Sunday, February 19, 2012

“I Will Always Love You” is an unforgettable hit, which was the best selling single by a female artist in music history. Whitney Houston was the first female singer who sold over a million copies of the album.

Dubai Fountains Synchronized With Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on August 9, 1963 to John Russell Houston Jr., who was an Army serviceman and entertainment executive and to Cissy Houston, who was a gospel singer. Houston did her schooling at the Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school in New Jersey. Houston was linked to American football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy. She later married R&B singer Bobby Brown after a three year courtship on July 18, 1992. Brown and Houston have a daughter together, who was born on March 4, 1993; this was Houston’s only child.

As a child, at the age of 11, Houston followed her mother and began performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir. As she grew older, she would occasionally perform with her mother in the nightclubs, where she was recognized by Clive Davis, the head of Arista Records. At the age of 14, she got the opportunity to sing as a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band’s single, “Life’s a Party”. The following year, she sang background vocals on Chaka Khan’s hit single “I’m Every Woman”. This song she later made it a larger hit for herself on her highest selling soundtrack album The Bodyguard.

Houston’s career was not all about a singer alone. During her life time she was also an actress, producer and a model. She was the first woman of colour to grace the cover of the Seventeen Magazine, and also featured in various others such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan and many more.

Houston shot to fame with the release of her debut album, “Whitney Houston” which was released in February 1985. The Rolling Stone Magazine praised her by saying, “one of the most exciting new voices in years” and New York Times called the album as “an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent.”

Arista Records promoted her album in the US, UK and other European countries. Her first single “Someone for Me” failed to chart in the UK, while “All at Once” reached the top 5 in the European countries.

Houston was nominated at the 1986 Grammy Awards. She won her first award for the Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Saving All My Love for You”. She won seven American Music Awards in the year 1986 and 1987 and an MTV Video Music Award. With the entry of Houston, it gave way to other famous African – American singers such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker.

Houston was found dead on February 11, 2012 in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The reason to her death is still unknown and investigations are still on – going. Her death was a day before the 2012 Grammy Awards. Her memorial service was held at the New Hope Baptist Church on February 18, 2012, where Houston grew up singing.

Clive Davis who played a major role in the rise to stardom in Houston’s life states, “By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney’s passing. I don’t have to mask my emotion in front of a room full of so many dear friends. I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years,”

“Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn’t scheduled to perform. Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare. She graced the stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on.”

By Christine Cherian