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Ground Breaker ... Record Maker

February is Black History Month. Whitney Houston was, in all respects, a ground breaker and record maker. For the post-Civil Rights generation, her voice represented the promise of a new day. She was the first black woman to receive consistent and heavy rotation on MTV. Her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both reached number one on the Billboard 200. They remain the biggest-selling initial albums released of any artist in history. She is the only recording artist to have seven (7) consecutive number-one singles. Guinness World Records identifies her as the most awarded female artist of all time and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time receiving 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards as well as 6 Grammy Awards, among many other awards, citations and performance records. She has sold more than 200 million records worldwide. Her body of vocal work is comprised of seven (7) studio albums and two (2) movie soundtrack albums. Each of them in their own right has achieved certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold ranking by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

She made her acting debut in “The Bodyguard.” The movie’s signature song “I Will Always Love You” … a Dolly Parton remake … earned her the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. The Bodyguard movie soundtrack was recognized as the Grammy Award for Album of the Year … and remains the best-selling movie soundtrack in history. Houston’s made several film appearances and contributed/produced their accompanying soundtracks, including Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack went on to become the best-selling gospel album in history. “Waiting to Exhale” … the film adaptation of Terry McMillan’s best-selling novel … achieved number one at the box office in December 1995, grossing over $67 million, which remains a record for a black film featuring an all-female cast.

Following critical and commercial success of My Love Is Your Love (1998), Houston signed an unprecedented and record breaking $100,000,000.00 contract with Arista Records. Regrettably, her personal struggles began to overtake her. After a six-year break, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 charts with her final studio album, I Look to You (2009).

Whitney was found dead on February 11, 2012.


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