Singer and actress Whitney Houston, one of the world’s greatest voices has died at the age of 48.
Houston’s publicist, Kristin Foster, confirmed to the Associated Press and various news agencies that the singer had died. The cause of death is unknown at this time. Beverly Hills Police officer, Lt. Mark Rosen, spoke to the media during a news conference and provided the following details: At 3:43 PM/PST the Beverly Hills police received an emergency call from the Beverly Hills Hotel. Officers arrived at the hotel within minutes to find fire department personnel already at the scene. Hotel security, fire department and emergency personnel’s attempted to revive the unconscious singer but was unable to do so. At 3:55PM/PST the singer was pronounced dead. The Beverly Hills Police Department is investigating the cause of death.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born August 9, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey to Army serviceman John Russell Houston, Jr., and Grammy winning gospel singer Cissy Houston. She is the cousin of singers Dionne and the late Dee Dee Warwick and goddaughter of the legendary Aretha Franklin.
Houston’s incredible vocal ability was shaped during her youth, performing in her church’s choir and under the tutelage of her mother. The singer started off her career as a background singer for singers such as Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls. Her first taste of chart success happened when she recorded “Hold Me,” a duet with Teddy Pendergrass in 1983.
Houston would explode onto the music scene after being discovered by the legendary Clive Davis. With the 1985 debut of her self-titled album, Whitney Houston, the singer would rack up four Grammy Award nominations for Album of the Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. She won her first Grammy — Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female in 1986. Whitney would go on to become one of the world’s greatest pop vocalists, with a career spanning three decades.
As one of the world’s best-selling female artists, Houston sold over 200 million albums worldwide. She spawned seven consecutive #1 singles in the 80s, a record that has yet to be broken. Houston is also the first female artist in history to debut at number one on the Billboard charts.
Whitney would go on to release seven studio albums, earning 6 Grammy Awards, 22 American Music Awards, 30 Billboard Awards and 99 RIAA Awards, just a handful of the over 400 awards she would earn during her illustrious career. Houston’s iconic discography, featuring songs like “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “I Will Always Love You,” and “I Have Nothing,” influenced legions of aspiring singings across the world, and many current stars including Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Robin Thicke, Lady Gaga and so many more.
Known for her powerful voice, Whitney took fans and critics by surprise when she managed to successfully cross over into acting. Her first film, The Bodyguard earned $411 million worldwide. She would later appear in Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife and was set to star in the 2012 remake of Sparkle alongside Jordin Sparks.
The songstress saw her popularity decline after a series of unfortunate public incidents in the early 2000s. Her album Just Whitney, released in 2002 failed to generate the kind of success Houston was used to. Her tumultuous relationship with then-husband, singer Bobby Brown, was chronicled on Bravo’s reality series Being Bobby Brown, and showcased the singer in a very unflattering light. Houston would file for divorce from Brown after 14 years of marriage in 2006. After years of battling addiction, she made a return to music with the release of her 2009 album I Look to You.
Houston is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Whitney Houston.