Whitney Houston Did Her First Studio Session at Age 14 With This Diva

by Jeremy Spirogis
Whitney Houston speaks onstage at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards

Whitney Houston stays regarded by many to be one of many biggest singers of all time. The Grammy-winning artist and actor was destined for greatness from a younger age, and she or he labored with lots of music’s greatest legends all through her profession.

Whitney Houston speaks onstage at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards
Whitney Houston speaks onstage on the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards | Scott Gries/ImageDirect

Whitney Houston began singing at a younger age

Everyone in Whitney Houston’s orbit knew at a younger age that she possessed a expertise that had by no means been seen earlier than. Her mom, Cissy Houston, was a gospel singer and bought her daughter into singing herself. Houston began performing as a soloist at their church at 11 years previous.

Houston was a member of the group The Sweet Inspirations, who opened for and sang backup for rock ‘n roll icon Elvis Presley. As a teenager, she sometimes went with her mother to the venues where she’d carry out and typically would be a part of her on stage.

Whitney Houston Performs In Paris Bercy On May 18th, 1988 In Paris, France | Frederic Reglain/Gamma-Rapho via Getty ImagesWhitney Houston Performs In Paris Bercy On May 18th, 1988 In Paris, France | Frederic Reglain/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Whitney Houston Performs In Paris Bercy On May 18th, 1988 In Paris, France | Frederic Reglain/Gamma-Rapho through Getty Images

Whitney Houston had an skilled information for her first studio session

When it got here time for Houston’s first studio session, she had a bit of steering from somebody who was skilled within the music business: R&B icon Chaka Khan. Khan spoke in regards to the expertise in an interview with VladTV.

“I was actually the first person she recorded with in the studio. She was 14,” Khan mentioned. “Her mother was my main background woman when I did studio work. Cissy sang background on all my ’80s stuff.”

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than Cissy Houston needed to get Whitney concerned. “One day, she says to me, ‘You know, I got a daughter,’” Khan recalled. “I mentioned, ‘Can she sing?’ She mentioned, ‘She can actually sing.’” Khan invited them each to the studio and she or he grew to become considered one of her backup singers alongside together with her mom.

Chaka Khan performs during the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 50th AnniversaryChaka Khan performs during the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 50th Anniversary
Chaka Khan performs in the course of the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 50th Anniversary | Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

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Whitney Houston had a well-known godmother

While Khan was new to Houston’s expertise, one other diva was already acquainted with the kid prodigy. The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, first met Houston when she was simply 9 years previous, and finally grew to become her godmother.

“I met Whitney when her mother, Cissy, who was singing with me, brought her to one of my recording sessions,” Franklin advised Rolling Stone after her goddaughter’s loss of life in 2012, recalling her “little red pigtails and her hair parted in the middle.”

Houston would later turn out to be a godmother herself, however on the display screen as an alternative. She personally requested Brandy to star within the 1997 movie model of Cinderella, and the younger R&B singer solely agreed to do the undertaking if Houston, her musical idol, appeared within the film as her fairy godmother.

“By the time she was a young lady, Luther Vandross and I were talking about her,” Franklin remembered about Houston. “She knew how to be glamorous and graceful. She had class. She knew where she was going. It was clear her and her mother both had a similar quality to their voices — the genetics were just unbelievable. Just like her mom, she was one of the great sopranos.”

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