Whitney Houston 1963-2012: The Iconic Singer's Life and Career in Pictures
1:40 AM PST 2/12/2012 by Sophie Schillaci, Kyleen James
News of Whitney Houston's sudden death shocked the industry on Saturday, Feb. 11, just hours before she was scheduled to hit the red carpet at mentor Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala. Heralded as one of the best female vocalists of all time, Houston was staging another return to the spotlight with a starring role in the big-screen remake of "Sparkle" and a potential seat on "The X Factor" judges' panel. Sony TriStar will release "Sparkle," which includes two of her final recorded tracks, on Aug. 17.
The legendary Whitney Houston was born on Aug. 9, 1963. With her sudden death, the iconic singer leaves behind an 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina with ex-husband, Bobby Brown.
'The Preacher's Wife' 1996
Houston returned to her gospel roots with 1996's The Preacher's Wife, opposte Denzel Washington. Said director Penny Marshall: "I knew her, I worked with her. She was a delight to work with. I loved her very much and I miss her."
'The Bodyguard' 1992
Houston starred opposite Kevin Costner in 1992's The Bodyguard, which spawned the unforgettable ballad "I Will Always Love You"
'Waiting to Exhale' 1995
Houston worked with director Forest Whitaker for 1995's Waiting to Exhale, based on the Terry McMillan novel. Her co-stars included Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Lela Rochon.
Inaugural WNBA AllStar Game
Surrounded by children, Houston sings the national anthem at the inaugural WNBA AllStar Game at Madison Square Garden in 1999.
With Clive Davis, Eddie Murphy
Houston poses with comedian Eddie Murphy and mentor Clive Davis.
Six-Time Grammy Award Winner
Houston's debut self-titled album was released in February 1985, shooting her to international fame. In 1986, Houston won her first Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
With Chaka Khan
Houston and Chaka Khan performed "Tell Me Something Good" at the Paisley's Kings Concert in May 2011.
With Mariah Carey
Houston joins Mariah Carey for a performance of their Oscar nominated "When You Believe" During the 71st Academy Awards.
With Clive Davis, Dionne Warwick
A smiling Houston poses with mentor Clive Davis and Dionne Warwick.
Houston's second album, Whitney, came in 1987 and featured the smash hit, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
Houston's third studio album, titled I'm Your Baby Tonight, was released in Nov. 1990 and was certified 4x Platinum in the U.S.
With Bobby Brown
Houston married Bobby Brown in 1992 after three years of dating. Together, the former couple has a 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Following the end of their marriage in late 2006, Houston later went on to acknowledge drug and alcohol abuse and an emotionally abusive relationship.
Houston holds one of her many trophies during the 2000 Grammy awards ceremony.
With Stevie Wonder
Houston appears radiant performing next to the legendary Stevie Wonder during a 2003 show.
1991 Super Bowl
Houston wowed on the world's largest stage, singing the National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl.
Staging a Comeback
Just before her sudden death, Houston had been staging a career comeback. She had recently wrapped filming on the musical drama Sparkle, due out on Aug. 17, and was under consideration by Simon Cowell to fill one of the vacant judges seats on his X Factor series.
Houston has been cited as an inspiration to countless young artists. Among them, Lady Gaga, who said at the 2011 Grammys that, while writing her hit "Born This Way," she envisioned Houston singing it.
Awards and Accolades
Houston is one of the most awarded females of all time, with 22 American Music Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 1 Emmy Award and 99 RIAA Awards.
With Taylor, Minnelli, Jackson
Sadly, Liza Minnelli is the last living of the legends photographed here in 1988. Elizabeth Taylor died in 2011 and Michael Jackson in 2009.
Therapy? Yep, the 'Still Alice' star has had plenty. And now, today, the onetime outsider is a five-time Oscar nominee who also believes in family and the ability to control her own fate: "I've completely created my own life. Structure, it's all imposed." Watch video