While there are numerous hip-hop artists who have wallowed their way to stardom in the American music industry; there are others who have had their breakthrough in other forms of music. Amongst them is Israel Houghton, an American gospel musician and a great achiever who has written his name in the sands of time. He is not just a gospel musician but also a songwriter, worship leader, and producer.
Houghton is known for being one of the most versatile gospel artists; following his unique and exceptional music style, he has garnered wide recognition. He is a six-time Grammy Award winner, two-time Stellar Awards winner, and 11-time GMA Dove Awards winner. Learn more about his biography, mother, wife, kids, affairs, and divorce below.
Israel Houghton’s Biography (Age)
Israel Houghton was born in California, United States on May 19, 1971. He grew up in Oceanside along with his parents – Margaret and Henry Houghton, and his siblings. He developed a keen interest in gospel music while he was growing up and eventually pursued a career in music. When he was younger, he featured in several choral activities of his church.
Houghton was inspired by Michael Jackson’s song titled Off the Wall as well as Steve Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. He began his music career in 1997; thus releasing his first album titled Whisper It Lord under the Warner Bros Record Label. In 2001, he released two albums titled Nueva Generacion and New Season. He started his own record label RCA Inspiration with which he produced Michael Gungor’s music album titled Bigger Than My Imagination in 2003. The album became one of the best worship albums of the year and was able to bring Israel into the limelight.
The multi-talented star has been outstanding since the inception of his career and has produced over 12 music albums. Some of his albums include Free to Worship, New Breed Live: Generation Love, Covenant Worship: Kingdom, and Cover the Earth. He has received wide recognition all over the world and has recorded several awards. He is currently one of the greatest gospel artists of all time.
Family: Mother, Wife, and Kids
Israel was born to Margaret Houghton who was a talented concert pianist living in Iowa. His mother grew up in a Midwestern home in Waterloo, Iowa and when she was seventeen, she broke the news that she was impregnated by a black man. At the time, Iowa was filled with racial discrimination, thus making it hard for his biological father to take up his responsibilities. Many people opted for Margaret to terminate the pregnancy because it was from a black man. Her father, on the other hand, couldn’t bear the shame, so he sent her away. Shortly afterward, she moved to California where she met Henry Houghton whom she later got married to. Being a black born of a white woman, Israel faced lots of challenges while he was growing up before he finally got his breakthrough as a gospel artist.
As a successful gospel artist, Israel got hitched to Meleasa Houghton in 1994. Just like Houghton, Meleasa is also a renowned gospel singer and they met each other at Houghton’s ministry in Pittsburgh. They tied the knot after four months of serious relationship. Houghton and his wife Meleasa established a ministry together and they have three children – a son Israel Sonny Houghton as well as two daughters Mariah Houghton, born on August 31, 1995, and Houghton that was born on October 21, 2003.
Houghton’s first daughter Maria is also a talented singer and has released a collaborative album titled To Make You Feel My Love alongside her father. She has been the lead worship at Lakewood Church located in Houston, Texas. Mariah tied the knot with a fellow singer and the love of her life Bryon Rideau in 2016.
His Affair and Divorce
Prior to his marriage to Meleasa in 1994; it was alleged that Israel Houghton had fathered two children – Jordan Houghton and Khristian Houghton from previous affairs. However, after the allegation was verified in court, Israel admitted to being the father of Jordan, thus accepting his full responsibility. Although the court has not given its final ruling about Khristian; it is likely that the gospel artist would also accept full responsibility.
While those allegations were going on, Houghton’s wife felt betrayed following her husband’s act of infidelity. Their 20-year-old relationship began to deteriorate and in 2016, the couple went their separate ways citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce. After the separation, the duo continued to be good friends and both have equal custody of their children.
While there is no news of Meleasa’s subsequent relationship, Israel on the other hand, moved on to marry his girlfriend, an American television host, singer cum actress named Adrienne Eliza Bailon. The couple wedded on November 11, 2016. Prior to their marriage, Bailon previously had a relationship with Rob Kardashian and was engaged to Lenny Santiago in September 2015 before they went their separate ways. The couple doesn’t have any kids yet, Bailon is currently the stepmother to Israel Houghton’s children. They have been enjoying a blissful married life and there is no sign of break up between them.