Today (Aug. 9) would have been Whitney Houston‘s 54th birthday and her loss is still felt in the more than five years since she passed.
Houston is still known as one of the most powerful singers to ever succeed within the pop music sphere. She was peerless when it came to her vocal chops. It was in its full, incandescent power right from her first self-titled album, released in 1985. Houston’s performance was on-point on all fronts, from the saccharine pop jams (“Saving All My Love for You” and “How Will I Know,” both No. 1 songs) to the ballads (“Greatest Love of All,” another No. 1 jam).
The hits continued through the ’80s and ’90s, and Houston eventually became one of the highest-selling solo artists of all-time. There was “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay.” Houston reached her peak in 1992 with “I Will Always Love You” from The Bodyguard soundtrack. The song earned Houston Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance trophies at the 1994 Grammy Awards.
Sadly, Houston’s success became overshadowed by drug addiction and her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown (they divorced in 2007). Her troubles led to tragic finality with her death on Feb. 11, 2012, when she was found in a hotel bathtub. The doctors said drowning and the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use” were the causes of death.
Houston’s musical legacy is evident in the countless artists she’s inspired. Happy Birthday Whitney!