In a beautiful written piece for the New York Times, Trevor Noah paints a picture of his childhood with his mother

M-Net officially turns 30 years old today – celebrating three decades of bringing viewers across the African continent premium TV content

Whitney Houston: 24 Facts

2009-09-08 15:48

1. Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on August 9, 1963. Yes she's a larger than life LEO. And can you belive she's only 45?

2. She is youngest of three siblings and has two older brothers Gary and Michael. Her parents got divorced when she was four.

3. She's musical aristocracy: her second cousin is Dionne Warwick; her godmother is Aretha Franklin.

4. She started young. Whitney spent her teenage years singing onstage with her mother, Cissy Houston. At age fifteen, she was a back up singer for Chaka Khan, Lou Rawls and Jermaine Jackson. At 19, while modelling, she sang a ballad, "Memories" for avant-garde rock producers Michael Bienhorn, Bill Laswell and Martin Bisi on their Material album, One Down. The Dean of Rock critics, Robert Christgau called the song "one of the most gorgeous ballads you've ever heard" in The Village Voice.

5. Her height - she's 5"8 - and her deliciously svelte figure launched a modeling career. She became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of Seventeen and Glamour magazines and has also been seen on the covers of US, Esquire, Redbook, Jet, Blues&Soul, Essence, Jane, Rolling Stone, Harper's Bazaar and Premiere (to mention a few). She is currently on the cover of Ebony magazine.

6. Her self-titled 1985 debut album (Whitney Houston) is her best selling album and the ballad "Saving All My Love for You" was her first #1 hit single in both the US and the UK. She scored a further two hits off this album, "Greatest Love of All" and "How Will I Know". The latter introduced her to the MTV audience and made her one of the first African American female artists to receive heavy rotation on the network. American Psycho author, Brett Easton Ellis, gave her debut a rather dubious 'shout out' from his serial killer, Patrick Bateman.

7. Her debut album is currently listed as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine and is on The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's Definitive 200 list.

8. Throughout the 1980s, Whitney was romantically linked to American football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy. Eddie likes girls who can sing. Whitney clearly likes bad boys.

9. She then met R&B singer Bobby Brown (formerly of boy band New Edition) at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards. Married him on July 18, 1992.

10. Nearly a year later, she gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown, her only child, his fourth, on 4 March 1993. In 2003, at the tender age of 10, Bobbi Kristina made her singing debut on the "Little Drummer Boy" from Whitney's Christmas album, One Wish.

11. During the Gulf War she sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, the recording was released as a single that went platinum. She donated the proceeds to the Red Cross. In that same year she put together a Welcome Home Heroes concert with HBO for the soldiers fighting in the Gulf War and their families.

12. She has played the leading role in 3 movies: The Body Guard (1992) - hands up who went to see this guilty pleasure; Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’' Wife’(1996). Even though The Body Guard was hugely successful at the box office, grossing more than $121 million in the U.S. and $410 million worldwide, she received a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress.

13. The Body Guard soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack of all time (selling 42 million copies), and the single "I Will Always Love You" 6th best-selling song in the history of music.

14. In the noughties Whitney got caught being naughty. In 2002, she told Diane Sawyer, "Crack is cheap. I make too much for me to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight, okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack."

15. In 2003, Bobby Brown, was charged with battery after an argument left Whitney with facial injuries (Hello, Rihanna!) and two years later, in 2005, she was hospitalized with what was called food poisoning. Yeah right!

16. The couple aired more than dirty laundry on their Bravo reality show Being Bobby Brown (2005). In one episode, Bobby talks about how he helped a constipated Whitney by putting his hands up her butt to remove her poop. A grateful Houston then proclaimed, "That’s black love!" Sensitive guy.

17. Whitney underwent two drug rehab programs in 2005 and 2006. No longer to able to stand Bobby and be sober, she divorced him in 2007.

18. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's 15-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina was hospitalised after attempting suicide (May 2008).

19. Whitney is currently dating skanky, media slut Ray J, R&B singer Brandy's brother. She likes bad boys and isn't going to let a 17 year age gap and a sex tape stop her.

20. She coaxed Alicia Keys to produce "Million Dollar Bill", a song off her latest album I Look To You.

21. Diva fashion face-off: Whitney Houston (London) and Madonna (Milan) wear the same the Dolce & Gabbana dress on same night – Tues 14 July 2009 – imagine a face-off between these two…camera pleez.

22. Despite all the notoriety of her personal life, her talent continues to inspire. Even Beyoncé told the Globe and Mail that Whitney "inspired (her) to get up there and do what (she) did." Now you know who 'B' is trying to beat.

23. Whitney is the only artist to chart seven number one Billboard Hot 100 hits in a row— "Saving All My Love for You," "How Will I Know," "Greatest Love of All," "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.

24. She is also the only artist with at least one Grammy, Emmy, MTV Video Music Award, MTV Movie Award, People's Choice Award, and Billboard Music Award, making her "The Most Awarded Female Artist of All Time" according to the Guinness Book of World Records. 

From Grammy winning urban pop prodigy to drug addict, divorcee and back....get all the juice on the greatest diva of them all.
Read more on:    whitney houston
NEXT ON CHANNEL24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Recent News

24 Facts: Patricia Lewis

2010-05-05 14:39

She's David Hasselhoff's ex, a singer, TV star and socialite. Find out what's beneath her bright, busty, blonde exterior. Read More »

Interview: Chris Forrest

2010-04-19 15:00

From SABC to BBC, Chris knows how to do funny TV. That's why he's hosting BBC Entertainment's Comedy Fest. Meet the baaaad sheep. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.