The undeniably talented Whitney Houston died unexpectedly at the age of 48 on February 11, 2012.
Houston’s death shocked and saddened fans all over the world.
Famous for her powerful ballads and amazing vocal range, Houston was truly a force of nature. While the singer was beloved by fans, her life was full of twists and turns, sometimes incredible and sometimes tragic.
On February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
She died of drowning with heart disease and cocaine as contributing factors. She also had several other drugs in her system at the time of her death.
Houston struggled with addiction for years.
She started taking drugs in her early twenties after her rise to fame.
According to some family members, she even did cocaine right before walking down the aisle at her own wedding.
But in the years before her death, Whitney was in recovery.
When she died, Houston was out of rehab for nine months and was trying to get her life back together.
Houston’s exposure to fame began early in life.
Her mother, Cissy Houston, was a well-known gospel singer and her cousin was singer Dionne Warwick.
At the age of nine, Whitney met Aretha Franklin, who took her under her wing and became her honorary aunt.
She started singing professionally as a teenager.
Whitney performed with her mother and as a backup singer for several R&B groups.
Read on to find out how Whitney got her first big break in singing.
By her late teenage years, she was working as a model.
Whitney was one of the first women of color to be on the cover of Seventeen magazine.
In 1983, a rep from Arista Records saw Houston perform at a New York City nightclub.
He signed her onto the label, where she would work under Clive Davis.
Her first album, titled Whitney Houston, came out in 1985.
It was immediately popular.
The young, beautiful singer was a star right away. Her single “You Give Good Love” peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Music Chart.
A year later, Whitney was more popular than ever.
Her album was number one on the charts. She received seven American Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, an Emmy, and a Grammy.
Talk about success right out of the gate.
In 1992, Houston married Bobby Brown and that’s when things started going downhill.
Bobby Brown was in the pop group New Edition, and the two singers met at the height of Houston’s fame.
But the pairing was a tumultuous one, read more on the next page.
Bobby and Whitney were married in 1992 and the pair started doing drugs together.
With fame and money thrust upon them at such a young age, the couple had troubling coping.
They struggled on and off with addiction for the entirety of their marriage.
The marriage seemed doomed from the start.
Brown married Houston as his fame began to wind down, but hers was still on the rise.
The difference in the couple’s in success took a toll on the marriage. Bobby admitted that he hit Whitney at least once during their marriage.
In fact, in 2003 Bobby Brown was charged with battery against Whitney Houston.
He had threatened Whitney and hit her in the face.
The couple had one child together, daughter Bobbi Kristina.
Born in 1993, Bobbi Kristina was featured on many of Whitney’s tracks in the ’90s.
But Bobbi Kristina’s life wasn’t easy.
She often ended up having to care for her parents, who struggled with abuse.
According to some sources, even at a very young age, she was often the one running the household while her mother and father did drugs.
But the family chose to remain in the public eye, read more on the next page.
In 2005, the family appeared on a reality show called Being Bobby Brown.
But the show lasted only one season because Whitney did not want to keep filming.
The show was very popular, but some viewers were not happy with the content.
An article by Barry Garron in 2005 was simply titled “Being Bobby Brown is Disgusting” and went on to trash the show and Bobby Brown saying, “What gives ‘Bobby’ that dismal distinction?
Is it the lionizing of a lowlife convicted of failing to pay child support for his out-of-wedlock kids, drunk driving and a cocaine-related parole violation? (And let’s not forget his spousal “slap-boxing” arrest.)
Is it his insufferable ego (he calls his son, Bobby Jr., “special to me because he carries my name”)? Is it his constant crude comments (he tells wife Whitney Houston to “bring that ass in quick. I’m going to show you what I’m going to do with it.”)?
Or is it just his disgusting persona as, in the second episode, he speaks of removing excrement from his wife’s derriere? (No, I’m not going to quote him.)”
Two years after the show, the couple divorced.
Bobby Brown claimed Whitney had cheated on him with multiple people including Tupac Shakur and her female assistant.
Bobby also admitted to being unfaithful during the marriage.
But according to Bobby, cheating wasn’t the only thing Whitney Houston did that made him angry.
Allegedly she also smoked pot with Bobbi Kristina when she was a young teenager.
Whitney took custody of Bobbi Kristina after the divorce.
Bobby Brown took her to court, but Whitney was awarded full custody.
Before she died, Whitney was on the rise again, read about her comeback on the next page.
In the years before her death, Whitney was trying to have a comeback.
She appeared on Oprah in 2009, her first interview in 2009 and there she opened up about her struggles with drugs and addiction.
She released a new album shortly after and went on tour.
Her new album was well-received, but her tour ended up being a sort of disaster.
She canceled many performances due to illness, and many fans walked out of the concert, saying that Whitney seemed unprepared and her voice sounded bad.
On February 11, 2012, Whitney was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
She was supposed to attend a Grammy’s party later that day, according to some reports her gown was still laid out on her bed.
Tragedy struck the family two years later when Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina was also found unresponsive in a bathtub.
Bobbi Kristina was taken to a hospital where she was in a coma for several months before passing away.
Toxicology revealed Bobbi Kristina also had drugs in her system at the time of her death, but the medical examiner was unable to determine the cause of death.
She was only 22 years old.
Whitney Houston’s legacy lives on.
To this day she is the most awarded female act of all time, one of the best-selling artists of all time, and a household name to every household in America.
Rest in Peace, Whitney.
If you know a Whitney fan, share this with them on social media.