Born in 1963 in New Jersey, Houston, Whitney was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 60s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin. So, clearly music was her destiny.
She started off singing in gospel choirs and night clubs, before a stint as a model, then was later signed by Arista Records, with whom she went on to take the global music industry by storm. She achieved 11 No.1 hits in the US and is a multi-Grammy award winner. Her total record sales have topped 170 million, putting her on a par with super singers Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Plus, her best-known song, the 1992 hit originally written by Dolly Parton 'I Will Always Love You' remains the biggest-selling track by a female artist of all time and spent 14 weeks at No.1 in the US charts. Her success spanned the 80s and 90s mainly, and hits including: 'Run To You', 'Saving All My Love For You', 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' and 'Queen Of The Night' have become classic karaoke numbers.
Not only did Whitney become music's golden girl, but she was also a successful actress, starring in blockbuster movie, The Bodyguard opposite Kevin Costner. The soundtrack for this won the 1994 Album Of The Year Grammy. She also went on to act in Waiting To Exhale.
Sadly, Whitney's personal life was not destined for such success. In 2007, after 14 years and a daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, she divorced singer Bobby Brown over claims of domestic abuse. She also struggled with drug addiction and financial problems, the former of which really took its toll on her voice. It meant that Whitney's attempt at making a comeback in 2009 with new album 'I Look To You' was met with criticism of her appearance and behaviour, with her voice not being up it any more. And despite undertaking a drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme in 2011, she sadly passed away on February 11, 2012, aged just 48, discovered dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room after reports of heavy drinking earlier in the night.