Aug. 9, 1963
Whitney Houston is born in Newark, N.J., the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and theatrical manager John Houston.
Jan. 1, 1985
Her debut self-titled album is released. The song "Saving All My Love for You" brings Houston her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. "How Will I Know," "You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All" also become hit singles.
Whitney Houston's hit songs included "How Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All."
Sept. 28, 1985
David Letterman performance of 'Saving All My Love'
One of Houston's earliest television performances was on David Letterman's show "Late Night," and she sang one of her biggest early hits from her self-titled debut album. The songstress had been on "The Merv Griffin Show," but this performance helped spread her early fame.
June 11, 1988
Tribute to Nelson Mandela
In 1988, stars like Houston and Tracy Chapman traveled to London to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday with a tribute. With Mandela still in prison, the highly political concert was also known as Freedomfest. Before singing “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” Houston told a reporter, “I think [this day] is important to me and a whole world of people. I think it makes them aware that one courageous individual has been in prison for so long and taken away from his family, the closeness of his family, you know, physically."
Jan. 27, 1991
'Star-spangled Banner' spotlight
One of the most popular versions ever sang, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was performed by Houston at Super Bowl XXV in 1991. The single was so touted that it was later released as a single and became the only version of the song to be certified platinum.
Jan. 1, 1992
Houston stars in "The Bodyguard" opposite Kevin Costner, a movie that gives her one of her most memorable hits, a searing, stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You."
The same year, she marries soul singer Bobby Brown.
Whitney Houston starred in the 1992 film "The Bodyguard" and recorded songs for its soundtrack.
Jan. 1, 1993
After getting married in 1992, the couple have a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993.
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown pose for the cameras after the 1994 Soul Train Music Awards.
(Randy Leffingwell/ Los Angeles Times/ March 1994 )
Jan. 1, 1995
Whitney Houston, right, co-stars with Angela Bassett in the 1995 movie "Waiting to Exhale." Forest Whitaker, center, directs.
Aug. 24, 1997
Houston plays a leading role in a new version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella."
A Times theater critic writes that the most dramatic change of all "is the addition of three songs, including a 'new' Rodgers and Hammerstein number that was cobbled together for Whitney Houston, Cinderella's fairy godmother."
Whitney Houston at a premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
(Rene Macura/ Associated Press / October 13, 1997 )
Nov. 15, 1998
New album: "My Love is Your Love"
"When you're as big a star as Houston, you don't need to write your own material to make a personal statement," Elysa Gardner writes in a review for The Times.
"For her first new studio album in eight years, she recruited both old colleagues and young talent from the contemporary R&B and hip-hop communities to come up with songs that reflect her growth as an artist and a woman."
Whitney Houston at the Emmys
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/ Dec. 02, 1998)
July 29, 1999
In an interview two days after singing the national anthem at the WNBA all-star game in New York City, Houston discusses her relationship with Brown and Clive Davis, the Arista Records president who is widely credited with guiding her success. Houston also reflects on the challenges of touring, music, motherhood and the recurring tabloid reports about her marriage.
Houston, described in this Q&A as a "workaholic," postpones two dates on her first U.S. tour in five years because of strain on her celebrated vocal cords.
Whitney Houston performs "Until You Come Back to Me" during the 1999 American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
(Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press / July 11, 1999)
July 31, 1999
Houston is back on tour and displays a warmth and joyfulness that were unseen before, writes Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn.
"Instead of the mere vocal gymnastics of old, she injected personality and character into the songs," he wrote. "It was a transformation so dramatic that it seemed like she was unveiling an entire new identity--enough so that we ought to start thinking of her as the Artist Formerly Known as Whitney Houston."
Whitney Houston during her concert at the Universal Amphitheater on July 29, 1999.
(Los Angeles Times)
April 3, 2000
Whitney Houston misses two high-profile performances on short notice -- one at the Oscars, where producers scramble to get country singer Faith Hill to cover for Houston on the global telecast.
She also cancels concerts in six cities, some within minutes of the stage time. That track record, Houston's erratic behavior during a recent interview with Jane magazine and the singer's near drug arrest at a Hawaii airport (she boarded a plane that took off before police could cite her for alleged marijuana possession) trigger a wave of industry rumors about the veteran singer. But Houston's publicist calls the whispers unfair and untrue.
April 12, 2000
Houston performs at Clive Davis' "25 Years of Hits..." concert at the Shrine Auditorium, amid concerns that she would be a no-show. Times critic Robert Hilburn writes that Houston passed her test of credibility, "though not perhaps with the kind of knockout punch that is needed to fully dispel the dark rumors that have been flying around her since her high-profile cancellations at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner and the Academy Awards telecast."
Houston's publicist says the singer dropped out of both ceremonies because of throat or voice problems, but media speculation continues about Houston's physical and emotional state. The most alarming rumor: that drug use has damaged her voice and is possibly threatening her career.
Houston denies the drug rumors.
Whitney Houston performs at Arista Records 25th anniversary gala concert at the Shrine Auditorium.
(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times / April 12, 2000)
Aug. 3, 2001
Arista Records signs a $100-million pact with Whitney Houston under which she is expected to deliver eight albums to the Bertelsmann-owned record label. Since signing with Arista in 1983, Houston has sold tens of millions of albums.
Under her previous recording agreement, the singer already owed five albums to Arista, sources say. Houston agreed to deliver two additional albums plus a greatest-hits package under her new contract.
Oct. 27, 2001
After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Whitney Houston's famous rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" claims the No. 1 position again on the singles chart.
Houston originally performed the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Fla.
Dec. 4, 2002
Whitney Houston admits she's abused drugs in the past but says she's gotten beyond that time through prayer.
Houston discusses her past, the pressures of stardom and her decade-long marriage to Bobby Brown in a notorious interview with Diane Sawyer on "Primetime."
When Sawyer asks her, "Is it alcohol? Is it marijuana? Is it cocaine? Is it pills?" Houston responds, "It has been at times."
Dec. 8, 2002
Times critic Robert Hilburn says Houston's latest album, "Just Whitney," doesn't follow up on her past ballads. "Houston's voice is fine, but the album is a timid outing that fails to even generate the presence her earlier hits did."
Feb. 2, 2003
John Houston, 82, a theatrical manager since the early days of rhythm and blues and the father of singer Whitney Houston, dies at a New York City hospital after a long battle with diabetes and heart disease.
Relations between Houston and his daughter took an especially awkward turn when his company, John Houston Entertainment, sued hers for $100 million.
The suit sought compensation for helping to get a marijuana charge against her dismissed and for getting her a new record contract.
Dec. 12, 2003
After a weekend domestic dispute that left Houston with facial injuries, her husband Bobby Brown, 34, is charged with battery.
Police were called to the home of Brown and Houston in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta on a Sunday evening. Houston tells authorities Brown had struck her with an open right hand.
Earlier in the year, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown perform in the "VH1 Divas" duets show in Las Vegas.
(Joe Cavaretta / Associated Press / May 23, 2003)
March 17, 2004
Houston, 40, enters a drug rehabilitation facility. She had said in December 2002 that she she had abused drugs in the past but had gotten beyond that time through prayer.
June 27, 2005
Whitney Houston' appears in a 10-part TV reality series, "Being Bobby Brown," that airs on the Bravo cable channel. "I would hesitate to call 'Being Bobby Brown' a reality show, were the staged reality it presents not so kookily convincing, with Brown, the former R&B star, and Houston, the pop diva with a career out there somewhere, gamely allowing themselves to be captured in various stages of celebrity ennui," writes The Times' Paul Brownfield.
Sept. 14, 2006
Houston files for divorce from R&B singer Bobby Brown, ending a famously volatile marriage that inspired relentless tabloid coverage.
The couple had a stormy marriage, and Brown had frequent brushes with the law, including a 2003 domestic abuse charge in which he allegedly struck Houston in the face and threatened to beat her.
April 4, 2007
With R&B singer Bobby Brown a no-show in court, an Orange County judge Wednesday grants Whitney Houston a divorce and sole custody of their 14-year-old daughter.
During the 10-minute hearing, Houston testifies that she doesn't need spousal or child support to raise her daughter, Bobbi Kristina. She also describes Brown as unreliable and a bad communicator.
Outside the Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange County.
(Karen Tapia-Andersen/Los Angeles Times/ Apr. 04, 2007)
Jan. 1, 2009
Houston declares herself drug-free in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Feb. 9, 2009
Houston performs to a joyous reception at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala
She begins with her signature ballad, "I Will Always Love You." Times pop music critic Ann Powers writes that "she simply sang, strongly but without melodrama. And before the high notes could challenge her, she moved on, switching to her 1983 hit 'I Believe in You and Me,' the scariest part of the night behind her."
July 23, 2009
Houston receives a rousing ovation from celebrities and record-industry players at a preview party for her comeback album.
Coming after her six-year absence from the studio, the album, "I Look to You," has long been enveloped by speculation about whether Houston has lost the vocal prowess and charisma that made her one of the most successful female singers of the last two decades.
But music mogul Clive Davis -- who discovered Houston and has been spearheading her comeback -- says the album should leave little doubt that Houston is still "one of the all-time great vocalists."
"I am humbled," Whitney Houston told the crowd of celebrities and industry bigwigs during the "I Look To You" CD Listening Party held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
(Frank Micelotta/AP/ July 23, 2009)
Aug. 29, 2009
The Times reviews Houston's first new album in a decade. Pop music critic Ann Powers credits Houston for having one of the voices that "stand like monuments upon the landscape of 20th century pop." Powers finds the new record far from her best work but says: "Should we begrudge the fact that Whitney Houston now has to work at singing?"
Sept. 17, 2009
Nielsen SoundScan reports that Houston's album "I Look to You" is the third top album for the week.
Whitney Houston receives the International Artist Award at the 2009 American Music Awards. She reigned as pop music's queen in the 1980s and '90s.
(Matt Sayles/AP Photo / November 22, 2009)
Feb. 26, 2010
News reports of Houston's tour in Australia quote disgruntled fans who complain about the star's voice and performance. Video snippets of the 46-year-old Houston struggling to hit notes in concerts in Sydney and Brisbane circulate on YouTube and other outlets.
But Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, says in a statement that more than 9,000 people attended Houston's show in Brisbane and more than 12,000 were at Acer Arena in Sydney. "Her fans were dancing and singing along with her and Whitney appreciates their support," Foster said.
Foster also says the singer is in good health.
Feb. 12, 2011
Whitney Houston stands with music producer Clive Davis while performing at Davis' 2011 pre-Grammy gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / February 12, 2011)
May 1, 2011
Houston goes back to rehab. Kristen Foster, a representative for the singer, says Houston has voluntarily entered an outpatient program for drug and alcohol treatment. Foster calls the move part of Houston's "long-standing" recovery process.
Oct. 12, 2011
Houston gets into a disagreement with a Delta Air Lines flight crew when she reportedly refuses to buckle her seat belt. TMZ reports the flight attendant ultimately buckles it for her.
Feb. 11, 2012
Houston dies at age 48, on the eve of the Grammy Awards.
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Whitney Houston sings "That's What Friends Are For" with Dionne Warwick at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party in 2011.
(Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times / February 12, 2011)
Feb. 13, 2012
Authorities release details about Whitney Houston's death, saying the singer was discovered underwater in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel where she was pronounced dead. Several prescription drugs were found in Houston's hotel room, but Los Angeles County coroner's officials say it's too soon to say whether the medications played any role in the singer's death.
A Los Angeles police crime lab truck sits in the driveway of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
(Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images)
Feb. 18, 2012
Whitney Houston is laid to rest on Feb. 18 at Fairview Cemetery in New Jersey. Her funeral, held at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church, is closed to the public; however, the family provides a live feed of the church to the media. Kevin Costner, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder are among the famous guests to attend.
Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown leaves the funeral early after being asked to move several times.
Bobby Brown attends Whitney Houston's funeral.
(Mel Evans / Associated Press)
March 7, 2012
Whitney Houston leaves her entire estate to her only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Bobbi Kristina will receive all of her mother's money, furniture, clothing, personal effects, jewelry and cars. The funds will be placed in a trust until the 19-year-old turns 21. Under the will, additional funds go to Bobbi Kristina on her 25th birthday with the balance released when she turns 30.
Whitney Houston attends the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party with Bobbi Kristina Brown in 2011.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
March 22, 2012
Death ruled accidental drowning
The Los Angeles County coroner rules Whitney Houston's death an accidental drowning. The coroner says cocaine found in her system, as well as heart disease, contributed to the death. In addition to cocaine, an autopsy found traces of marijuana, Xanax, Flexeril and Benadryl, but officials conclude those drugs did not contribute to her death. Officials say Houston may have suffered a heart attack before the drowning.
(Los Angeles County Coroner)