Whitney Houston’s inimitable singing voice launched her to global superstardom in the 1980s, and it seemed like there were no limits in sight for her. Tragically, though, her life and career were cut short. Eleven years after Houston’s sudden passing rocked the music industry, her legacy has taken on a new dimension ever since her final words were revealed to the public. And for her legions of devoted fans, they’re enough to make the singer’s turbulent story even more heartbreaking.
Destined for greatness
It probably seemed inevitable that Houston would end up becoming a singer. After all, her mother Cissy was a renowned figure on the American gospel scene, and often invited her daughter on stage with her. When she was just 19 years old, the younger Houston signed to Arista Records, and the rest is history. However, while she would go on to enjoy a hugely successful career, it was one that ultimately ended prematurely.
Taken from us too soon
Houston passed away on February 11, 2012, aged only 48 years old. Her death came at the end of a troubled final few months, during which the singer behind "I Will Always Love You" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" had once more enrolled herself in rehab. She’d spent much of her career battling substance abuse issues. She was first exposed to these dangerous influences during her teen years.
Even at the height of her career, Houston’s problems with drugs were a serious issue. On the day of her 1992 wedding to Bobby Brown, her husband-to-be spotted her “hunched over a bureau snorting a line,” according to his 2016 memoir. Houston also reportedly overdosed in front of her then-bodyguard David Roberts during her 1999 tour. And the following year, she was busted at an airport in Hawaii for possession of marijuana.
Behind closed doors
While working at a community center as a teenager, Houston became close with Robyn Crawford – a woman who would later go on to become her assistant. And for years, the two allegedly engaged in an intimate and sexual relationship. However, Houston reportedly kept her affair a secret — partly to protect her image, and partly because her mother would not approve.