Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey, to a musical family: she was the daughter of the gospel singer Cissy Houston and theatrical manager Joh Houston, a cousin of Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.
Whitney Houston's Life
Starts performing as soloist in junior gospel choir
Starts performing as soloist in junior gospel choir at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J.
Whitney becomes a backup singer
At the tender age of 14 Whitney becomes a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band's single 'Life's a Party'. Zager offers her a recording contact, but her mother Cissy rejects the offer, wanting Whitney to finish school first.
Sings background vocals
At 15, Whitney Houston sings background vocals on Chaka Khan's smash I'm Every Woman—the song she would later turn into a monster hit for herself on the acclaimed soundtrack album to The Bodyguard.
Featured in Seventeen magazine
Who's that girl giggling into her ice cream cone? It's Whitney Houston at age 18!
Whitney's not only an in-demand singer, she's a looker as well. The singer begins modelling after being spotted by a photographer at Carnegie Hall. Whitney is featured in Seventeen magazine, becoming one of the first women of colour to grace the magazine's cover.
Houston is offered a worldwide recording contract
After being spotted by Gerry Griffith, an A&R rep from Arista Records, the label's head Clive Davis offers Houston a worldwide recording contract. The rest, as they say, is history.
Whitney's album hits No. 1 on Billboard's year-end charts, making her the first female artist to earn that distinction. And her debut disc also wins her a Grammy and is dubbed Best Album of 1986 by Rolling Stone.
She performed that Grammy-winning hit; a performance that would later win her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual.
Performance in a Variety or Music Program. Houston won seven American Music Awards in total in 1986 and 1987, and an MTV Video Music Award.
Multiplatinum follow-up album Whitney is released.
The album met the expectations of many people and was sensationally popular after its release.
With this album, Houston set historic records on the charts. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart the issue of June 27, 1987, becoming the first album by a female artist, and only the fifth album by a solo artist.
The album remained in the top for 11 consecutive weeks, another record.
Wins second Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
1988 - Houston receives her second Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
Whitney meets Bobby Brown
Whitney meets R&B singer Bobby Brown at the Soul Train Music Awards
Houston performs The Star Bannered at the Super Bowl
Houston performs one of the most popular versions of The Star Bannered ever sung at the Super Bowl XXV in 1991.
Houston plays fairy godmother in a new version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
New album comes out
My Love Is Your Love is the fourth studio album by American singer Whitney Houston, released worldwide on November 17, 1998.
Although the album only peaked at number thirteen - her lowest position at the point - on the Billboard 200, and it sold less than Houston's previous albums in the United States, it was a hit globally, with successful world tour in support of the album.
Houston tries to sneak a bag of pot past airport screeners
Houston is busted at Hawaii's Kona International Airport for trying to sneak a bag of pot past airport screeners. In happier news, this is the same year Whitney wins the first BET Lifetime Achievement Award for her notable contribution to African-American music.
The party is over
After rumours that the singer had passed away, a lively Houston admits to ABC News' Diane Sawyer that, yes, she has done drugs: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs. She has ‘partied,’ but says now the party is over.
Houston's father dies
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 reco
Bobby Brown is charged with battery
After a weekend domestic dispute that left Houston with facial injuries. Her husband Bobby Brown, 34, was charged with battery three days after he allegedly struck his wife.
Police were called to the home of Brown and Houston in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta on a Sunday evening. Houston tell authorities Brown had struck her with an open right hand.
Houston enters a drug rehabilitation facility
Houston, 40, enters a drug rehabilitation facility. She had said in December 2002 that she had abused drugs in the past but had gotten beyond that time through prayer.
Being Bobby Brown
Appears in reality TV show Being Bobby Brown.
Houston files for divorce
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 Houston in the face and threatened to beat her.
Judge grants Whitney Houston a divorce
R&B singer Bobby Brown a no-show in court, an orange County judge 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 of raise her daughter Bobbi Kristina. She also describes Brown as unreliable and a bad communicator.
Declares herself drug free in an interview
Houston declares herself drug free in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Houston comes back after a six-year absence
Houston comes back after a six-year absence from the studio, the album I Look to You has long been enveloped by speculation about whether Houston had lost her vocal prowess and charisma that made her one of the most successful female singers of the last two decades. The album eventually goes platinum.
Houston appears to be going down a slippery downward slope
While on tour attempting a comeback, Houston appears to be going down a slippery downward slope when she cancels numerous shows due to illness.
Houston goes back into rehab voluntarily
A spokeman confirms that the singer had checked herself back into outpatient programme for drug and alcohol treatment.
It was not known where she was being treated or how long she would remain there.
Houston's drug issues were well documented. When she returned in 2009 with an acclaimed new album, I Look to You, she declared herself healthy and clean.
The album's hit single Million Dollar Bill, but the accompanying tour proved a troubled affair, with some fans complaining about her vocals.
Houston dies at age 48
At her peak Whitney Houston was a superstar of the music industry, with the perfect voice and the perfect look to match.
But in later years the woman who used to be one of the world's biggest selling artists became known for her drug use, bizarre behaviour and a rocky marriage to singer Bobby Brown.
Her death, from unknown causes in a Beverly Hills hotel room at the age of 48, came on the eve of the Grammy Awards – an arena where she was once queen of the night.