The daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, cousin of singer Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of Aretha Franklin, Whitney had a once in a generation talent.
Having grown up in New Jersey, she began singing in church and then in the night clubs of New York, and was a model before being signed by Arista Records.
But her phenomenal career was overshadowed by troubles with substance abuse and a turbulent marriage to rapper Bobby Brown from 1992 to 2007.
The tragic songbird died, aged 48, at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel, where she'd been due to perform at a pre-Grammys party, organised by her mentor Clive Davis.
So very very sad. RIP Whitney.
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