During the evening of Saturday February 12, 2012 the disturbing news of the death of Whitney Houston sent shockwaves around the world. Instantly persons took to social media networks to express their surprise, shock and heartfelt condolences. The world has lost an iconic female vocalist in the passing of Whitney Houston.
A girl born into a family of extraordinarily talented and successful musicians with mother Cissy Houston being a renowned gospel singer, soul sensations for cousins in Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, and a Godmother in Aretha Franklyn, it is no small wonder that Whitney Houston grew to become the most prominent and powerful female voice of her era. Beginning her singing career in church, her unmistakably unique and powerful voice eventually found the ear of one of the music industry’s keenest ear for talent, Mr. Clive Davis who wasted no time in signing her to his Arista Records.
Whitney Houston is regarded as one of the all-time bestselling female artistes in the music industry to date, selling over 170 million copies of albums, singles and videos during her time at Arista Records. She was also cited by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 as the most awarded female act of all time. Some her awards include: two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 other career awards as of 2010.
Some of her record sales achievements are as follows: Being the only artiste 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 (Who Loves Me)," "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "So Emotional," and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"); the first female artiste to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at #1 (her second album, Whitney, 1987); and the only artiste with seven consecutive multi-platinum albums (Whitney Houston, Whitney, I'm Your Baby Tonight, The Bodyguard, Waiting To Exhale, and The Preacher's Wife soundtracks, and My Love Is Your Love).
The Bodyguard soundtrack is still regarded as one of the top 10 biggest-selling albums of all-time (at 17x-platinum in the U.S. alone), and her career-defining version of the Dolly Parton written "I Will Always Love You" remains the biggest-selling U.S. single of all-time (at 4x-platinum).
Sadly with all her success Whitney seemed to not be able to find true happiness. Drugs and alcohol and eventually a failed marriage helped to contribute to her legendary fall from stardom. Her perfectly pitched voice no longer had its power and range. However fans still adored her and understood the human weaknesses she was experiencing. Even amidst her much publicized battle with drugs, she maintained her love for music and tried a few times and most recently, to restart her singing career. But now she’s gone, taken from this world at the relatively young age of 48.
Whitney, you have set the benchmark for contemporary soul singing with your powerful yet exquisitely melodious voice. Many singers both male and female have learnt many things from you. Your touching lyrics and distinctive melodies amply supported by a unique harmonic style will forever be cherished and remembered by millions of fans worldwide. As for me I know that I Will Always Love You.