Key facts about Whitney Houston

Updated: 2012-02-12 15:01


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Whitney Houston, regarded as one of the world's best singers, died on Saturday in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 48, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, the music industry's biggest honors.

Following are some key facts about Houston:

* Houston won six Grammys, 30 Billboard awards and 22 American Music Awards in a 25-year career. According to the Guinness Book of Records, she was the most-honored female singer with more than 400 awards.

* She released seven studio albums, the most recent in 2009.

Her best-known hits include "I will Always Love You," "Saving All my Love for You" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and she has sold more than 170 million albums worldwide.

* Houston's movies included "The Bodyguard" in 1992 with Kevin Costner, "The Preacher's Wife" with Denzel Washington and "Waiting to Exhale." She had recently finished filming "Sparkle," described as the musical drama of a girl group dealing with fame and drugs, that is scheduled for release in August.

* Houston started out singing in her church gospel choir in New Jersey at age 11 and released her first album in 1985 after being discovered by record producer Clive Davis. Her extraordinary mezzo-soprano belting voice is credited with influencing singers ranging from Mariah Carey to Celine Dion, Alicia Keys and Beyonce.

* Houston was the cousin of Dionne Warwick. She married Bobby Brown on July 18, 1992, and had a daughter with him. They divorced after a tumultuous, drug-fueled 14 years together.

* The last 10 years of Houston's life were dominated by drug use, rumors of relapses and trips to rehab. In a 2002 TV interview, she admitted using marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and prescription drugs. In 2009, she admitted lacing marijuana with rock cocaine.

She launched a comeback tour in 2009 and in April 2010 she called media reports she was using drugs again "ridiculous." In May 2011, Houston enrolled in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.