Whitney Houston: A Look Back at Her Life

The music legend would have turned 50 on Aug. 9. To celebrate her birthday, look back at Houston's life in photos (17 Photos)

Donna Kaufman on Aug 9, 2013 at 10:08AM

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Whitney Houston: A Look Back at Her Life

Jim Smeal/WireImage

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Just Warming Up

Two years in the making, Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston was heralded by critics and audiences alike as the arrival of a new superstar. "It was time for singing to come back again, to listen to words, to feel what somebody was saying instead of what the beat was," said 21-year-old Houston (pictured at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 25, 1986), attempting to explain her overnight success to Rolling Stone. Though the album had a slow climb to No. 1, it spawned three chart-topping singles ("Saving All My Love for You," "You Give Good Love" and "Greatest Love of All"), and went on to set the record for the biggest-selling debut by a solo artist. Of course, just as the reviews predicted, this was only the beginning.

 

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