Without question, Whitney Houston was one of the most compelling figures of the entertainment world in her era.
She was a singer and actress who was cited as the most celebrated female entertainer of all time. She was one of the world’s best-selling artists, having sold more than 200 million records worldwide in her career. She released six studio albums, one holiday album and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.
Born on Aug. 9, 1963, Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. Her second studio album, Whitney, was released in 1987 and became the first album by a female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Houston's first acting role was as the star of the 1992 feature film The Bodyguard. The film’s original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single, “I Will Always Love You,” became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. She continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale in 1995 and The Preacher’s Wife the following year.
Whitney Houston died in 2012. She was found dead in her hotel room in Beverly Hills, California. The official coroner’s report indicated that she had drowned accidentally in her bathtub. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and led to a worldwide outpouring of grief.
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(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)