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Whitney Houston Facts
1) Whitney Houston, born on August 9, 1963, came from music business royalty. Her mother, Cissy Houston, was a backup singer for the likes of Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin. Whitney’s cousin, Dionne Warwick, is an internationally recognized singing star. Whitney’s Godmother is Aretha Franklin.
2) Houston is the most awarded female recording artist of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Houston’s awards include: 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards.
3) Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits (“Saving All My Love for You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”).
4) Houston’s 1985 debut album, “Whitney Houston,” became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release.
5) In 1978, at the age of 15, Houston sang background vocals on Chaka Khan’s hit single “I’m Every Woman,” which she ironically later re-recorded and turned into an even bigger hit on “The Bodyguard” soundtrack album.
6) Before she was a recording artist, Whitney Houston was one of the most in-demand teen models of all time. She was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. She also appeared in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Young Miss, and a Canada Dry ginger ale TV commercial.
7) Whitney Houston was a stalwart supporter the anti-apartheid movement and Nelson Mandela. During her days as a model, Houston refused to work with any agencies who did business with South Africa. In 1988, Houston performed a set at Wembley Stadium in London to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday, who was still in prison at the time.
8 Houston was actually booed at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, because many Black fans at the time believed that she had “sold out” with her crossover success. When Houston’s name was called for nomination, audible jeers could be heard in the audience. Houston later defended herself: “If you’re gonna have a long career, there’s a certain way to do it, and I did it that way. I’m not ashamed of it.”
9) Before she married R&B singer Bobby Brown in 1992, Whitney Houston dated football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy.
10) Whitney Houston’s international smash, “I Will Always Love You,” was actually a remake of a Dolly Parton song.
11) Whitney Houston’s 2002 conversation with Diane Sawyer was the highest-rated television interview in history.
12) Whitney Houston gave conflicting statements about her crack use. In the 2002 Sawyer interview, Whitney denied using the drug, saying: “First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that straight. Okay? We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is wack.” But in her next televised interview, with Oprah in 2009, Houston admitted using drugs with former husband Bobby Brown, telling Oprah that she “laced marijuana with rock cocaine.”