Houston, Whitney Elizabeth
- Barry Kernfeld
Houston, Whitney Elizabeth (09 August 1963–11 February 2012), actress and pop singer, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of John Russell Houston, Jr. whose diverse employment included artists’ management, and Emily Drinkard, who sang professionally as Cissy Houston. Whitney’s musical heritage was substantial. Her mother achieved fame both in gospel music and as a vocal accompanist (backup singer) with pop stars. One such backup group, the Sweet Inspirations, included Cissy’s niece—Whitney’s cousin—Dionne Warwick, who subsequently became a pop star in her own right. (But the widely reported identification of Aretha Franklin as Whitney’s godmother is evidently a promotional fiction.)...