Whitney Houston, born on August 9, 1963, came from music business royalty. Her mother, Cissy Houston, was a backup singer for the likes of Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin. Whitney’s cousin, Dionne Warwick, is an internationally recognized singing star. Whitney’s Godmother is Aretha Franklin.
Houston is the most awarded female recording artist of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Houston’s awards include: 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards.
Before she was a recording artist, Whitney Houston was one of the most in-demand teen models of all time. She was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. She also appeared in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Young Miss, and a Canada Dry ginger ale TV commercial.
Whitney Houston was a stalwart supporter the anti-apartheid movement and Nelson Mandela. During her days as a model, Houston refused to work with any agencies who did business with South Africa. In 1988, Houston performed a set at Wembley Stadium in London to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday, who was still in prison at the time.
Whitney with South African President Nelson Mandela and Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
13 "How Will I Know?"