Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of the best-selling music artists of all-time, with 200 million records sold worldwide. She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts--as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know"--influenced several African-American women artists who followed in her footsteps. Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 songs. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only woman to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Albums") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's self-titled debut album (1985) became the best-selling debut album by a woman in history. Rolling Stone named it the best album of 1986, and ranked it at number 254 on the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
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