Singer Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room in Beverly Hills. She was 48. Her cause of death is not known as of this writing. She had been scheduled to attend a pre-Grammy party tonight hosted by Clive Davis, who signed her to her first recording contract with Arista Records.
Houston dominated the Billboard charts from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s with seven consecutive number one hits and eleven number one hits overall including “How Will I Know”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and a cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” from the soundtrack of The Bodyguard in which she co-starred with Kevin Costner. In addition, Houston also appeared in movies such as Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife. In all, Houston sold more than 170 million albums.
However, for the past decade or so she became better known for her tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown and for substance abuse problems. In 2009, she released a comeback album I Look to You (which was produced by Davis) which received good reviews and went Platinum. Late last year she filmed a remake of the 1976 movie Sparkle to which she had bought the rights back in the 1990s. The film will be released in August.
Houston came from a rich musical lineage. Her mother was acclaimed gospel singer Cissy Houston and Dionne Warwick and the late Dee Dee Warwick were her cousins. For good measure, Aretha Franklin was her Godmother.
I leave you with Houston singing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV.