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Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time.[1] Houston is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with 200 million records sold worldwide.[2][3] She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 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"[4]—influenced several African-American women artists who followed in her footsteps.

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California. The coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors