Singer Whitney Houston performs during an HBO-televised concert honoring the service men and women who took part in Operation Desert Storm.

Newark, NJ

Singer and actress Whitney Houston was born in Newark in 1963 and is the most awarded female artist of all time. She is also one of the best-selling music artists of all time selling 200 million records. The daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, Whitney began singing at age age of 11 at New Hope Baptist Church and performed with her mother at nightclubs. Whitney’s self-titled debut album was released in 1985 containing the single “Saving All My Love for You” topping the Billboard charts. She earned a total of seven Grammys. As an actress, Whitney starred in the films The BodyguardWaiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife. A history maker, Whitney was the first woman of color to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine, the first African-American woman to receive consistent heavy rotation on MTV and first woman in music history to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. She died at the age of 48 in 2012.

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