The student news site of Huntsville Junior High School

Panther Print

  • January 22May 2 - 13: ACT Aspire

  • January 22April 28 - May 13: ACT End of Course Tests (Algebra I and Geometry)

  • January 22April 18 - 27: STAR Spring Benchmark

Whitney Houston

Nairobi Cutts, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. Born on August 9, 1963 in what was then called a “middle-income” neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. Her father, John Russell Houston worked as an Army serviceman and entertainment executive and her mother, Emily Houston, better known as “Cissy” was a gospel singer. Her elder brother Michael is a singer, and her elder half-brother is former basketball player Gary Garland. At the age of 11, Houston stated performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano.

Her first solo performance in the church was “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”. As Houston got older into her teen years she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school in Caldwell, New Jersey where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, who she described as “the sister she never had”. While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. Houston spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where her mother performed, and sometimes she would even get on stage and perform with her. In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band’s single “Life’s a Party”. In 1978, at age 15, Houston sang background vocals for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls.

In the early 1980s, Houston started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother. She appeared in Seventeen and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of the magazine. She was also featured in layouts in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Young Miss, and appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial. Her looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models of that time. While modeling, she continued her burgeoning recording career by working with producers Michael Beinhorn, Bill Laswell and Martin Bisi on an album they were spearheading called One Down, which was credited to the group Material. For that project, Houston contributed the ballad “Memories”, a cover of a song by Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine. Robert Christgau of the Village Voice called her contribution “one of the most gorgeous ballads you’ve ever heard”. She also appeared as a lead vocalist on one track on a Paul Jabara album, entitled Paul Jabara and Friends, released by Columbia Records in 1983.

On February 9, 2012, Houston visited singers Brandy and Monica, together with Clive Davis, at their rehearsals for Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards party at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills. That same day, she made her last public performance, when she joined Kelly Price on stage in Hollywood, California, and sang “Jesus Loves Me”. Two days later, on February 11, Houston was found unconscious in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub. Beverly Hills paramedics arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. and found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. PST. The cause of death was not immediately known. Local police said there were “no obvious signs of criminal intent”. On March 22, 2012, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office reported the cause of Houston’s death was drowning and the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use”. The office stated the amount of cocaine found in Houston’s body indicated that she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results revealed additional drugs in her system: “diphenhydramine, alprazolam, cannabis and cyclobenzaprine”. The manner of death was listed as an “accident”. Whitney Houston was completely unique in being a black pop star who transformed her race globally with her work sold in countries where black artists don’t sell.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    My Life

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    Breakfast is it the most important meal of the day?

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    Recycling

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    Summer Reading

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    Sleep

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    Huntsville Von Braun Center

  • Feature

    Orphanages and Child Homes

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    Emma Watson

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

  • Whitney Houston

    Feature

    The most Popular Gamefish of the South East

The student news site of Huntsville Junior High School
Whitney Houston