What Makes Whitney Tick?
December 03, 2002
As controversy swirls around WHITNEY HOUSTON
concerning her health, alleged drug use and her long-delayed new album, the pop diva's
roots and rise to fame are examined in a special episode of "Driven" on VH1.
Tonight on ET, get a sneak peek at "Driven: Whitney Houston," airing this
evening at 9 EST/PST, and see what makes Whitney tick!
Growing up, Whitney was a shy young girl surrounded by a family of legendary singers,
including her no-nonsense mother, CISSY HOUSTON, cousin DIONNE WARWICK and family friend,
ARETHA FRANKLIN. With a powerful voice -- which she almost lost in a childhood accident --
Whitney began to realize her destiny in music. But other opportunities, such as a
successful modeling career and making the final cut to play Denise Huxtable on "The
Cosby Show," made the choice to pursue music that much more difficult.
"It's like watching a flower bloom before your very eyes," says
singer/songwriter and family friend VALERIE SIMPSON. "She wasn't yet groomed but
there was no doubt, this was a rose."
After toiling for years on the nightclub circuit singing with her mother, Whitney finally
got noticed by one of the biggest executives in the industry, CLIVE DAVIS. With two years
of recording under her belt with some of the industry's top producers and songwriters,
Whitney launched the most successful debut album for a female artist ever at the time.
In addition to interviews with Whitney's family, friends and mentors (including LUTHER
VANDROSS, AARON NEVILLE, JERMAINE JACKSON and CHAKA KHAN), "Driven: Whitney
Houston" features footage from one of a teenage Whitney's church choir performances;
her TV debut on "The Merv Griffin Show"; her first acting role on "Gimme A
Break"; and audio of her first recordings with disco producer MICHAEL ZAGER and the
avant-garde jazz group, MATERIAL.
NEWSFILE: 3 DECEMBER 2002