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Whitney Houston: A look at her life

Updated on June 11, 2013
Whitney early in her career
Whitney early in her career | Source

Just weeks after the passing of Etta James we are met with the news that Whitney Houston has passed away at age 48. As I write this none of the facts surrounding her death have been released, only that she was found in her Hilton Hotel room and that the police tried to revive her for 20 minutes before pronouncing her dead. She leaves behind her cousin Dionne Warwick, godmother Aretha Franklin, a son (quoted by some sources, denied by others, so not really sure if there is a son), a daughter, her husband Bobby Brown and her mother Cissy.

Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey. Her mother was a gospel singer in the New Hope Baptist Church. After the Newark riots her family moved to East Orange, New Jersey. She would often sing with her mother before she was 15 years old. In my research I learned that she and her mother also performed together in nightclubs. Clive Davis discovered her when she was only 19 and signed her to his record label, Arista Records. Her first album became a best seller.

Her first public appearance was on the Merv Griffin show back in 1983. She married Bobby Brown in 1992. She starred in The Bodyguard with Kevin Cosner in 1992 as well. While her career was going no where but up she and Bobby Brown were getting involved with drugs. Her biggest hit ever was the song she sang in The Bodyguard, a remake of the Dolly Parton hit, I Will Always Love You. That song turned out to be her trademark song and you couldn't hear it without thinking of Whitney Huston.

In the 1990s and early 2000s she had marital and drug problems that threatened her career. She lost weight and always appeared frail.

Whitney Houston - looks like this may have been taken at an earlier Grammy Awards.
Whitney Houston - looks like this may have been taken at an earlier Grammy Awards. | Source

Around 1994 she started to try to repair her marriage and beat her drug problems. By 2004 her mother had had enough and served Whitney with a court injunction to stop her public life and get her life together. She did. She divorced Brown in 2007 and was awarded sole custody of their daughter. She released a new album in 2007. Seemingly on the road to recovery and doing well. She was scheduled to begin filming a new movie this year.

She started to pull her life together and came out with a new album in 2009.

There are biographies all over the Internet with mostly the same information. The thing I have found out about her is in addition to her amazing talent she was a likable lady. Those who worked with her said she was a true professional and a lady.

Of course it's difficult to find anything written on the Internet now that doesn't involve her death in some way and as most celebrities are saying, that's the pity of it all. She needs to be remember for her great voice and talent, not her death. lists her as The Prom Queen of Soul. Her hometown was so proud of her they named a school after her, The Whitney E. Houston School of Creative and Performing Arts (East Orange, NJ). According to the same site (imbd) Whitney has fourteen gold singles in the US and is behind only Madonna as a female artist.

Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina is said to have posted private photos on the Internet for the world to see. Click here to view them.

There is also a site called Classic Whitney which was evidently started before Whitney's death and contains some good information and pictures.

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You

I have put this short hub together as a memorial to a terrific talent. The entire music world is turned upside down. The day after her death it is said music celebrities had already twittered over 2 million tweets in her memory and as condolences.

I hope that the entertainment world can see this tragedy as a wake-up call and that parents around the world can use this sad opportunity to talk to their children about drugs. Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" could've been written about Whitney Houston.


It seems they are now saying that Whitney was NOT in the bathtub when she was found and that could possibly mean a heart attack or other illness and not a drug overdose. Her body was half in and half out of the tub! The drugs they did find in the hotel room were a small amount of valium and antibiotics.

The ABC doctor said alcohol and cocaine will show in the toxicology report. Why don't people wait until they have the facts before accusing others. Remember, drug addiction is an illness just like heart disease. You wouldn't condemn someone who died of a heart attack.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer Whitney Houston said, "Pray for me that I'm strong. Don't pray about the drugs. Jesus loves me this I know."

Whitney was a philanthropist interested in helping children. She donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations that helped children. For example, $100, 000 to a pediatric hospital in Newark; and proceeds from the premier of Bodyguard wnt to children with Aids. She also donated to Hail House Shelter and much not said about her in the past.

Randy Jackson said it was a privilege to work with Whitney on her first two albums. She leaves a legacy of one of the greatest voices of our lifetime.

Mary Brown, who sang back up for Whitney, said Whitney enjoyed life and anted you to enjoy yourself whenever you worked with her. She was very warm and loving.

Gerry Griffith said Whitney was fearless.

One gentleman interviewed sang in the choir with Whitney and he said he could remember looking at her and thinking, "how is that great big voice coming out of that little girl?"

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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Good point Angela. We are so easily influenced by other people and when you're married to them well then we know what happens.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      So sad. We lost so much with her death. She just had a beautiful spirt. I wonder if thing would have been differant if she had not married Bobby Brown.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Effie. Everything about this is sad.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Soooo sad. A beautiful woman, with a voice like no other. This is truly a terrible loss...especially for her young daughter & loving family.

      Awesome tribute to Whitney. Wonderfully written, GF.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      It's a tough call Genx but she definitely had talent.

    • GenX Steph profile image

      GenX Steph 

      6 years ago

      GenX Steph Turns 40: Not Jumping on the Whitney Bandwagon, Really

      Mothers, Women, Prescription Drugs and other Goodies... (click on the link to read more)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Bob, what a thrill to see her in person AND see her handle an unruly fan so well. She was a lady.

      Suzettenaples, how true. If she had met someone different perhaps her life would have been different too. RIP Whitney.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Yes, this is such a sad, tragic life. Whitney Houston, who had everything, went down the wrong road in life. I couldn't believe it when she associated herself with Bobby Brown and then married him. They produced a beautiful daughter and that is the highlight of their marriage. With the exception of their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, the marriage was a destroyer of Whitney Houston. May she rest in peace now.

      A good hub and overview of her life and talent.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I saw her live in Wembley and a drunk told her to "Take 'em all off, Whitney," when she was removing her bolero jacket in the middle of her act.

      She replied, "You mommy brought you to the wrong place, sonny!"

      It was a great put down and I have never forgotten it, nor her great beauty and talent.

      A terrible loss to all.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      So right nina64.

      cebutouristspot, a loss for the music industry and a loss for us!

      StephanieBCrosby I could certainly revisit this hub at a later date.

      Don, so many entertainers seem to go down that road.

      Persycasious, if only everyone would realize the depth of addiction. It's like smoking, we keep on lying to ourselves.

      Kathleen, she really had a super voice!

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      A music commentator this morning said when she sang the heavens opened. Well put.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      In an interview Whitney said that her biggest demon was herself, and that she didn't do anything that she didn't choose to do. That is not true as pertains to addictions. The driving demon in addiction is beyond the self and requires professional intervention and a real will to live, and live better, that can make the intervention work. Whitney, just as with other addicts, was lying to herself.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Another great talent who's personal life was a train wreck. RIP.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      6 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for providing this tribute. I hope as more information surfaces you will revisit this hub and add the updates or even lengthen the article. It was a pleasure to read.

      I love your comment above to Sunshine...if only more people, especially artists, could learn from these instances.

    • cebutouristspot profile image


      6 years ago from Cebu

      One of the most brilliant artist of her time very versatile. A great lost for the music industry. I love the song she sang on the movie Bodyguard

    • nina64 profile image

      Nina L James 

      6 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      Another great artist gone too soon!!!!!!!!!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Sunshine, another sad loss in the entertainment world.

      Trsmd how true. Thanks for reading.

      ThePractialMommy, if only they coul learn from these tragedies instead of repeating them.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      So sad to see such a naturally talented artist leave us. I just saw this morning that it possibly was a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol from a pre-Grammy party that killed her (source: ABC News) but of course they won't know until the toxicology reports come back. How many more artists are we going to lose this way before someone steps in and does something about it? It's just sad...

      Thanks for sharing your tribute!

    • Trsmd profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Another death news of a great musician. R.I.P. thanks for SHARING:)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      A nice tribute to Whitney Houston. It's unfortunate what happened to her. A sad loss for many, her family the most.


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