With a phenomenal career spanning well over two decades Whitney Houston was an incredible musical influence and a true icon. An influential legend Houston sold over 170 million albums and singles worldwide, touching people all over the world with her soulful voice and powerful presence.

The late Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born into the world of music in 1963 with rhythm running through her veins. As daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, cousin of singing star Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of soul legend Aretha Franklin, it was apparent from a very early age that Whitney would, and most definitely could, follow in their footsteps.

Taking the lead from mother Cissy Whitney began her early career singing in the choir at her local church. The New Hope Baptist Church, Newark turned out to be an incredible environment in which Whitney could nurture her natural talent and discover her true self. At the tender age of 15 Whitney began to provide backing vocals for a number of artists including Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and Lou Rawls, proving to a determined Houston that a singing career of her own was not far from reach. Whitney’s undeniable natural beauty would also become a factor in her rising fame, most notably Houston appeared as one of the first women of colour to grace the cover of Seventeen magazine – Whitney was on her way.

Coming from such an influential background and with a wealth of experience under her belt, Whitney was ready to embark upon her solo career. Her debut album entitled ‘Whitney Houston’ was released in 1985 and became the biggest selling album by a debut artist. Houston followed up this phenomenal success with a further seven incredible albums, as well as a box office smash performance in ‘the Bodyguard’. The epitome of Whitney Houston’s career came not long after the film’s release in 1992; Houston’s astounding cover of the Dolly Parton track ‘I Will Always Love You’ sold over 44 million copies worldwide and topped single charts around the world for months on end – Whitney had made it.

The year of 1992 saw Whitney Houston transform from pop singer to global megastar. As well as the astounding success in her career, 1992 also saw Houston marry ex New Edition singer Bobby Brown and later went on to have her only daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in early 1993. Their marriage was the start of a tumultuous relationship for Whitney, which regrettably led to unenviable problems in her personal life.

It could be said that Whitney Houston was simply just another pop star but for many adoring fans this is far from the truth. Houston possessed a truly phenomenal talent that managed to touch the hearts of people across the globe. The overwhelming response of grief stricken fans is a true testament to not only Whitney’s premature departure, but also her amazing raw talent. Celebrity fans from around the world poured out their hearts via social networking sites displaying their heartfelt condolences on the stars tragic demise. Oprah Winfrey tweeted “To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of god every time she sang”.

Whitney Houston was one of the amazing singing icons of our generation, whose music, passion and spirit will be sorely missed by family, friends and fans alike. Her legendary music will live on for years to come leaving an incredible legacy she would be so very proud of.

Jenna Jones


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