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Whitney Houston Dead At 48


Kevin Mazur/ Wire Image

Pop legend Whitney Houston died yesterday, according to a statement from her publicist. The singer’s body was found at the Beverly Hilton Saturday afternoon. At this time details are scant, but an investigation is underway.

Whitney Houston, born in New Jersey to a family that included her mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston and cousin Dionne Warwick,  became an overnight superstar with the release of her self-titled debut in 1985, which spun off the hits “How Will I Know,” “Saving All My Love,” and “The Greatest Love of All.”  Her sophomore release, 1987′s Whitney, spun off  four number one singles to add to a run of seven straight chart toppers. More hits and awards followed with 1990′s I’m Your Baby Tonight, as well as a string of soundtracks to The Bodyguard, Waiting To Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife, with the songs–particularly from The Bodyguard–often becoming more memorable than the movie itself.

In the last decade of her life, Houston’s name became more associated with her tumultous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, incessant drug rumors and poor live performances. But none of those things can change the fact that Whitney Houston is an icon in pop music, her vocal stylings  imitated by nearly every American Idol contestant who has ever auditioned or won, and serving as an influence on stars like Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce. There were and are many great singers, but only Whitney Houston was called The Voice.

Listen two of my favorite Whitney performances below.

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