Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time. Her list of awards includes two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. Inspired by prominent soul singers in her family, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and her godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing with New Jersey church's junior gospel choir at age 11. After she began performing alongside her mother in night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis. Houston released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.
Houston was the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits ("Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know", "Greatest Love of All", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"). She was the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Top Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Album") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston, became the best-selling debut album by a female act at the time of its release. The album was named Rolling Stone 's best album of 1986, and was ranked at number 254 on Rolling Stone 's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987), became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African-American female artists to follow in her footsteps.
Houston's first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single "I Will Always Love You", became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period. The album makes her the only female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history. Three years after the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love (1998), she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records. She released her fifth studio album Just Whitney in 2002, and the Christmas-themed One Wish: The Holiday Album in 2003. In 2009, Houston released her seventh studio album I Look to You.
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The Bodyguard is a 1992 American romantic-thriller film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. Costner stars as a former Secret Service Agent turned bodyguard who is hired to protect Houston's character, a music star, from an unknown stalker. Lawrence Kasdan wrote the film in the 1970s, originally as a vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross. It was directed by Mick Jackson.
In the United States, The Bodyguard opened on November 25, 1992 in 1,717 theaters; it grossed $16.6 million in its opening weekend, ranking third. The film was in theaters for thirteen non-consecutive weeks, ultimately grossing $121.9 million domestically, and $410.9 million worldwide. It was the seventh highest-grossing film of 1992 in North America, and the second highest-grossing film of 1992, worldwide. At the time, the film became one of the 100 all-time highest grossing films worldwide, though it has since fallen out.
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Whitney Houston is the debut album of American R&B and pop singer Whitney Houston, released March 14, 1985 on Arista Records. The album initially had a slow commercial response but began getting more popular in the summer of 1985. Eventually it topped the Billboard 200 chart for fourteen weeks in 1986 and generated three number-one singles—"Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All"—on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the first debut album and the first album by a female artist to achieve that feat. The album was one of those very rare cases that enjoyed global success by a new black female artist, topping the albums chart in many countries such as Canada, Australia, Norway and Sweden, peaking at number two in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland. The album was certified Diamond for shipments of 10 million units or more on March 16, 1999, and later 13× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on July 29, 1999. It has sold over 25 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time.
At the 28th Grammy Awards in 1986, Whitney Houston received four nominations including Album of the Year and won one of which, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Saving All My Love for You". For the 29th Grammy Awards of 1987, the album earned one nomination for Record of the Year for "Greatest Love of All". In 2003, the album was ranked number 254 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In honor of its 25th anniversary, the album was re-released on January 26, 2010, in an expanded edition with five bonus tracks and a DVD.
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"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" is the first single from Whitney Houston's second studio album Whitney. It was produced by Narada Michael Walden, and written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam of the band Boy Meets Girl, who had previously written the number-one Whitney Houston hit "How Will I Know". The original arrangement was more of a country tune but was transformed to make it a dance song by Walden.
The song received mixed reviews from critics, who compared the musical arrangement to her own "How Will I Know" and Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". The song won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at 30th Grammy Awards and in later years received better reviews, being considered an 80s gem. The single was a commcercial success, topping the charts in 13 countries, including Australia, Germany and the UK. In the US, it became her fourth consecutive number one single, selling over one million copies; it's her second biggest hit there, after "I Will Always Love You".
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