Remembering Whitney Houston the Pioneer 4 Years After Her Death

Whitney Houston

Four years ago, the world lost its voice.  Whitney Houston often touted as "The Voice" is known for utilizing her melissa to captivate her audiences.  Regardless of whether she is singing a dance number or an R&B ballad or a rousing Gospel burner, she has a way of making uslisten and make us want to hear her more.  With 11 #1 hits under her belt, she is also the most awarded entertainer in the world.  

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found unconscious in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. 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".

Despite her short life, Houston died at 48, she was a pioneer in many areas.  Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only woman to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Albums") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts.  Her first song that launched her series of #1s is "Saving All My Love for You."

She was also a pioneer in the sense that her 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a woman in history.Rolling Stonenamed it the best album of 1986, and ranked it at number 254 on the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

During the Persian Gulf War, Houston performed "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991.  Released as a commercial single, the song reached the Top 20 on the US Hot 100, making her the only act to turn the US national anthem into a pop hit of that magnitude (José Feliciano's version reached No. 50 in November 1968). Houston donated all her share of the proceeds to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund. As a result, the singer was named to the Red Cross Board of Governors.

Houston's iconic rendition of "I Will Always Love You" made her another pioneer.  The single was certified 4× platinum by the RIAA, making Houston the first woman with a single to reach that level in the RIAA history and becoming the best-selling single by a woman in the US. The song also became a global success, hitting number-one in almost all countries, and the best-selling single of all time by a female solo artist with 20 million copies sold.

Houston also left her mark in Gospel music.  The Preacher's Wife Soundtrack was more successful on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart than on any other chart. The album debuted straight at number one on the chart and spent 26 consecutive weeks at the top from December 14, 1996 to June 7, 1997. It remained on the chart for 117 weeks. Eventually the album became number one gospel album on the 1997 Billboard Top Gospel Albums year-end chart and also "Best-selling gospel recording" by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) in 1996-1997.


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