For many she was the voice of the 80s and 90s, a pop diva and soul siren, whose music inspired and enthralled a generation.
Born into a musical family, Houston soon followed her mother Cissy’s chosen path, singing with a New Jersey gospel choir at the age of eleven.
Her breakthrough came in the early 80s when music mogul Clive Davis discovered her performing in a nightclub. After a string of hits Hollywood beckoned and she showed her talent was not limited to singing.
Houston won six Grammys and more than 400 other awards in a 25-year career. However, from an early stage personal problems and a turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, took their toll.
The pair divorced in 2007 but the alcohol and drug abuse continued, marring several attempted comebacks.
Always open about her demons, Whitney was never able to conquer them. Houston is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kris.