The multimillion-selling, six-time Grammy-winning singer/actress was 48 at the time of her death and on the comeback trail with the movie remake of “Sparkle,” costarring singer Jordin Sparks.
Houston’s second album, “Whitney,” became the first album by a female — black or white — to enter the Billboard charts at No. 1.
She was also the first black woman to break the color barrier on MTV and still holds the record for the most triple-crown hits by any female artist, topping all three Billboard charts; Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and R&B, with four singles: “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “All the Man That I Need,” and “I Will Always Love You.”
In 1994, Houston received an award from the World Music Awards, for being the “Best-selling Female Artist of the Era.”
Few people may remember when Houston and husband, R&B singer Bobby Brown, appeared together in Nashville at the televised 29th Dove Awards in April 1998.
The event was attended by Banner staff writer Bettie Marlowe and son, Terry, who photographed the couple together. Whitney sang “I Go to the Rock” from her film, “The Preacher’s Wife” with backup from The Georgia Mass Choir, according to Marlowe.
“During her performance, she pulled in Brown from the audience to join her onstage,” Marlowe recalled. The couple had a rousing good time together.
As “I Go to the Rock” was named Traditional Gospel Recorded Song, Houston hugged the song’s writer, Dottie Rambo, who was visibly ill, and said, “Thank you for writing that song.”
Marlowe said, “‘The Rock’ — the grand finale of the awards program — brought the house down and “singing continued long after the credits were rolled.”
Sharing the stage was Lee University graduate Janna Potter as part of Avalon, which captured the New Artist of the Year title. Avalon had been in concert at Lee earlier with Crystal Lewis, who was named Female Vocalist of the Year.
Andy Griffith made a guest appearance with his two new albums, and five-time winner Steven Curtis Chapman was named Male Vocalist and Songwriter of the Year. Naomi Judd and John Tesh emceed the awards show.
Houston and Brown divorced in 2007, after 15 years of marriage. Their only child, Bobbi Christina Brown, was said to be her closest friend.
Houston’s funeral took place Saturday at the church in Newark, N.J., where she sang as a child.