She began her singing career in the church and later moved over to the nightclubs of New York where Clive Davies, a music producer spotted her. Whitney did some modeling jobs before she was signed on by Arista Records. Her debut album “Whitney Houston” was released in February, 1985 and it was a commercial success. A track “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” from her 1987 album was a monster hit in Nigeria, the most populous black nation. She won her first Grammy in 1986. She has also won many other awards all over the world.
By far, the most popular and widely accepted Whitney Houston single that cut across race, age and social status is “I Will Always Love You” which was originally written and performed by the country music superstar, Dolly Parton. This single by Whitney is still reputed as the best selling single by a female artiste of all time.
Generally, Whitney Houston has sold more than 170 million records in her lifetime and she is still selling! She has won 6 Grammys, 22 American Music Awards and 30 Billboard Awards before she died on 11th February, 2012. Apart from music Whitney has also featured in three popular films: “The Preacher’s Wife”, “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting To Exhale”.
Nevertheless, Whitney Houston had a negative side, just like any other mortal. Alcohol and drug use over the years have been her greatest demons. She struggled with the help of her family members, especially her mother, to conquer her demons up to no avail. On the other hand, her one and half decade marriage to R & B singer Bobby Brown which ended in 2007 was volatile, though it produced a lovely daughter, Bobbi Kristina who incidentally was with her in the Beverly Hilton Hotel where she was found dead in the bath on Saturday, February 11, 2012.
Emeka E. Okeke