Whitney Elizabeth Houston, winner of two Emmys, six Grammys, and numerous other honors, passed away on February 11, 2012, in the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Her sudden death has shaken the music industry and her fans alike. Now people around the world have come together to mourn the woman lovingly known as “the Voice.”
The Amazing Life of Whitney Houston
A love for music runs in family, from Whitney’s famous gospel mother Cissy Houston to her soulful cousin Dionne Warwick to her godmother Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul. In 1985, 22-year-old Whitney debuted her powerhouse voice in her self-titled album. It was an instant success and over the next 27 years Houston would release six other albums, becoming the “Queen of Pop.” She also starred in four successful movies including The Bodyguard which featured the most beloved song, “I Will Always Love You.” The song could be heard most recently on Glee in its Valentine’s Day episode.
Recently the media has focused on Houston’s personal struggles such as her troubled marriage and divorce, but they have not shown nearly enough interest in her commitment to humanitarian projects. She founded the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children which helps kids who are struggling with cancer and AIDS. Houston’s big heart and powerful voice have also helped other charities like the American Red Cross, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the United Negro College Fund.
After years of negative publicity, Whitney Houston has been making a big comeback. Her most recent album I Look to You was released in 2009 and was critically acclaimed, especially her singles “Million Dollar Bill” and “I Look to You.” In 2010, she honored was honored with a BET award for her impact in the music industry. And in 2011, Houston filmed her fifth and final film, a remake of the 1976 film Sparkle.
Farewell to Whitney Houston
The cause of Houston’s death has yet to be determined as the coroner’s office waits for the toxicology reports. On Saturday, February 18th, Houston’s funeral will be held in her hometown, Newark, New Jersey, at the New Hope Baptist Church. Some close family and friends are scheduled to give Whitney Elizabeth Houston a musical homecoming by honoring her life through song.
Main photo credit: Kit Keat / Flickr