News broke this afternoon across the Internet that six-time Grammy Award winning artist, Whitney Houston, died today at the age of 48.
Whitney Houston’s publicist, Kristin Foster, broke the news of her death to the Associated Press today, but no cause of death has yet to be revealed.
Born on August 9, 1963, Houston began her musical career in 1977 touring nightclubs alongside her mother Cissy, who was performing. Later that year at age 14, Houston became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band’s single “Life’s a Party.”
In 1985, Whitney Houston rose to international prominence with the release of her debut album “Whitney Houston.” The album was co-produced with Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson, and Narada Michael Walden. Worldwide, the album would go on to sell over 25 million copies, becoming one of the best selling albums in the 1980s.
The New York Times called the album “an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent.”
Houston’s second studio album, “Whitney,” became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart in 1987.
Houston would go on to release five more studio albums, including “Im Your Baby Tonight” (1990), “My Love Is Your Love” (1998), “Just Whitney” (2002), “One Wish: The Holiday Album” (2003), and “I Look to You” (2009).
In 1992, Houston starred in her first feature film, “The Bodyguard,” in a main role. She starred in two more films, “Waiting to Exhale” (1995) and “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996), both in main roles, with a fourth upcoming main role film, “Sparkle,” expected to hit theatres on August 17, 2012.
Houston recorded “I Will Always Love You” in 1992 for The Bodyguard soundtrack album. The single was originally written and released by Dolly Parton in 1973. The song spent 14 consecutive weeks at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100, which was a record at the time.
Married to Bobby Brown in 1992, Houston gave birth in 1993 to her first and only child, their daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown.
In August 2001, Whitney Houston renewed her contract for $100 million with Arista/BMG to deliver six new albums, which was the biggest record deal in music history. In December 2001, she appeared on stage for the “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special,” where her extremely thin frame spurred rumors of drug use.
As years progressed, Houston admitted to drug abuse, which had become a chronic problem along with her husband Bobby Brown in the late 2000s. Looking to escape substance abuse, Houston separated from Brown in September 2006 and divorced on April 24, 2007.
In a candid interview conducted on Oprah Winfrey’s season premiere in September 2009, Houston stated that she “laced marijuana with rock cocaine” with husband Bobby Brown.
Billed as her comeback album, Houston’s 2009 “I Look to You” debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number one with sales of 305,000 – beating her previous career best first-week sale of 205,000 units with “Just Whitney” in 2002.
Upon being in and out of rehab, Houston once again found herself back in a rehabilitation center, citing drug and alcohol problems. Her representatives said it was part of her “longstanding recovery process.”
CYGY.com expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Whitney Houston during this time of mourning.