Whitney Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress…..who was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records….and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide. She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums….all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Houston’s crossover appeal on the popular music charts….as well as her prominence on MTV….starting with her video for “How Will I Know”….influenced many African–American women artists who followed in her footsteps.
Houston began singing in church as a child….nd became a background vocalist while in high school. With the guidance of Arista Records chairman Clive Davis….he signed to the label at the age of 19. Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston in 1985 and Whitney in 1987….both reached # 1 on the Billboard 200 in the United States….and became two of the world’s best-selling albums of all time. She became the only artist to have seven consecutive# 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart….from “Saving All My Love for You” in 1985 to “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” in 1988.
Houston made her screen acting debut in the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992). She recorded seven songs for the film’s soundtrack, including “I Will Always Love You”….which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year….and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. The soundtrack album received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year….and remains the world’s best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston made other high-profile film appearances, including Waiting to Exhale in 1995 and The Preacher’s Wife in 1996. The theme song “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” became her 11th and final # 1 single on the Hot 100 chart….while The Preacher Wife’s soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.