The name Whitney Houston rings a very loud bell in the world of music. Widely recognized as one of the most talented and gifted singers of all time, Houston mesmerized millions of people around the globe with her smooth voice and incredible ability to pitch high notes when singing. She was hailed across the world as the ‘Queen of Pop’ because of the unprecedented success she achieved. A multi-talented woman, she was also an actress who proved that she could act almost as well as she could sing. Her beauty and talent endeared her to so many people during her lifetime and the more she achieved milestones in her career, the more she also earned an enormous amount of money as she was certified one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
It is known that the singer raked in a lot of money during her lifetime but since she passed away in 2012, fans have been asking what Whitney Houston’s net worth was before tragedy struck. Was she worth much at all? Let us tell you about this.
Whitney Houston’s Background Details
Before we discuss Whitney Houston’s net worth at the time she died, we have to tell you, first, about how she was raised and how she began her career. Whitney Houston, whose full name is Whitney Elizabeth Houston, was born on the 9th day of August in the year 1963. The singer was born in Newark, the most populous city of New Jersey, U.S.A. and grew up there.
Houston was born into an interesting family. Her mother, Cissy Houston is a popular gospel singer who made a lot of buzz in America and even won two Grammy awards for her efforts. Whitney Houston’s father, John Russell Houston was an army serviceman and entertainment executive. Houston had an elder brother called Michael Houston who is also a singer like her. She also had a half-brother called Gary Garland, who is now an American basketball player.
Whitney took interest in singing from an early age. By the time she was 11 years old, she was already performing as a solo singer in the junior gospel choir at her church in Newark. She also learned how to play the piano in the church, stunning many people with her talent. Her mother, Cissy, who saw that she had talent, started to help her sing better.
Growing up, Houston spent a lot of time touring different nightclubs with her mother who was performing in those places. Some times, she would even climb on stage to sing with her mother, often wowing the audiences with her incredible voice. When she turned 14 years old, she began to serve as a backup singer to some popular names including Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls.
During the 1980s, she was spotted on stage by a fashion photographer while she was performing with her mother and was consequently offered a chance to work as a model. She went on to appear in different magazines including Seventeen, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Young Miss among others. She also starred in different commercials.
Whitney Houston eventually kick-started her professional singing career at the age of 19, when she was spotted on stage with her mother by representatives from Arista Records. They eventually offered her a recording contract and this was when her life changed.
She released her first studio album titled Whitney Houston in 1985 to wide acceptance. The album became so successful that it made it to the number one spot on the Billboard 200 in the United States. Her second album Whitney which she released in 1987 also reached number one on the Billboard 200. The singer became very popular around the world and was certified as one of the best selling artists of all time.
During her career, Whitney Houston released a total of 7 studio albums and 6 compilation albums. She won so many awards including 7 Grammys. Sadly, she passed away on 11 February 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. According to reports, she accidentally drowned in her bathtub.
Whitney Houston’s Net Worth At the Time of Her Death
During her lifetime, Whitney earned so much money from her work as a singer. In fact, at the peak of her powers, Whitney Houston’s net worth was pegged at nearly $200 million. However, she was not anywhere near this rich when she died. In fact, she was flat broke at the time she passed away.
According to sources, at the time fo her death, Whitney Houston’s net worth was negative $20 million. This means that she was $20 million in debt. Reports have it that she signed a $100 million deal with Arista Records in 2001. The deal meant that she had to record 6 more albums for the label. However, she only recorded three albums before she died and this put her in the $20 million debt as she had already received an upfront payment.
However, her death brought about a change of fortune as more people took an interest in listening to her music. The enormous spike in the singer’s record and single sales raked in more than $40 million for her estate and her debt was paid off. It was reported that a whopping $20 million was set aside for her daughter Bobbi Kristina afterward.