The 19th century opened new platforms for African-American musicians who have significantly impacted the American music industry tremendously. African-American music mostly symbolizes human rights, fight for a better life of all the black people, and slavery issues. However, today black music is mostly made of Negro spirituals, rhythms, jazz, blues, souls, and ragtime. Within this field musicians from the African-American origin have ensured to dominate this stage. Some of the remarkable artists in this industry include Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Lionel Richie and others. In this study, however, Whitney Houston as a notable black female musician will be explored in depth. Therefore, the rationale of this research is to discuss Whitney Houston's bibliography, her contributions to the black music profession, and the experiences she had in her entire career.
This superstar was born and named Whitney Elizabeth Houston in the town of Newark, New Jersey on 9th August 1963. Whitney was born in a family of singers. Her mother was a the renown gospel singer called Cissy Houston, she also had a singer cousin Dionne Warwick, and Aretha Franklin the soul legend who was her godmother. Whitney started singing at a very tender age in her church choir at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark town. By the time she got to 15 years old, Houston could sing professional backup vocals along her mother, Cissy (Wenn 1). During this period, she professionally provided vocal backup for Lou Rawl, Chaka Khan, her mother Cissy, and Jermaine Jackson. However, her singing career started when top recording labels Arista realized her quality vocals while performing within the Material band in one of New York's nightclubs. Arista labels signed Houston into their company, and they worked with her all through her singing career.
During her entire music career, Houston managed to produce and sell exclusively quality music that sold more than 140 million copies worldwide. Her hit single songs include How will I know, The Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love for You, and You Give Good Love. She also produced one debut album Whitney (Kantor 1). However, The Bodyguard her 1992 film topped her success in the music career where I Will Always Love You Dolly Parton's song soundtracks were highly recognized. In 1993, Whitney married Bobby Brown where she bore her only child Bobbi Kristina Brown in March the same year. It was the same year that Houston started abusing drugs and by 1996, she was reported to be an addict. Although she continued to be great addiction kept her away from the studio until 1998 where she released My Love is Your Love an album that was made public despite her tarnished reputation (IMDb 1). I Look to You was her last album in 2009 though not fully positively received by her fans and it was extensively criticized due to her weak vocals. In 2012, after acting her final performance in the Sparkle film, she was found dead in the Beverly hotel on the 11th of February.
During her entire singing career, Whitney had many experiences that affected her profession in most cases in a positive way. Whitney to date is termed as the female singer with the most powerful voice of all time. Her vocals acted as her trademark. Due to this voice, she won multiple Grammy Awards. From the 415 music career awards that Whitney got as at 2010, she managed to grab 22 American Music Awards, two Emmy Awards, and thirty Billboard Music Awards (Wenn 1). With consideration of the number of awards that Houston won in her life as a musician, she managed to grab a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most awarded singer of all time in American music industry.
Moreover, with the excellent ratings that her music acquitted influential magazines like VH1 recognized her. On this platform she was placed amongst great women, Pop Culture Icons, hottest top artists, most significant artists of all time, and top artists in hip hop and R&B of her era. Most importantly, Houston became the first artist ever to be given the BET Lifetime Achievement Award in all history. Due to her significant contribution to black music in 1997 the Franklin School in New Jersey was given her name and to date, it is called The Whitney E. Houston Academy School of Creative Performing Arts in her honor (IMDb 1). Whitney was also one of the most privileged musicians to perform for the legendary Nelson Mandela during his 70th birthday.
While Whitney had an incredible work experience in her entire music career, she is said to have been a great contributor in making and paving the way for other African-American artists. With the great hits, she made Whitney managed to break the race and gender barriers. She was able to move past racial discrimination in the pop radio and culture at large (Kantor 1). By delivering her songs soulfully she individually converted the African-American vocal music from being a mere concept to becoming the most highly marketable and globally marketable career where most black musicians have submerged today. Most importantly, with her R&B music Whitney and encouraged other musicians like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey to make it in their careers. Houstons music was acquitted the highest ratings especially after her video How Will I Know hit the top with breathtaking numbers.
Due to this breakthrough, other African-American female musicians like Anita Baker and Janet Jackson followed suit and also became successful in the music they produced. Moreover, the black fraternity recognizes that with her indulgence in pop and R&B music she became a catalyst leading to the growth and continuity of the genres related to black music like pop, traditional vocal gospel, jazz, and soul. Most importantly, Houston took to modernizing music where her music demonstrated technicality thus quickly reaching the heart of her fans. Besides, due to the excellently rippled voice of Whitney other talented artists have followed suit and tried to imitate her creativity and vocal effects (Wenn 1). As a result, thousands of men and women have followed suit due to this influence she imposed on them. Whitney also had a social life where she contributed in charity works for the Red Cross and started foundations for needy children.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston is a true African-American music legend. Her music career came from within her family. However, her powerful voice contributed to the tremendous recognition she was accrued due to her songs thus explaining the positive experiences she had in her entire music career. Besides, her music has significantly contributed to growing the black music while it has ensured to influence and pave the way for other talented musicians. However, despite the ripples and fire that her music set ablaze, she was still faced with plenty of controversies, especially with her drug abuse problem. Nonetheless, Whitney will forever, remain the most celebrated female artist of all time with her songs resonating the airwaves with new delight every day.
IMDb. "Whitney Houston - Biography." IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.
Kantor, J. "The Career and Impact of Whitney Houston: Still "The Greatest Love of All"." Seattlepi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.
Wenn, M. "Whitney Houston | Biography, News, Photos and Videos." Contactmusic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016.
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