Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. Nicknamed “The Voice”, she is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with sales of over 200 million records worldwide. Houston has influenced many singers in popular music, and is known for her powerful, soulful vocals and vocal improvisation skills. Houston enhanced her popularity upon entering the movie industry. Her recordings and films, have generated both great success and controversy.
She has received numerous accolades throughout her career and posthumously, including two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, and 28 Guinness World Records, as well as induction into the Grammy, Rhythm and Blues Music, and Rock and Roll halls of fame. Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and are among the best-selling albums of all time.
Houston made her acting debut with the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992), which became the tenth highest-grossing film to that date despite receiving poor reviews for its screenplay and lead performances. She recorded six songs for the film’s soundtrack, including “I Will Always Love You” which won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling physical single by a woman in music history.
The soundtrack for The Bodyguard won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston went on to star and record soundtracks for Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996). Houston produced the latter’s soundtrack, which became the best-selling gospel album of all time. As a film producer, she produced multicultural movies including Cinderella (1997) and series including The Princess Diaries and The Cheetah Girls.
Houston’s first studio album in eight years, My Love Is Your Love (1998), sold millions. Following the success, she renewed her contract with Arista for $100 million, one of the biggest recording deals of all time. However, her personal problems began overshadowing her career. Her 2002 studio album, Just Whitney, received mixed reviews. Her drug use and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown received widespread media coverage.
After a six-year break from recording, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart with her final studio album, I Look to You (2009). On February 11, 2012, Houston accidentally drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and was covered internationally.
Some of the best quotes from Whitney Houston are listed below.
- “Being around people like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick and Roberta Flack, all these greats, I was taught to listen and observe.” – Whitney Houston
- “Bobby wants to have a lot of kids. Five would be a definite mistake. I’m only kidding. I love kids.” – Whitney Houston
- “Cracking gum or sitting with your legs open were considered unacceptable…and I’d better not come back from the yard with scratched knees.” – Whitney Houston
- “Each day I live I want to be, a day to give the best of me. I’m only one, but not alone. My finest day is yet unknown.” – Whitney Houston
- “From the beginning, the camera and I were great friends. It loves me, and I love it.” – Whitney Houston
- “God gave me a voice to sing with, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there?” – Whitney Houston
- “Growing around great musicians, you just can’t help it. I identified with it immediately.” – Whitney Houston
- “I almost wish I could be more exciting, that I could match what is happening out there to me.” – Whitney Houston
- “I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside.” – Whitney Houston
- “I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow; if I fail, or if I succeed at least I did as I believe.” – Whitney Houston
- “I feel so blessed to just have done what I had done. To be able to just use what God has given me is a blessing. You know, never mind the Grammys, never mind the records, never mind all of that. Just to be able to sing.” – Whitney Houston
- “I finally faced the fact that it isn’t a crime not having friends. Being alone means you have fewer problems. When I decided to be a singer, my mother warned me I’d be alone a lot.” – Whitney Houston
- “I like being a woman, even in a man’s world. After all, men can’t wear dresses, but we can wear the pants.” – Whitney Houston
- “I thought it would be great to sing Christmas songs, like ‘The Christmas Song. ‘O’ Holy Night’, ‘The First Noel’, songs that I grew up on and love.” – Whitney Houston
- “I wanted to be a teacher. I love children, so I wanted to deal with children. Then I wanted to be a veterinarian. But by the age of 10 or 11, when I opened my mouth and said, ‘Oh God, what’s this?’” – Whitney Houston
- “I was not built to break.” – Whitney Houston
- “I was words without a tune. I was a song still unsung, a poem with no rhyme, a dancer out of time. But now, there’s you, baby, nobody loves me like you do.” – Whitney Houston
- “I wouldn’t be with anybody who didn’t respect my opinion.” – Whitney Houston
- “I’m an old-fashioned girl. And I love gospel. I like things that lift me up, inspire me.” – Whitney Houston
- “I’m not a person who wants to die. I’m a person who has life, who wants to live. And I always have. And I wouldn’t mistake it for anything else other than that.” – Whitney Houston
- “I’m not crazy about arenas just because I can sell them out. It doesn’t do anything for my ego at all.” – Whitney Houston
- “Judge not for your flaws, but for your triumphs!” – Whitney Houston
- “Learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all.” – Whitney Houston
- “My mother sang with me in her stomach; I sang with Bobbi Kris in my stomach. I believe the child starts to develop within, and whatever is put inside of you-whatever you read, whatever you think, whatever you do- affects the child.” – Whitney Houston
- “My mother taught me beauty really lives in places like a smile.” – Whitney Houston
- “My mother taught me that when you stand in the truth and someone tells a lie about you, don’t fight it.” – Whitney Houston
- “My mother was the first singer I had contact with. She sang constantly to us around the house, in church.” – Whitney Houston
- “Never let your heart take precedence over reason, otherwise you will have problems.” – Whitney Houston
- “Nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do. It’s my decision. So the biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy.” – Whitney Houston
- “Sometimes you’ll laugh; Sometimes you’ll cry; Life never tells us the when or the why’s.” – Whitney Houston
- “There can be miracles when you believe.” – Whitney Houston
- “They don’t say I sound like Mariah Carey, they say Mariah Carey sounds like me, you dig what I’m saying? So I don’t feel like I’m in competition with these people.” – Whitney Houston
- “To learn your artistry and to be able to perfect that, is overwhelming. Especially when you are exuding love.” – Whitney Houston
- “What you have to understand is that we are all human beings. We also have a life that has human nature. We don’t spend 24/7 trying to entertain you all the time. There’s a moment where we have to get up, brush our teeth, we have arguments, we have disagreements, we have our daily struggles every day. Just because we have money. Money doesn’t make you inhuman.” – Whitney Houston
- “What’s in your soul is in your soul.” – Whitney Houston
- “When I finished, everyone clapped and started crying. From then on, I knew God had blessed me.” – Whitney Houston
- “You can achieve your goals and enjoy the spoils of success once you unlock your full potential.” – Whitney Houston
- “You can fool people. You can fool anybody any time of the day, but you can’t fool yourself. At night, when you go home, you’ve got to be straight up with you.” – Whitney Houston
- “You don’t realize it until you’re older. When you’re older, you learn what it’s about to relax and enjoy. You’re not so young, not so eager. Some of the mistakes you made are gone. They’re over!” – Whitney Houston