Whitney Houston, who was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room on Saturday, rose from a gospel church choir in New Jersey to become one of the best-selling and most-admired female singers of all time.
Houston won two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards during her record-breaking career. Her album "Whitney" was the first female album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard Charts. She has sold 200 million albums world wide.
Houston holds an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Grambling State University in Louisiana.
Houston had one child, Bobbi Kristina, with husband Bobby Brown. Houston and Brown were married from 1992-2007.
With hits like “I Will Always Love You” - the theme song of what was her film acting debut in “The Bodyguard” opposite Kevin Costner in 1992 - and “The Greatest Love of All,” Houston won six Grammys and more than 400 other awards in a 25-year career.
Her soaring voice influenced singers ranging from Beyonce and Alicia Keys to Mariah Carey and Celine Dion - and inspired thousands of copy-cat performers on TV talent shows.
Her early successes also made her one of the first black artists, along with Michael Jackson, to find success on MTV. She later became the kind of singer and actress who could cross international barriers as well as ethnic ones.
“She had everything, beauty, a magnificent voice. How sad her gifts could not bring her the same happiness they brought us,” singing legend Barbra Streisand said in a statement.
Critics hailed the range of her voice and the passion behind her performances.
But behind closed doors, her life was far from the romantic dreams she captured so brilliantly in her singing. She struggled for years with drug and alcohol problems, entering rehab again as recently as May 2011.
And on Saturday, her sudden death shocked the world as much as Jackson’s passing from an overdose of sedatives and a powerful anesthetic in June 2009, at age 50. She joins a short list of brilliant singers - Elvis Presley, Amy Winehouse and Jackson - whose lives were cut short by personal problems and drug abuse.
Houston died on the eve of the Grammy Awards, and just hours before she was due to attend the annual pre-Grammy party thrown by record producer Clive Davis - the man who discovered her in a nightclub in the early 1980s and who guided her career through its many ups and downs.
Her death came just over two years after a 2009 comeback following the end of a turbulent 14-year marriage to singer Bobby Brown. She is survived by their daughter, Bobbi Kris.
UPDATE:16 Feb 2012
Whitney Houston to be buried next to father
Whitney Houston will be buried next to her father, John Houston, on Saturday (18.02.12) at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.
Singer Whitney Houston's millions of fans worldwide will be able to share in her homecoming service Saturday as they watch her private funeral on the Internet.
According to her death certificate, Whitney Houston will be buried on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, in the same cemetery where her father was laid to rest in 2003.
UPDATE:22 Feb 2012
Whitney Houston in the first steps as a model!
In fact, since 1981. Then Whitney was only 18 years old and beautiful.
WHITNEY: THE LAST PHOTO
UPDATE:25 FEB 2012
WHITNEY FINAL MOVIES "SPARKLE"
In "Sparkle," which is slated to hit theaters on August 17, 2012, Houston portrays the mother of a singer played by Jordin Sparks. "Sparkle" is a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name and follows three sisters who form a successful singing group and are subsequently forced to deal with the fallout of fame and drugs.
UPDATE:2 MARCH 2012
Jason Mecier's Whitney Houston 'Pill Portrait' Pays Tribute To Singer
Artist Jason Mecier is best known for taking unusual objects -- everything from licorice to trash that stars send him -- to create breathtaking celebrity portraits.
Among his pieces are a series of controversial works that pay homage to Hollywood personalities who have struggled with substance abuse -- made entirely from pills.
Mecier's latest "pill portrait" is of Whitney Houston, who passed away last month.
UPDATE 8 MARCH 2012
Whitney Houston Will; Singer Leaves Everything To Bobbi Kristina
Whitney Houston left everything to her 19-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
The pop superstar's will doesn't mention specific assets, but leaves all of her furnishings, clothing, personal effects, jewelry and cars to her surviving children. Bobbi Kristina was her only child.
Inside Edition first reported the will, filed in Atlanta, on Wednesday.
Houston's money will be put in a trust. Her sister-in-law and manager, Patricia Houston, was appointed the administrator of the estate.
Upon turning 21, Bobbi Kristina will receive part of the money, more of it at age 25 and the balance at age 30. Houston's trustees can give her money from the trust for various purposes, including tuition, to buy a home and to start a business.
The will was signed on Feb. 3, 1993, about a month before Houston gave birth to her daughter.