Updated: Feb 13
Eight years ago today, we lost the legendary Whitney Houston, fans all over the world paid tribute to music legend Whitney Houston.
Houston was born on August 9 and grew up in Newark, New Jersey, before rising to international fame and reaching a level of success in the music industry rivaled by few. Whitney Houston is one of pop/R&B music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide.
Whitney Houston left behind an incomparable legacy, in part because of that peerless voice and partly down to insights into her often-troubled personal life after she had died.
There were two films made about her personal troubles and triumphs – the first, Whitney: Can I Be Me released in 2017 – was met with some criticism due to the lack of involvement from her friends and family – ex-husband Bobby Brown sued the filmmakers.
The second, released in 2018, simply titled Whitney, had interviews with her family members and those around her. Both films explored the darker side of her life in the wake of her surprising death.
"God gave me a voice to sing with, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there?"
When did Whitney Houston die?
Whitney was found dead on February 11, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California.
The coroner’s report into her death found that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors. It’s been eight years since she died, but her legacy lives on – it was announced this year that she will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
How old was Whitney Houston when she died?
Whitney was just 48 years old. The singer was born on 9 August 1963, growing up in Newark, New Jersey.
She started singing as a young child, discovering her voice singing in her church and with her mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston. Whitney went on to be one of the biggest selling artists of all time, selling over 200m records worldwide.
Her self-titled debut Whitney Houston was released in 1985 and was certified 13 times platinum in the US – spawning the hit singles Saving All My Love For You, How Will I Know? All At Once and The Greatest Love Of All.
The 1987 follow-up Whitney gave us such classics as I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), So Emotional, Didn’t We Almost Have It All and Where Do Broken Hearts Go.
She released five more studio albums: I’m Your Baby Tonight (1990), My Love Is Your Love (1998), Just Whitney…(2002), One Wish: The Holiday Album (2003) and I Look To You (2009). Meanwhile her acting career saw her appear, most famously, alongside Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard, producing the hit single I Will Always Love You – which topped the UK charts for 10 weeks in 1992.
Her other films included Waiting To Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife, Cinderella and Sparkle – which was released posthumously.
How long were Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown together?
Whitney and Bobby met at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, and the pair were married by 1992.
The pair stayed together – having one daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and one reality show, Being Bobby Brown, – before divorcing in 2007. Tragically, Bobbi Kristina passed away in 2015 aged just 22 after suffering brain damage.