In the span of one short decade, Whitney
Houston has become an international superstar in the worlds of both music and motion
Six Houston songs highlighted the 1992 released soundtrack for the film and the response was phenomenal. To date, The Bodyguard is the biggest selling motion picture soundtrack and has sold over 33 million copies worldwide. "I Will Always Love You," the first single from The Bodyguard, has become the largest selling commercial single in history, while three other singles from the album; "I'm Every Woman," "I Have Nothing," and "Run To You" have been major international hits for Whitney. In 1994, Whitney garnered a slew of international awards including three Grammys, bringing her Grammy total to five, as well as nineteen American Music Awards, seven Image Awards from the N.A.A.C.P., five Peoples Choice Awards, two Emmys, five Soul Train Awards, and in November 1995 she was inducted into the Soul Train Hall of Fame.
Whitney's second movie, Waiting To Exhale, was released in December 1995. This critically acclaimed film, starring Whitney and Angela Bassett, went on to gross over 70 million dollars at the box office. The soundtrack for Waiting To Exhale, featuring three new tracks from Whitney; "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," "Count On Me," (duet with CeCe Winans) which was co-written by Whitney and Babyface, and "Why Does It Hurt So Bad," quickly became a Number One album which to date has sold over six million copies in the U.S.
In late May of 1996, Whitney completed
filming her latest film project, The Preacher's Wife, co-starring Denzel Washington and
directed by Penny Marshall.
Through her mother, R&B;/Gospel star Cissy Houston, and her legendary cousin Dionne Warwick, Whitney has been exposed to music since birth. As a member of the New Hope Baptist Junior Choir in Newark, NJ (where her mother has served as minister of music for many years), Whitney developed into a soloist by the age of 11. Cissy Houston's career helped provide Whitney with invaluable vocal training. Whitney was singing backup for artists like Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls while in her mid-teens, frequently appearing with Cissy in concert and local New York Clubs. While she also began pursuing a career in modelling (gracing the cover of magazines such as Glamour and Seventeen), her musical ambitions received a boost when she teamed with superstar Teddy Pendergrass for his 1984 hit "Hold Me."
Arista President Clive Davis signed Whitney Houston to the label in 1985, and her debut album, Whitney Houston, released the same year, boasted a string of hits including; "You Give Good Love," "Saving All My Love For You," "How Will I Know," and a song that has become virtually Whitney's anthem, "The Greatest Love of All." Not only did the album establish Whitney as an important new recording artist, it went on to sell over thirteen million copies in the U.S., racking up several million more sales overseas; becoming the biggest selling album by a solo artist.
With the much anticipated 1987 release of Whitney, Houston made history when she became the first female artist to enter the album charts at #1. Whitney included a stream of chart-toppers including; "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "So Emotional," "Love Will Save The Day," and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," which established Whitney as the only artist to have seven consecutive #1 hits, surpassing a record previously set by The Beatles and The Bee Gees.
Her third powerhouse album I'm Your Baby Tonight, released in 1990, displayed Whitney's versatility, spanning tough rhythmic grooves, soulful ballads and up-tempo dance tracks, again setting sales records as a multi-platinum seller internationally. She has gone on to become an international household name, amassing countless awards and breaking box office records with her concerts worldwide.
In 1989, Whitney formed The Whitney Houston
Foundation For Children, Inc., a non-profit organization, whose work assists with a
variety of children's issues; homeless children, children with cancer and AIDS, as well as
self-empowerment of today's youth.
In 1991 she performed for the homecoming troops of Desert Storm which was filmed by HBO as "Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston," and in April of 1994 she made a surprise appearance and performed at the Rainforest benefit put together by Sting at Carnegie Hall.
Whitney spent the majority of 1994 on tour with dates in South America and the United States. She brought the tour to a close with three spectacular performances in South Africa, one of which was broadcast live on HBO.
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