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Whitney Houston's first eponymous album was released in 1985 to critical and commercial success, spawning the hits "Saving All My Love for You" (for which she won her first Grammy), "How Will I Know," "You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All."
Her 1987 follow up smash Whitney would also go on to sell millions, and included the singles "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
Houston wowed audiences with her flawless rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the 1991 Superbowl. Many would agree that this performance cemented her role as the queen of pop.
1992 filmThe Bodyguard allowed Houston to conquer yet another popular medium: the mainstream film. In addition to box office success, the late pop star also scored chart-topping hits including a beautiful remake of "I Will Always Love You" through the film.
1992 was also the year that Whitney Houston married Bobby Brown. While at first many saw her marriage to the R&B bad boy as a negative influence on her, eventually it came to light that Houston had many demons of her own.
Despite her unpopular choice for a marriage partner, Whitney Houston's star continued to rise via the silver screen. Between 1995 and 1996, Houston appeared in Waiting to Exhale (shown above) and The Preacher's Wife. Both soundtracks became hits through her contributions.
By the late '90s, Houston would have a daily drug problem, she would later admit in a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey. Despite her personal trials, her 1998 album My Love is Your Love would garner her a Grammy Award for the hit "It's Not Right But It's Okay."
Houston's horrifically thin appearance at a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert was so troubling that rumors spread that she had died the next day. Soon her strange behavior on the show Being Bobby Brown with her then-husband would further cement the belief that she was on a downward spiral.
Despite these struggles, after years of erratic behavior, Houston staged a successful comeback with the 2009 album, I Look to You, which went platinum.
In the final months of her life, Houston was producing a remake of the '70s film Sparkle, starring herself and Jordin Sparks. The movie was set to be released in August.
Just weeks ago, Houston was rumored to be "broke" -- allegations that were shot down by her inner circle. Her tragic death at 48 comes as an even greater shock, and belies that perhaps Whitney's final days were rockier than her friends let on. May she rest in peace.
Whitney Houston with music producer Clive Davis, in 1983, shortly after signing a contract with Arista Records.
Whitney Houston, left, and Jermaine Jackson sing during a rehearsal for the CBS television soap opera "As the World Turns" in New York in 1984.
Whitney Houston belts out a song during her segment of a benefit concert at Boston Garden in 1986.
Whitney Houston accepts her Grammy Award in 1986 in Los Angeles for pop female vocal performance with "Saving All My Love For You."
Whitney Houston shows her American Music Award at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1986.
Whitney Houston looks over her shoulder as her husband Bobby Brown looks to her at the premiere of "The Wonderful World of Disney" movie "Cinderella" in 1997.
Whitney Houston poses with her Grammy at the annual Grammy Awards presentation in New York in 1988.
Mariah Carey, left, and Whitney Houston present the award for Best Male Video during the MTV Video Music Awards in 1998.
Whitney Houston, left, celebrates her win at the American Music Awards with her mother, Cissy, and brother, Gary, at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles in 1998.
Muhammad Ali is greeted by singer Whitney Houston as he arrives on stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall to accept a GQ 1998 "Men of the Year" Award.
Whitney Houston performs "Until You Come Back To Me" during the 26th annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1999.
Whitney Houston performs before winning for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards in 2000.
Whitney Houston strikes a pose during a performance at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 2000.
Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston arrive at Vanity Fair's Oscar party at Morton's in Hollywood in 2001.
Whitney Houston, left, smiles at her husband, singer Bobby Brown, during a 2002 court hearing in Dekalb County State Court in Decatur, Ga.
Singer Whitney Houston performs songs from her new album "Just Whitney" for "Good Morning America" in New York in 2002.
Whitney Houston, right, and her husband, Bobby Brown, perform during the "VH1 Divas" duets show in Las Vegas in 2003.
Whitney Houston performs the song "Try It On My Own" during the "VH1 Divas Duets" concert at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in 2003.
Whitney Houston smiles as she receives a standing ovation while coming onto the stage in 2005.
Whitney Houston arrives at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2006.
Whitney Houston, right, and music producer Clive Davis arrive at the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2006.
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown arrive at the Arista Records pre-Grammy party.
Whitney Houston arrives at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2008.
Whitney Houston gestures at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, California, in 2008.
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Whitney Houston, right, sings with her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown during a performance on 'Good Morning America' in Central Park in New York in 2009.
Whitney Houston at the BET Honors in the Warner Theatre in Washington in 2009.
Whitney Houston performs on 'Good Morning America' in New York's Central Park in 2009.
Whitney Houston receives the International Artist Award onstage at the 37th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles in 2009.
Whitney Houston receives the International Artist Award onstage at the 37th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles in 2009.
Whitney Houston performs at the 37th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles in 2009.
Whitney Houston accepts an award at the Warner Theatre during the 2010 BET Hip Hop Honors in Washington in 2010.
Whitney Houston accepts an award at the Warner Theatre during the 2010 BET Hip Hop Honors in Washington in 2010.