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Cause Magazine


The recording artist, actress, producer, and model was only 48 years old when she was found dead in her bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She was preparing to go to the annual party that her longtime mentor, record mogul Clive Davis holds each year as a preliminary celebration for the Grammy Awards. Toxicology tests are pending, but available evidence points to a lethal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol.


Whitney had endured many ups and downs in her life and her career, including a volatile marriage to R & B star Bobby Brown and a long and public battle with substance abuse which probably con- tributed to the loss of most of her once awe-inspiring vocal range.


In fact, she was commonly known as


"The Voice" and named by many musicians and singers as prob- ably the best ever. She inspired a multitude of female singers including Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and many others who aspire to be "soulful divas." Whitney at her best is the indelible standard and her gift may never be equaled.


In the 80’s and 90’s her voice wowed audiences and critics. In 1985, the huge international success of her debut album, Whitney Houston allowed her to cross over beyond the R & B charts to the top of the Pop charts and her music and the accompanying MTV videos broke down racial and genre barriers, just as Michael Jackson's had a few years earli- er. She often joked about her inability to dance, but her statuesque beauty and bouncy positive energy made her easy to promote, even on a channel that at that time was still reluctant to feature people of color.


Whitney was born in Newark, New


Jersey, the second child of Army service- man and entertainment executive John


Russell Houston, Jr. and gospel singer Cissy Houston (née Emily Drinkard). She was of African American, Native American and Dutch descent. Her mother, along with cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, godmother Darlene Love and honorary aunt Aretha Franklin were all notable figures in the gospel, rhythm and blues, pop, and soul genres.


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