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Whitney Houston

Full Name

Whitney Elizabeth Houston is Whitney Houston's full name.1)


On August 9, 1963, she was born in Newark, New Jersey.2)


Her parents were Newark city administrator John Russell Houston Jr. and Grammy-winning gospel vocalist Emily Drinkard.3)


Houston's father served in the Army during WWII.4)


Darlene Love, lead vocalist of the 1960 girl group The Blossoms, was her godmother.5)


Houston is Dionne Warwick's and Dee Dee Warwick's cousin.6)


Nippy Inc., Houston's management business, was called after a childhood nickname. When she was a newborn, her father dubbed her “Nippy”.7)

Growing Up

After the 1967 Newark riots, Houston's family relocated to adjacent East Orange, NJ. She was just four at the time.8)

Aretha Franklin

Houston met Aretha Franklin in a recording studio in the early 1970s when she was just 9 or 10 years old. Their families' friendship got stronger.9)

First Solo Performance

Houston made her first solo musical performance when she was 11 years old, in 1973. She performed “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.10)

Parents' Divorce

Houston's parents divorced in 1991 after formally separating in 1977.11)

I'm Every Woman

Houston had the opportunity to perform backup vocals on Chaka Khan's classic 1978 single “I'm Every Woman” when she was just 15 years old. Houston later covered the song as an adult.12)

Back-up Vocals

Houston also did backup vocals on recordings by Jermaine Jackson and Lou Rawls when she was a teenager.13)

Mount Saint Dominic Academy

Houston attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls' high school in Caldwell, NJ, from 1978 to 1981.14)


Houston met her best friend, Robyn Crawford. The two were housemates and secret lovers, but Houston halted the relationship because she was afraid of how others would respond. The two remained close, and Crawford went on to become Houston's greatest friend and personal assistant.15)


A photographer observed Houston while she was performing with her mother at Carnegie Hall in the early 1980s and offered her modeling job. Houston went on to appear in a number of women's publications, including Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Young Miss. She was also one of the first black ladies to grace the cover of Seventeen magazine.16)


Houston also appeared in various television ads. Her debut advertisement was for Canada Dry ginger ale. She later appeared in advertisements for Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, Sanyo, and AT&T.17)

Cosby Show

Houston declined a chance to appear on The Cosby Show because she preferred to be a singer rather an actor.18)

Record Deal

Gerry Griffith, an Arista Records A&R executive, witnessed Houston sing with her mother in a New York nightclub in 1983. He persuaded his employer at Arista Records, Clive Davis, to attend one of her upcoming gigs. Davis was so taken by Houston that he signed her to a record deal and was the driving force behind her meteoric climb to prominence.19)

The Merv Griffin Show

Clive Davis took Houston on The Merv Griffin Show in 1983 to make her national television debut. She sang “Home,” a song from the musical The Wiz.20)

Michael Jackson

Did Michael Jackson have a relationship with Whitney Houston? His brother, though, did. Jermaine Jackson produced and sang duets with Whitney Houston on her debut album in 1984. Jackson was married at the time, but he had an affair with Houston while recording the song. They remained excellent friends after the affair.21)

Debut Album Hit

Whitney Houston (1985), Houston's debut album, debuted at number one on the Billboard albums list when she was only 22 years old. It remained there for 14 weeks in a row owing to extensive radio play of her smash singles “Saving All My Love for You” and “How Will I Know”.22)

Rolling Stone Greatest

Her debut album was named one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone.23)


Houston said in a 2001 MTV interview that MTV consistently rebuffed her organization's attempts to get the music video for “You Give Good Love” from her first album into rotation. MTV seldom aired videos from minorities at the time. However, once Houston's song “Saving All My Love for You” became a massive crossover smash, MTV accepted the video. Houston stated in the interview that MTV “had no option but to air (the video), and I love it when they have no choice”.24)

First Grammy

In 1986, she received her first Grammy for the song “Saving All My Love for You”. Dionne Warwick, Houston's cousin, presented her with the prize.25)

I Just Can't Stop Loving You

Michael Jackson requested that Whitney Houston record “I Just Can't Stop Loving You” with him in 1987. His plea was turned down.26)


Whitney (1987), Houston's second album, also reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States.27)

Great Success

Whitney Houston's first two albums, Whitney (1985) and Whitney (1987), are among the best-selling records of all time.28)

Billboard Hot 100

Whitney Houston is the only artist to have seven consecutive Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles: “Saving All My Love for You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn't We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.29)

It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be

Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston released the duet “It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be” in 1989.30)

whitney_houston.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/11 23:38 by eziothekilla34