The daughter of Emily (“Cissy”) Houston—whose vocal group, the Sweet Inspirations, sang backup for Aretha Franklin—and the cousin of singer Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston began singing in church as a child. While still in high school, she sang backup for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls and modeled for fashion magazines. At age 19 she signed with Arista Records, whose president, Clive Davis, groomed the gospel-based singer for crossover pop success. Her debut album, Whitney Houston (1985), yielded three number one singles: “Greatest Love of All,” which became her signature; “Saving All My Love for You”; and “How Will I Know.” Whitney (1987) delivered four more number ones. In 1992 she married singer Bobby Brown (divorced 2007) and made her motion-picture debut in The Bodyguard; the film featured her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which stayed at number one for 14 weeks. In the mid-1990s she continued acting in films such as Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996), and the soundtrack of each film generated hit singles for her. In 1998 Houston released My Love Is Your Love, which did not sell as well as previous efforts but was praised by the critics. In 2000 she signed a new multi-album contract with Arista for $100 million.
Singer Whitney Houston postponed a concert in Paris on Tuesday night due to illness. “Whitney is suffering from an upper respiratory infection and after a consultation with her doctors has been advised to postpone her performance,” said a statement from the concert’s organizers. “Whitney and her band apologize that the show has to be rescheduled on such short notice.”
Houston launched a comeback tour last year after battling drug addiction and ending her marriage with singer Bobby Brown.
Houston released the album I Look To You in 2009, her first in seven years. The release topped the U.S. and international charts.
Houston’s tour will resume as scheduled in Manchester, Britain, on April 8 and a new date for Paris will be announced shortly.