Whitney Houston would have celebrated her 56th birthday Friday, but the world lost her in February 2012 just before the 54th annual Grammy Awards. While fans continue to remember her through her music, there are other facets about the star the general public may not quite be familiar with.
Below are five things about the vocalist Time magazine once touted as The Prom Queen of Soul.
Whitney, Is That You?
While the movie poster that accompanies Houston’s seminal film “The Bodyguard” is one fans will remember, her co-star Kevin Costner recently revealed that the woman he’s scooping up in the picture isn’t actually her.
“That wasn’t even Whitney actually,” Costner told Entertainment Weekly. “She had gone home and that was her double, and her head was buried into my shoulder, which was appropriate anyway. She was frightened.”
One Take and That’s a Wrap on ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’
While it’s been said that Houston’s Super Bowl XXV performance was lip-synced, the singer did manage to record the national anthem without a lick of practice.
“What you heard was the first take,” Houston’s longtime music director Rickey Minor told People magazine. “She literally was a one-take person. Whitney had something you can’t teach. She was touched by an angel.”
Could Eddie Murphy Have Had a Chance Over Bobby Brown?
When Eddie Murphy was riding high on the success of the 1988 film “Coming to America,” Houston was all over it — and she later zeroed in on him at a party potentially before she met future husband Bobby Brown at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1989.
“We all had to watch ‘Coming to America’ over and over again. I said, ‘Nippy, I hate you, I hate and I hate ‘Coming to America!’’” her family friend Ellen White recalled to People magazine. “I watched them once at a party, Eddie came in, cameras were flashing and they just looked at each other and talked and laughed like they were the only two people in the room.”
The Super Model Who Almost Was
In the 1980s, Houston was a cover girl. Having caught the eye of a Click Model Management, Inc. agent at the top of the decade, the future hitmaker signed a contract with Wilhemina Models agency. Her girl-next-door charm landed her covers on such magazines as Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen.
A Movie-Making Queen
Houston’s voice was unmistakable, but she was also a force behind the screen. The singer set out to remake “Cinderella” with a multicultural cast, and that led to 1997’s “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” which starred Brandy and aired on ABC’s “The Wonderful World of Disney.”
Additionally, Houston’s BrownHouse Productions is responsible for co-producing the 2001 movie adaptation of the novel “The Princess Diaries” and its sequel. Houston’s company also produced the Disney Channel movie “The Cheetah Girls,” based on the popular book series, and its first sequel.