The ups and downs of Whitney Houston

(Editor's note: Whitney Houston is back with a new album, her sixth, "I Look to You," and will kick off Oprah's new season on Monday, Sept. 14, with a two-day interview that Oprah is calling "the best interview I've ever done.")

A look back at Whitney Houston's dizzying ride on the roller coaster of fame
-Faye Brennan, BettyConfidential.com

Whitney Houston
gave us such timeless hits as "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "I Have Nothing," but her life has not been as smooth as her unforgettable voice. Now that her comeback is in full swing (albeit with mixed reviews), we recall the pop diva's most memorable moments since her first appearance on the music charts.

Whitney Houston 1985Whitney Houston 1985

1985: In March, Whitney debuted her first album, Whitney Houston, introducing the whole world to "the voice." With hits like "The Greatest Love of All" and "How Will I Know," the album sold over 13 million copies, making it the best-selling debut ever for a female artist and catapulting Whitney into instant stardom.

1991: Whitney was invited to perform the "Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Fla. She turned our national anthem into a pop hit with a music video of the performance, but the proceeds were generously donated to the soldiers and families of the Persian Gulf War.

1992: The pop star invaded movie theaters with her leading role in The Bodyguard. Critics said her acting ability was less-than-stellar, but the film's soundtrack became the world's best-selling movie soundtrack thanks to the mega-hit "I Will Always Love You" (which is still played at the end of every Bar Mitzvah or wedding you will ever attend).

That same year, Whitney wed Bobby Brown, an R&B singer and all-around-bad boy, on July 18 at her home in New Jersey. Many were surprised at the pop princess' choice in husband material, as she'd always seemed to be squeaky clean.

2000: Whitney was caught with a half ounce of marijuana in her purse at the airport in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The charges were eventually dropped, but rumors spread about Whitney and her husband's alleged drug abuse.

2001: Whitney made music business history by signing a new contract with her record label, Arista Records, for more than $100 million. It was the highest-paid deal in the industry, and far surpassed Mariah Carey's $80 million with Virgin Records.

Whitney Houston record dealWhitney Houston record deal

2002: "Crack is Whack," Whitney famously exclaimed during an interview with Diane Sawyer. The troubled singer, who had been skipping out on award shows and appeared emaciated at a Michael Jackson tribute concert, admitted to Diane during the interview that she had used alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs, but never crack cocaine.

2003: Whitney's marital troubles were revealed for all the world to see when she called police after husband Bobby Brown hit her, leaving her with a bruised cheek and a cut lip. Bobby was charged with battery, but the couple remained together despite their turbulent relationship.


2002: "Crack is Whack," Whitney famously exclaimed during an interview with Diane Sawyer. The troubled singer, who had been skipping out on award shows and appeared emaciated at a Michael Jackson tribute concert, admitted to Diane during the interview that she had used alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs, but never crack cocaine.

2003: Whitney's marital troubles were revealed for all the world to see when she called police after husband Bobby Brown hit her, leaving her with a bruised cheek and a cut lip. Bobby was charged with battery, but the couple remained together despite their turbulent relationship.

2004: Whitney was not the first and she is definitely not the last troubled diva to check herself into rehab. She stayed in treatment for only five days for substance abuse in March, only to return a year later.

2009: It's been a rocky road, but Whitney Houston is back this year with her new album, I Look to You. She has come out on top, surviving drug addiction, rehab and an ugly divorce. Now, all the "don't call it a comeback" singer has to do is survive the backlash over her patchy Good Morning America performance. Will she make it back to the top? That remains to be seen, but Whitney's life has proven one thing - she may fall down, but you can never count her out!

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