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

Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

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A Star Is Born

In 1983, music producer Clive Davis was at a New York City nightclub when 19-year-old Whitney Houston took the stage. Immediately, he knew she was something special. "To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine," Davis told Good Morning America. Born into a musical family – gospel singer Cissy Houston is her mother, Aretha Franklin her godmother and Dionne Warwick her cousin – the Newark, N.J., native  (pictured in July 1984 in New York City) had been performing in church since she was a child. By the time she was in high school, Houston was singing back-up for acts like Chaka Khan. (A striking beauty, she was also a successful teen model.) After seeing her perform, Davis signed Houston to Arista Records on the spot.


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