Famed New Jersey singer Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2012 by drowning in the bathtub of her hotel room in Beverly Hills, CA. She was 48. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, she was the “most awarded female act of all time," whatever that means. She also had the best selling single by a female artist with her cover of “I Will Always Love You.”

She was born in Newark on August 8th, 1963, and grew up in East Orange, singing as a soloist in a gospel choir when she was 11. She signed with Arista Records in 1983 with her debut album, "Whitney Houston," being released in 1985. The album was a huge commercial success, spawning three #1 hits: “Saving All My Love for You”, “How Will I Know,” and a cover of George Benson’s “The Greatest Love of All.” That was followed by a string of smash albums, Grammy Awards, and international superstardom.

She also entered the acting world, starring with Kevin Costner in “The Bodyguard” which grossed over $121 million and the soundtrack was also successful; it featured “I Will Always Love You” and sold 45 million copies. By the time she died, her career had cooled considerably with her last Top 40 hit (while she was alive) being a 2001 re-release of her rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” originally sung at 1991’s Super Bowl. She is buried in Westfield next to her father.

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