Whitney Elizabeth Houston (born August 9, 1963) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, film producer, and former fashion model. Houston rose to international fame in the mid-1980s and her crossover success opened doors for many other African American women to find success in pop music and movies. She has been referred to as "The Voice", and is known for her "powerful, penetrating pop-gospel voice".
In the 1980s, Houston was one of the first African-American female artists to receive heavy rotation on MTV in its early years, even when the network was leaning more towards a white male rock dominated format. Her debut album became the biggest selling debut album of all time for a solo artist, her follow up album was the first album by a female artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, and she holds a record seven consecutive #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Houston continued her success into Hollywood in the 1990s, starting with the box office hit The Bodyguard. The soundtrack to the movie is the best-selling soundtrack of all time, and the single "I Will Always Love You" the best-selling single by a female artist.