Originally Published: Feb. 26, 2012
Updated: Jul. 11, 2018
Beverly Hills, California – Whitney Houston, one of the world’s greatest vocalist, died at the age of 48. Houston’s soulful music was enjoyed by her fans worldwide.
On February 11, 2012, soulful songstress Whitney Houston was found underwater in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
According to CNN, “Whitney Houston died from an accidental drowning in a hotel bathtub, but the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use” were contributing factors in her death, the Los Angeles County coroner said in an initial autopsy report…”
Houston was in Beverly Hills to attend record producer Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Party. Davis discovered Houston and assisted in developing her music career.
Since 2000, Houston was blasted by the media for drug use. However, her friends, family and fans choose to remember her accomplishments, powerful presence and distinctive, melodious voice.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston, born August 9, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey, was a mother, actress, model, producer and a phenomenal record-breaking recording artist.
Houston was one of the world’s best-selling recording artists. She only made seven albums and three movie soundtrack albums, but sold over 170 million albums during the course of her career.
Every album she made received either gold, platinum, multi-platinum or diamond certifications. She was the only music artist to chart the Billboard Hot 100 list at number one seven consecutive times.
Houston’s second album “Whitney”(1987) debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, which was a first for a female artist.
On January 27, 1991, Houston sung “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV in Tampa Stadium during the time of the Persian Gulf War. Her rendition of the National Anthem received glowing praise as it awakened the spirit of patriotism across the nation.
It was released as a commercial single that reached the Top 20 on the US Hot 100. Houston was the first artist to turn the National Anthem into a hit single.
Houston’s first acting role was alongside Kevin Costner in the film “The Bodyguard” (1992). In 1994, the movie’s soundtrack won a Grammy for the “Album of the Year.” The lead single “I Will Always Love You” made music history by becoming the best-selling single by a female music artist.
In her third film, Houston played opposite Denzel Washington in “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996). The movie’s Gospel-inspired soundtrack took Houston back to her religious roots. Moreover, it became the best-selling gospel album in music history.
Houston’s final stage performance was February 10, 2012. The six-time Grammy-winner had attended a Pre-Grammy party — Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged: For the Love of R&B at TRU Hollywood nightclub – as a spectator.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Price noticed Houston who was sitting in the audience and stated, “You are a class act, you are an icon.” Houston surprised Price by joining her on stage. Houston took the microphone and started singing the classic Gospel hymn, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.” Price joined in.
A home-going memorial service was held for Houston at New Hope Baptist Church in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey on February 18, 2012. The service was attended by 1,500 of Houston’s close family and friends.
On February 19, 2012, Houston’s funeral service was also held at the New Hope Baptist Church where Pastor/singer Marvin Winans gave the eulogy. Additionally, several top secular and gospel music acts, such as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Kim Burrell and CeCe Winans performed.
Other celebrities who attended the funeral, included ex-husband Bobby Brown, Kevin Costner, Matt Damon and her music director Ricky Minor. Houston’s godmother Aretha Franklin was scheduled to perform, but due to illness she was unable to attend.
Later that day, Houston was laid to rest beside her late father John Russell Houston in Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.
Houston is survived by her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown (b. March 4, 1993 – d. July 26, 2015), her mother gospel singer, Cissy Houston and her cousin Dionne Warwick.
Sadly, the world will never again be graced with Houston’s presence or hear her transform an ordinary song into a soul-stirring masterpiece. Nevertheless, her memory will forever be immortalized in the hearts of all who adored her.