Whitney Houston’s legacy lives on

Madison Dearie, staff writer and photographer, foregin correspondent

“We will always love you Whitney Houston” statuses covered Facebook on Feb. 11 upon hearing of the singer’s death. Houston’s body was found in her suite at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA on Saturday. Cause of death has not yet been determined, but foul play has been ruled out and the possibility of an overdoes or a drowning are being looked into.

Only forty-eight when she died, Houston has left behind quite a legacy, one which includes two Emmy Awards and six Grammys as well as a number of films, most famously “The Bodyguard,” “Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” and “Waiting to Exhale.”

“Whitney Houston like many other talents was taken before her time. The impact she had on the world will never be forgotten. Her music lives in us all: now and forever,” senior Trio Harris said.

Born on Aug. 9, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey, Houston got her start singing in her church’s gospel choir and then performing with her mother in New York City nightclubs. Houston came from a show-biz family, her father an entertainment executive. While her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin all were notable gospel, rhythm and blues, pop and soul singers.

In the ’80s, Houston was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis and asked to model for Seventeen magazine (among many others) becoming the first woman of color to grace their cover. In 1987, Houston had a total of seven consecutive hits on the US Hot 100 chart, topping both The Beatles and The Bee Gees who previously held the record with six. By the late ’80s Forbes magazine listed her as the third highest earning African American entertainer (after Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy).

“She had one of the greatest voices of all time. And she really raised expectations for female vocalists to a new level. Whitney Houston had a huge impact on the music industry,” junior Jenna Tarantino said.

In the star’s personal life, her marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown, the couples drug use and their erratic behavior in recent years have been highly publicized. Especially after the 2009 interview on the Oprah Winfrey show in which the star admitted she and Brown often used cocaine and marijuana. In recent years, Houston had been making strives to end her addiction to drugs.

Houston’s legacy, though, lies in her career which lasted from 1977-2012: turning out over 411 awards (earning her The Guinness Book of World Records title of music’s “most awarded female artist of all time), performances on every continent, international stardom as a singer, model and actress and true to her church upbringing, the establishment of the Whitney Houston Foundation For Children Inc., a non-profit which cares for problems such as homelessness, children with cancer and AIDS.

Houston’s private funeral will take place at the New Jersey church where the megastar performed for the very first time.