986 and 1987 ceremonies.

As the pre-telecast awards ceremony began, co-host Dave Koz acknowledged the tragedy, noting the "great legacy of Miss Whitney Houston. She's in our hearts and our minds''.

Re: Whitney Houston Dies at 48
Anioma777 posted on 02-12-2012, 17:48:07 PM
Awwwww just heard this morning before going to church. I have not been there but I suppose DEATH from this wicked world caused mostly by our own deeds cannot come sooner for most.


She was a beautiful and wonderful artist. RIP Whitney Houston the journey is over for now!!!!

Ewo Whitney!!!!!
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