Remembering Whitney Houston

As the world remembers superstar Whitney Houston, take a look at her life in photos.

82 photos
Whitney Houston in concert at Wembley Arena, London, BritainnVarious (Rex Features via AP Images)
Legendary singer Whitney Houston died of an accidental drowning partially to blame on heart disease, cocaine and metabolites, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. Click through to see how friends and fans honored her legacy, and take a look back at Houston’s life through the years, from young pop diva to hit-making legend.
Kazarah Campbell, 4, of Newark, N.J., held a sign as she and other Whitney Houston fans gathered a few blocks from the New Hope Baptist Church before the singer's funeral. Houston died last Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., at the age 48.
BeBe Winans told a story at the funeral about "Crazy Whitney," who bought him and his sister CeCe Winans tour outfits. "She decided at the height of her career she was gonna come sing background with BeBe and CeCe," he said, laughing, adding that she told him, "Y'all broke, right? And, she said, I'm rich, right? So I can buy what I want to for you, right?"
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A woman carried a poster as fans gathered on the streets near the New Hope Baptist Church, where a private funeral for singer Whitney Houston was held.
Houston's mentor, Clive Davis, told mourners during the funeral, "You wait for a voice like that for a lifetime. You wait for a face like that, a smile like that, a presence like that, for a lifetime. When one person embodies it all, it takes your breath away."
Whitney Houston fans gathered around a television in a mobile phone store a few blocks from the New Hope Baptist Church to watch the singer's funeral.
Singer Bobby Brown, left, was seen outside during the funeral of his ex-wife Whitney Houston. According to reports, Brown left the funeral before it started. He walked to the casket, touched it and walked out of the church, visibly upset.
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Fans and mourners watched Whitney Houston's funeral on a screen in Times Square in New York City.
Fans mourned Whitney Houston as they watched the singer's funeral on the Jumbotron in Times Square.
Actor Kevin Costner, who starred with Houston in "The Bodyguard," spoke at the service, asking everyone who mourned Whitney to "suspend our sorrow, perhaps our anger, just long enough to remember the sweet miracle of Whitney." He added, "There's a lady in heaven who is making God himself wonder how he created something so perfect.”
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Another fan takes a picture of a screen in Times Square televising superstar Whitney Houston's funeral.
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Fans mourn at the funeral service for Whitney Houston.
Musician Stevie Wonder re-wrote "Ribbon in the Sky" to tell Houston's story, changing the chorus to "An angel of God's choir of love."
Piers Morgan appeared on camera at the funeral service for Whitney Houston, outside New Hope Baptist Church.
Alicia Keys performed during the funeral, and called Whitney an "angel" and "a beautiful human" who made a whole generation of female singers "feel strong and capable and loved."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Whigham Funeral Home after meeting with Houston's family before going to the New Hope Baptist Church for her funeral.
The Rev. passed a memorial display as he visited New Hope Baptist Church.
Two women paused near a memorial display before funeral services for Whitney Houston at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. Fans mourned the loss of the singer by placing flowers, candles and letters at the memorial.
Photos, CDs and teddy bears are collected at the memorial for Whitney Houston a few blocks from the New Hope Baptist Church.
Renee Taylor, of Baltimore, Md., stands with a sign a few blocks from the New Hope Baptist Church before the funeral of Whitney Houston. Fans were required to stand blocks away from the church to show their respect for the privacy of the family and friends of the singer.
Candles burned at a memorial to Whitney Houston outside New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., early Saturday.
Fans and media surrounded a makeshift memorial as they paid their respects to Whitney Houston at New Hope Baptist Church. Houston got her start singing in the choir of the church.
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Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother, arrives In New Jersey ahead of Saturday's funeral.
The gravestone of Whitney Houston's father, John Russell Houston, Jr, is seen at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J. Houston will be buried in the same cemetery where her father was laid to rest in 2003.
An American flag flies at half-staff in front of the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, N.J. As a young girl, Houston attended what was known then as the Franklin School.
Carl Hamer, a childhood friend of the singer, holds a copy of Whitney's debut album as he arrives for a visit to the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts in East Orange, N.J.
Whitney Houston fans Lawanda Howkins, left, and Melanie Braggs honored her memory at a candlelight vigil in Leimert Park in Los Angeles.
People walk past a large image of Whitney Houston displayed on the side of the Prudential Center in Newark, where earlier reports had suggested a public ceremony would take place.
Evelyn Rios cries after reading a poem she wrote and posted on a makeshift memorial for the late singer outside of New Hope Baptist Church.
A shopper looks at CDs on sale at the special corner setup for the pop queen, with a message "We will always love you," at a music shop in Tokyo — a testament to her music's worldwide resonance.
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The diva ruled the airwaves in the '80s, beginning with her debut album, "Whitney Houston," in 1985. The record would go #1, sell 13 million copies and spawn three number-one singles—"Saving All My Love for You," "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All."
Houston hailed from a musical family. Her mother (R) was gospel singer Cissy Houston, her cousin was '60s pop diva Dionne Warwick and her godmother was the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
Houston would go on to release six more studio albums, four compilations and three soundtrack albums, as well as 53 singles. She sold more than 200 million albums and singles worldwide. Here she performs with her famously big hair.
In 1983, Houston signed a recording contract with Arista Records after label head Clive Davis saw her. She spent two years recording her self-titled debut album, which was released in February 1985. The work paid off, as the album spent 14 weeks at No. 1.
Rising star Whitney Houston is seen here with music producer Clive Davis in 1983, shortly after signing a contract with Arista Records.
The following year, Houston received her first Grammy, one for Best Female Pop Vocal for "Saving All My Love for You," but was ineligible for Best New Artist because she had previously recorded with Jermaine Jackson, with whom she's seen rehearsing for the CBS soap opera "As the World Turns" in 1984.
Whitney Houston performs during her segment of a benefit concert at Boston Garden in 1986. The same year, "Rolling Stone" named her debut album "Whitney Houston" the best of the year.
Whitney Houston poses with her Grammy backstage at the Grammy Awards in 1986. Houston won for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her song "Saving All My Love for You" that year.
At the 13th Annual American Music Awards on Jan. 27, 1986, in Los Angeles, Houston won Favorite Soul/R&B Single for "You Give Good Love" and Favorite Soul/R&B Video for "Saving All My Love for You." Over her career she would win 22 AMA awards from 37 nominations.
Whitney Houston performs at New York's Madison Square Garden at the peak of her career in 1987. That year, she released her second album, "Whitney," which made Houston the first female to have an album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts.
EMPTY_CAPTION"Whitney" sold nine million copies in the U.S. and was the first album by a female artist to spawn four No. 1 singles. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" earned her the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Female. She would win a total of six Grammys from 26 nominations.
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Whitney Houston performs at the Bercy Hall in Paris in 1988. That summer, "One Moment in Time," which she recorded for the summer Olympics, became a top five hit in the U.S. and overseas.
Whitney Houston, second from right, posed in 1988 with, from left to right, Yoko Ono, Liz Taylor, Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson and Christie Brinkley.
Houston was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first Points of Light Contributing Leader in 1990. It was a role in which she called on all Americans to become active in public service projects and challenged other artists to advance the Points of Light community service movement.
At the 1991 Super Bowl, with the country on edge due to the Gulf War, Houston raised the nation's spirits with a soaring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that was so popular it was released as a single and cracked the top 20 on the Billboard charts.
Houston's success and looks carried her beyond music to movies, beginning with "The Bodyguard" in 1992, in which she starred as a pop diva under the care of a former Secret Service agent, played by Kevin Costner. The soundtrack featured Houston's biggest hit, "I Will Always Love You."
Her third film, "The Preacher's Wife," co-starring Denzel Washington, was a remake of 1947's "The Bishop's Wife." The soundtrack to the film would spend 26 weeks atop the gospel charts and go on to become the best-selling gospel album of all time.
Bobby Brown and Whitney were married on July 18, 1992, on the grounds of Whitney's home in Mendham, N.J. They had about 800 guests at their wedding reception.
A year into their marriage, Whitney give birth to their only child, Bobbi Kristina. The tumultuous marriage ended in divorce in 2007.
The success of the soundtrack for "The Bodyguard" had Houston performing before a sellout crowd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., in 1994. The album would sell 44 million copies globally.
The couple attended the premiere of "Cinderella," in which Houston played the Fairy Godmother, in 1997. Houston attributed the eventual breakdown of her marriage in part to her soaring success. In 2009 she told Oprah Winfrey, "Something happens to a man when a woman has that much fame. I tried to play it down all the time."
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Here, Bobbi Kristina, 4, joins her parents at the International Achievement in Arts Awards in Los Angeles in 1998.
Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston present the award for Best Male Video during the MTV Video Music Awards in 1998. When Carey first broke out on the music scene, many listeners thought her voice belonged to Whitney.
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali is greeted by singer Whitney Houston as he arrives on stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall to accept a GQ "Men of the Year" Award in 1998. By this time, her marriage to Brown was starting to go sour.
Whitney Houston celebrates her win at the American Music Awards with her mother, Cissy, and brother, Gary, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1998.
Whitney Houston smiles at her husband, singer Bobby Brown, during a court hearing in Atlanta. Brown was arrested several times over the years for offenses including DUI and failure to pay child support.
Houston won her sixth and final Grammy on Feb. 23, 2000, for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "It's Not Right But It's Okay." Two weeks later, she would be crowned Female Artist of the Decade at the "Soul Train" music awards.
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Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown are sighted after Bobby's release from jail on July 7, 2000, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her ex-husband is said to be "struggling" following the news of the iconic singer's death.
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A thin Whitney Houston performa at the Michael Jackson "30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years" concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in 2001. Throughout her career, the singer's weight fluctuations amplified suspicions of a drug problem she long denied.
Bobby Brown and his wife Whitney Houston arrive at "Vanity Fair"'s Oscar party in 2001. During their 14-year marriage, Brown was arrested for drugs and alcohol, and Houston twice entered drug rehab programs.
In a controversial interview with Diane Sawyer in 2002, Whitney famously told the news anchor, "Crack is whack," though she confessed to having "partied," and Brown said that he used to smoke "a lot of marijuana."
Whitney and Bobby Brown perform during the "VH1 Divas" duets show in Las Vegas in 2003.
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During a 2003 trip to Israel, Houston famously refused to shake hands with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Houston and Brown were in Israel to visit the Black Hebrews, a group that claims to be descendants of a lost tribe of Israelites.
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Whitney, Bobby and their daughter Bobbi Kristina attend the premiere of "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" at Disneyland in 2004 in Anaheim, Calif.
Through all her ups and downs, one of the few constants in Houston's life was Arista head and longtime mentor Clive Davis. The two arrive at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills in 2006.
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Performers Whitney Houston and Ray-J sit ringside for a Vegas boxing bout at in April 2008. Ray-J was reportedly seen leaving the Beverly Hilton—the hotel where Houston was found dead—the morning after her death. The two had been photographed together frequently in the years leading up to her death.
Houston performed on "Good Morning America" in New York's Central Park in September 2009, in support of her new album, "I Look to You," but her voice sounded "frayed," said "The New York Times."
Daughter Bobbi Kristina, of whom Houston was awarded full custody in 2007, briefly joins her mom onstage for the Central Park performance.
That same month, Houston told Oprah Winfrey that the news of Michael Jackson's death was "devastating." "I have so many good memories of spending time with him. I've known his family for so many years that I thought, 'It can't be true,'" she said.
At the 2009 American Music Awards, Houston performs "I Didn't Know My Own Strength."
Whitney Houston told Oprah Winfrey that she took drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, with ex-husband Bobby Brown, who was emotionally abusive during their marriage. The singer opened up during an interview on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2009.
Whitney performs at the 37th Annual American Music Awards on Nov. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles.
The following year saw Houston win the B.E.T. Honor for Entertainment at the 2010 B.E.T. Hip-Hop Honors in Washington, D.C.
In this very recent photo Whitney Houston arrives to The Love of R&B Grammy Party at Tru Hollywood on Feb. 9. She was pronounced dead two days later.
Media mobs a coroner's van as it leaves the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Police said Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. Saturday in her room on the fourth floor of the hotel. A Los Angeles County coroner's official said early Sunday that her body had been taken to a morgue.
Alicia Keys hugs Clive Davis at the loading dock outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Davis went ahead with his annual concert at the same hotel where her body was found. He dedicated the entire evening to her.
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The guests observe a minute of silence in memory of Whitney Houston during the Clive Davis and the Recording Academy's 2012 Pre-Grammy Gala and Salute to Industry Icons at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Singer Jennifer Hudson performed a tribute to the late Whitney Houston onstage at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.
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Harlem's famous Apollo Theater in New York pays tribute to the singer on its marquee.
At Los Angeles' Second Baptist Church, the choir and congregation hold hands as the Rev. Al Sharpton leads a prayer for Whitney Houston.
A woman arriving for the Grammy awards looks at a sidewalk plaque, honoring Whitney Houston's wins for Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
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