WHITNEY HOUSTON: DEATH OF A MUSIC LEGEND


Posted on Nov 20, 2021      22


WHITNEY HOUSTON: DEATH OF A MUSIC LEGEND

Hardly any other artist has left such a gigantic musical legacy as Whitney Houston. When the U.S. hit singer died in 2012 at the age of just 48, the world went into shock. Yet the drama takes its course much earlier, as her descent into drug addiction follows her marriage to Bobby Brown in the 1990s.

WHITNEY HOUSTON: HER LIFE

A famous family

The path to a career in music was practically laid in Whitney Houston’s cradle when she was born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey. Her mother is Cissy Houston, a gospel star and background singer for Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and Dusty Springfield. Part of the Houston family is also Dionne Warwick, niece of Cissy and famous singer in the US, and gospel tube Aretha Franklin, who is the godmother of Whitney Houston.

The family is very active in a Baptist church, where young Whitney sings in the junior choir and plays the piano as a teenager. She also gained stage experience performing with her mother in nightclubs before her career slowly took on professional traits as a backup singer for Chaka Khan in 1978. Whitney Houston’s beauty also brought her attention as a model, gracing the covers of “Seventeen” and “Glamour”. Even after successfully advancing her music career, Whitney Houston continues to model and works with the most important photographers in the industry, such as David LaChapelle and Patrick Demarchelier.

Debut album hits like a bomb

The cornerstone of Whitney’s career is her unmistakable voice - which spans three octaves. In 1985, the then 21-year-old released her debut album, “Whitney Houston,” which became the best-selling debut by a musician. Singles such as “Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know” and “The Greatest Love of All” all become number one hits in the United States. “Whitney Houston” sells over 25 million copies worldwide and earns the now internationally renowned singer her first Grammy.

Only two years later, the second album “Whitney” is released, which also becomes a huge success with hits such as “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and enters the US charts from zero to number one. Critics accuse the young singer with the giant voice that the style is too similar to the debut. But success proves her right: When “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” climbs the charts in April 1988, Whitney Houston officially becomes the first artist ever to have seven number one hits in a row on the Billboard charts. She thus leaves behind the Beatles and the Bee Gees, who previously held the record with six consecutive hits.

Commitment to Nelson Mandela

Privately, Whitney Houston appears as a supporter of Nelson Mandela and his fight against apartheid. In June 1988, she performs at London’s Wembley Stadium to celebrate the 70th birthday of the politician, who was imprisoned. In the same year, she sings the theme song of the Seoul Olympics, “One Moment in Time” and goes to the top of the German and British singles charts with the song. The singer also dedicates herself to other charitable causes. In 1989 she founded “The Whitney Houston Foundation for Children”. Also, parts of the proceeds of various concerts go to charity.

With Kevin Costner to Hollywood

In 1992, the 29-year-old takes her first big step into acting: Kevin Costner sees her as the ideal cast for the music drama “The Bodyguard,” which he produces, and even postpones the project by a year because the singer is on tour. Costner also takes on the lead role of the titular bodyguard, who falls in love with his client played by Whitney Houston. He takes an enormous risk with her casting, since she has no acting experience to show for it.

But the risk pays off: Even though Houston’s play takes a lot of criticism, “The Bodyguard” becomes a tremendous success: with 411 million dollars, the film recoups many times its production costs. To this day, the rumor persists that the two principal actors did not get along at all during filming. 20 years later, at Whitney Houston’s funeral on February 19, 2012, Kevin Costner gives an emotional speech and disproves the rumors even for the very last doubters.

I Will Always Love You: The most beautiful ballad of all time

Even more successful than the film is the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard,” to which Whitney Houston contributes six songs. The titles “I Have Nothing” and “Run to You” are both nominated for an Oscar. The title song “I Will Always Love You,” a cover of Dolly Parton, is chosen by Kevin Costner, who also insists on the famous a cappella beginning of the soulful love hymn. “I Will Always Love You” stays at number one on the Billboard charts for 14 weeks and is often referred to today as Whitney Houston’s “signature song.”

With roles in “Waiting to Exhale” in 1995 and a year later in “Rendezvous with an Angel” alongside Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston expands her acting career. The last role she played before her death was in 2012 in “Sparkle,” a remake of the 1976 music film of the same name. In 2009, she turned down the role of Grace Hitchens in the comedy series “Glee” and was cast as singer Eve instead.

THE DESCENT WITH BOBBY BROWN

Houston’s career and clean image take a sharp downward slide in the years following her marriage to rapper Bobby Brown. Many fans see Brown as the one who drives the celebrated pop singer into drug addiction and self-destruction, with media dubbing the couple “Beauty and the Beast.” The couple met at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1989. Three years later, they get married. In the fourteen years of their marriage, Whitney Houston’s image is unstoppably developing into a negative one. She and husband Bobby Brown become popular fodder for gossip magazines and comedy formats because of their drug excesses. In 2007, the couple divorced.

Interview with Oprah Winfrey

After not giving any interviews for a full seven years, Whitney Houston speaks to Oprah Winfrey on her talk show in September 2009, following the end of her marriage to Bobby Brown. In the conversation, she confesses how she suffered from her violent and drug-addicted husband and used cocaine with him for months in her pajamas. Since 1996, drug use was something “commonplace” for Whitney. Even after undergoing a thirty-day detox, after Whitney continued to use drugs.

Her daughter: Bobbi Kristina Brown

The family drama between Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown is also manifested in their daughter together, Bobbi Kristina Brown, who was born on March 4, 1993. Her famous mother had already suffered one miscarriage, followed by two more in 1994 and 1996. At eleven, the girl was placed in the care of her godmother Natalie Cole. Scarred by drug addiction, Whitney Houston can no longer take care of her daughter and spends several stays in rehab clinics. In 2006 she separated from Bobby Brown and two years later regained custody of Bobbi Kristina. Whitney Houston’s daughter also regularly uses hard drugs like heroin. Her drug use intensifies after her mother’s death. She expresses fears shortly before her own death that she would end up like her mother. A fear that is confirmed when Bobbi Kristina Brown is found unconscious in the bathtub in her home on January 31, 2015. An image that is also frighteningly reminiscent of the fate of her mother, whose death occurred almost exactly three years earlier. Bobbi Kristina is in a coma for months before she dies on July 26, 2015, at just 22 years old. The cause of death is determined to be brain damage along with a pulmonary embolism. These are said to have occurred because of the simultaneous abuse of alcohol, marijuana, morphine and a cocaine substitute.

WHITNEY HOUSTON IS DEAD

In 2009, her career receives a new boost with a new album and a world tour, but years of drug addiction and alcohol excesses have left their mark. Whitney Houston’s voice is no longer the same. At a concert in Berlin she is booed mercilessly. In 2011, the next withdrawal follows. The 47-year-old is also visually only a shadow of her former self. On February 11, 2012, just one day before her scheduled appearance at the Grammys, Whitney Houston is found dead in a hotel room in Beverly Hills, face down in the bathtub.

Later it turns out: the possibly greatest singer of her generation has drowned. Cocaine and traces of various sedatives are found in her blood. Her daughter is only 18 years old at the time and suffers a nervous breakdown.

Funeral and grave of Whitney Houston

Funeral services will be held Feb. 18, 2012, at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. As a young girl, Whitney Houston was a member of the gospel choir there. The funeral was actually scheduled for four hours, ultimately lasts four hours. At the funeral service, many celebrities and artists paid their respects to the exceptional singer. Among others, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Cece Winians performed.

Whitney Houston will be laid to rest on February 19 at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey. Her grave is next to her father’s grave.

After her death.

Even after her death, things do not get quieter around Whitney Houston. After it became known that the singer had passed away, many of her songs once again ended up in the charts. Many celebrities publicly shared their grief for the singer, including Darlene Love and Dolly Partron and Aretha Franklin. The 54th Grammy Awards will begin with a tribute to Whitney Houston. Many singers, such as Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, have spoken about what a tremendous impact Whitney Houston has had on their music and careers.

During the production of various documentaries and films about Whitney Houston’s life, many details and speculations about the singer’s private life become public. For example, Whitney Houston is said to have had a romance with her best friend, Robyn Crawford. The two women meet each other at a vacation job when Whitney is 16 years old. Whitney and Robyn immediately become best friends; after her parents’ divorce, the singer even moves in with her friend for a short time. For years, Robyn works as Whitney’s assistant. But when Whitney marries Bobby Brown, the women’s relationship cools down considerably. Robyn Crawford never confirmed the rumors about her romantic relationship with Whitney Houston and today lives in seclusion with her wife and children far from the public eye.

Kevin Macdonald, the director of the documentary “Whitney”, revealed that Whitney Houston’s half-brother Gary Garland told him he had been abused by Dee Dee Warwick, Whitney’s cousin and her sister of musician Dionne Warwick. He believes Whitney was also abused by this woman as a child. The statements of Gary Houston were confirmed by further people. Dee Dee Warwick died in 2008 and can therefore no longer be questioned about the allegations.


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