Whitney Houston's Most Memorable Moments
Today, we honor the iconic singer-actress Whitney Houston, who would have turned 51. From a fresh-faced teen model (seen above) to InStyle cover girl, the New Jersey native left her mark in the entertainment industry, racking up a handful of Grammy nominations and wins in her career. And who can forget. In honor of Houston's birthday, we're taking a look back at her most unforgettable moments over the years. Click through our gallery to relive her standout performances, flawless studio albums, and more.
Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. The 5-foot-8 star got her start as a teen model before trading in magazine covers for album covers. She released her first album, "Whitney Houston," in 1985 at the age of 22.
By 1986, she was enjoying her rise to the top of the charts, thanks to the success of her first album, "Whitney Houston," which included the hits "You Give Good Love," "Saving All My Love for You" (her first number-one single in the United States), "How Will I Know," and "The Greatest Love of All."
In February 1986, she attended the Grammy Awards hoping to win one of the three awards she was nominated for, including Album of the Year. She walked away with one—Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for "Saving All My Love For You," which she also performed at the awards show.
"I have what I wore when I did 'The Star-Spangled Banner'," Houston told InStyle of one of her favorite style memories—singing at the Super Bowl in 1991. "I had on this very plain jogging suit. It's nicely boxed in New Jersey. I'll never forget the day. I had no idea what I was actually getting into. I didn't even have any makeup on! I knew I was singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." But the Gulf War was happening, a lot of people were awaiting the return of family members—it was a very emotional time."
“The thing about movies with me is, my job is always acting and singing,” she told InStyle. And it’s true—"The Bodyguard’s" standout soundtrack song was “I Will Always Love You,” originally a Dolly Parton tune she remade for this movie. To this day, her version of the song tops many Best Love Songs of All Time lists.
Whitney Houston married New Edition singer Bobby Brown in 1992 wearing a white lace design by Marc Bouwer. “So many fond memories with my dear Whitney,” Bouwer wrote on his Facebook wall after hearing the news of her passing. “I was at her 25th birthday party, i dressed her for her wedding and countless performances and events… you will be deeply missed. I love you, Marc.”
Houston performed "Count on Me" alongside Cece Winans at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, wearing structured ringlets and a wine-hued lip. Their track from the film "Waiting to Exhale" went gold in the United States, and reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
At the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, the 71st Annual Academy Awards, and again at a performance in 2003, Houston and Mariah Carey wore coordinating outfits when they took the stage to sing their dynamic duet, "When You Believe" from the 1998 animated film "The Prince of Egypt."
Always the powerful singer, Houston showed off her biceps while performing "Try It On My Own" during the VH1 Divas Duets concert in Las Vegas. The diva herself wore defined curls and gold-flecked makeup to set off her gilded halter dress. "Sexy can be sexual without having to expose a lot of yourself," she told InStyle. "Your body can express a lot without your having to take off a lot. I try to splash it in there a little bit, just by body movement."
Pairing her golden highlights with a sultry smoky eye and nude lip, the singer attended BET's 25th Anniversary Show alongside husband Bobby Brown. The pair divorced after 14 years and a rocky marriage in 2006.
Houston attended Clive Davis's Salute to Icons pre-Grammy gala in 2011 with side-swept bangs and a sequin turtleneck gown. The singer said one of her newest songs "I Look to You" off her 2009 album resonated with her in a special way. "It's a very powerful song," she told InStyle. "I listen to it and it gives me strength and courage. Even when I don't sing it, I can hear it."
Houston wore neutral-toned makeup to complement her sleek, cinnamon-hued bob at a pre-Grammy gala on February 9th. Unfortunately, this would be the singer's last public appearance before her untimely death two days later, on the eve of the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, at the age of 48.