Kushimaumi Keita, Japanese sumo wrestler and coach (Tagonoura), died from a ischaemic heart disease he was 46
Kushimaumi Keita , born as Keita Kushima was a sumo wrestler from Shingū, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan died from a ischaemic heart disease he was , 46. A successful amateur, his highest rank in professional sumo was maegashira 1. After his retirement he became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association and established Tagonoura stable.
He began doing sumo from the age of four, due to his father’s love of
the sport. He was the first person to earn the Amateur Yokozuna title
whilst still in high school (at which time he already weighed 160 kg),
and he continued amateur sumo at Nihon University. In total he captured 28 collegiate sumo titles, a record at the time. He joined the prestigious Dewanoumi stable and made his professional debut in January 1988, beginning in the third highest makushita division. He fought under his own name until he reached the second highest jūryō division, whereupon his shikona was modified slightly from Kushima to Kushimaumi. Although it took him seven tournaments to progress from makushita to jūryō, he won two consecutive yūshō or tournament championships from his jūryō debut to reach the top makuuchi
division in July 1989, the first wrestler to do so since 15 day
tournaments were established in 1949. He won his first Fighting Spirit
prize in March 1990, and earned two kinboshi for defeating yokozuna Asahifuji in September 1991 and Hokutoumi in March 1992 (this was Hokutoumi’s final match before retirement). In March 1993 he was famously knocked out by a harite (slap to the face) from Kyokudōzan
and had to withdraw from the tournament with his score at seven wins
and six losses. His best result in a top division tournament was his
runner-up performance in September 1993, where he finished behind Akebono on twelve wins. This however, was achieved from the low position of maegashira 13, and despite his great potential he never managed to reach the san’yaku ranks. In his later career he suffered increasingly from shoulder and hip injuries, and was demoted to the jūryō division on several occasions. He announced his retirement in November 1998 at the age of 33, after falling into the makushita division.
Kushimaumi was one of the heaviest wrestlers ever, weighing over
200 kg at his peak, and his great physical strength was demonstrated by
his frequent use of the kimedashi (arm barring force out) technique. He also regularly employed yorikiri (the force out) and kotenage (the arm lock throw).
Retirement from sumo
Kushimaumi remained with Dewanoumi stable as an elder of the Japan Sumo Association, under the name Tagonoura. In February 2000 he branched out and opened up his own Tagonoura stable. In 2011 he produced his first sekitori ranked wrestler, the Bulgarian Aoiyama. Another former rikishi was the Tongan born Aotsurugi (who took Japanese citizenship to allow Aoiyama to join the stable).
In 2003 he suffered an acute myocardial infarction, but it proved not to be life-threatening and he made an immediate recovery.
|Year in sumo||January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
Haru basho, Osaka
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
Aki basho, Tokyo
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
|1988||Makushita tsukedashi #60
|East Makushita #38
|East Makushita #24
|East Makushita #9
|East Makushita #4
|West Makushita #2
|1989||East Makushita #1
|West Jūryō #12
|East Jūryō #3
|West Maegashira #13
|West Maegashira #11
|East Maegashira #5
|1990||East Maegashira #9
|East Maegashira #14
|East Maegashira #4
|West Maegashira #8
|East Jūryō #1
|East Maegashira #12
|1991||East Maegashira #6
|East Maegashira #1
|East Maegashira #6
|East Maegashira #10
|East Maegashira #3
|East Maegashira #3
|1992||West Maegashira #6
|West Maegashira #3
|West Maegashira #4
|East Maegashira #3
|West Maegashira #6
|West Maegashira #2
|1993||West Maegashira #1
|West Maegashira #2
|East Maegashira #4
|West Maegashira #7
|East Maegashira #13
|West Maegashira #1
|1994||West Maegashira #7
|East Jūryō #4
|East Jūryō #2
|West Maegashira #15
|East Maegashira #15
|East Maegashira #9
|1995||West Maegashira #4
|East Maegashira #12
|East Jūryō #5
|West Jūryō #6
|West Jūryō #2
|East Jūryō #1
|1996||East Jūryō #1
|East Jūryō #2
|East Jūryō #1
|West Maegashira #15
|West Jūryō #2
|East Jūryō #7
|1997||West Jūryō #9
|East Jūryō #4
|West Jūryō #2
|West Jūryō #1
|West Maegashira #13
|West Maegashira #15
|1998||West Jūryō #6
|East Jūryō #9
|West Jūryō #2
|East Jūryō #4
|West Jūryō #5
|East Makushita #1
|Record given as win-loss-absent
Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique Also shown: ★=Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: Makuuchi — Jūryō — Makushita — Sandanme — Jonidan — Jonokuchi
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Daniel Charles Gerould
was the Lucille Lortel Distinguished Professor of Theatre and
Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center
and Director of Publications of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center. A
scholar, teacher, translator, editor, and playwright, Gerould was a
specialist in US melodrama, Central and Eastern European theatre of the twentieth century, and fin-de-siècle European avant-garde
performance. Gerould was one of the world’s most recognized
“Witkacologists,” a leading scholar and translator of the work of Polish
playwright, novelist, painter, and philosopher Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (“Witkacy”). Gerould was best known for introducing English-language audiences to the writings of Witkiewicz through such work as Stanisław I. Witkiewicz, The Beelzebub Sonata: Plays, Essays, Documents (PAJ Publications 1980), Witkacy: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz as an Imaginative Writer (University of Washington Press, 1981), The Witkiewicz Reader (Northwestern University Press, 1992), and his original translations of most of Witkiewicz’s plays.
Gerould began his teaching career at the University of Arkansas (1949–1951) and earned a Diplôme in French Literature from the Sorbonne in 1955 and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 1959. Gerould taught at San Francisco State University from 1959 to 1968, where he founded the Department of World and Comparative Literature. In 1968, Gerould’s play Candaules Commissioner, an anti-war comedy informed by US military action in Vietnam and the Classical Greek allegory of King Candaules, premiered at the Stanford Repertory Theatre. He began teaching at the Graduate Center, CUNY in 1970.
In 1981, Gerould founded the Institute for Contemporary East European Drama and Theatre with Alma Law as part of the Center for Advanced Study in Theatre Arts at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Gerould and Law co-edited the Institute’s tri-annual publication, originally titled Newsnotes on Soviet and East European Drama and Theatre, later changed to Soviet and East European Performance, and finally Slavic and East European Performance.
Gerould was a highly visible presence and driving force at the Martin
E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center CUNY, serving as executive
director from 2004 to 2008, and thereafter as director of academic
affairs and publications.
Gerould’s writings often include thick personal description of
historical figures to frame important theoretical texts, as seen in his
Known for his “sometimes oddball attraction to little-known works by
obscure artists,” Gerould described being more interested in the
“underrated than the overexposed and universally celebrated,” noting
Witkacy as “a case in point, having gone from controversial outsider to
classic of the avant-garde in three decades.”
His translations in Polish received numerous awards, including prizes from the Polish Centre of the International Theatre Institute, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle,
Polish Authors Agency, Jurzykowski Foundation, American Association of
Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, American Council of
Polish Cultural Clubs, and Marian Kister.
Gerould was also responsible for bringing new productions of many
previously-forgotten or under-produced plays to New York and other U.S.
stages. Gerould brought plays by Witkiewicz, including his translation
of The Crazy Locomotive directed by Des McAnuff and featuring Glenn Close.
Gerould was a beloved educator and mentored generations of doctoral
students during his long career at the Graduate Center. He was the
recipient of the City University of New York Award for Excellence in
Teaching (Graduate Center) and was honored by TWB, Theater Without Borders, as a Groundbreaker in international theatre exchanges.
Gerould was born in Cambridge in 1928. His father, a journalist from a
New England whaling family, was of French Huguenot descent. In the 2010
introduction to his compendium of essays, QuickChange, Gerould
described trips to the “legitimate stage” with his mother in the 1930s
and early 40s as planting the seeds for his long career as an “intensive
“At that time many Broadway-bound productions tried out first in Boston, and I remember Ethel Barrymore in The Corn Is Green by Emlyn Williams and Arsenic and Old Lace with Boris Karloff.
I felt myself a seasoned spectator, was at home among audiences, and
was always ready to applaud bravura displays of virtuoso acting.”
Gerould graduated from Boston Latin High School and entered the
University of Chicago at the age of 16. He later traveled to Paris as an
exchange student in the 1954-55 season, further shaping his passion for
the theatre and impassioned spectatorship.
A thin, reed-like man, Gerould was spry and energetic, frequently
found chopping wood and climbing fruit trees at his Woodstock, New York
home on weekends away from New York City. He was an avid jazz collector,
and was married to the Polish scholar and translator Jadwiga Kosicka,
with whom he frequently collaborated. His older sister, Joanne Simpson,
was the first woman to ever receive a Ph.D. in meteorology. She
eventually became NASA’s lead weather researcher. Daniel Gerould’s son
Alexander L. Gerould is a professor at the Department of Criminal
Justice Studies at San Francisco State University.
American Melodrama. Editor. (1982)
Avant Garde Drama: A Casebook. Edited by Bernard F. Dukore and Daniel C. Gerould. (1976)
Avant-Garde Drama: Major Plays and Documents, Post World War I. Edited and with an introduction by Bernard F. Dukore and Daniel C. Gerould. (1969)
Comedy: a Bibliography of Critical Studies in English on the Theory and Practice of Comedy in Drama, Theatre, and Performance. Editor, Meghan Duffy; Senior Editor, Daniel Gerould; initiated by Stuart Baker, Michael Earley & David Nicholson. (2006)
Country House. Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. Translated and with an introduction by Daniel Gerould. (1997)
Critical Reception of Shawʾs Plays in France: 1908-1950. Dissertation by Daniel Gerould. 1959.
Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers: An International Collection of Symbolist Drama. Editor. (1983)
Gallant and Libertine: Divertissements & Parades of 18th-Century France. Editor Daniel Gerould. (1983)
Life of Solitude: Stanisława Przybyszewska : a Biographical Study with Selected Letters. Jadwiga Kosicka and Daniel Gerould. (1989)
Maciej Korbowa and Bellatrix. Stanisław Witkiewicz. Translated and introduced by Daniel Gerould. (2009)
Maeterlinck Reader: Plays, Poems, Short Fiction, Aphorisms, and Essays. Maurice Maeterlinck. Edited & translated by David Willinger and Daniel Gerould.(2011)
Melodrama. Daniel Gerould, Guest Editor; Jeanine Parisier Plottel, General Editor. (1980)
Mother & Other Unsavory Plays: Including the Shoemakers and They. Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz. Edited and translated by Daniel Gerould and C.S. Durer; foreword by Jan Kott. (1993)
Mrożek Reader. Sławomir Mrożek. Editor Daniel Gerould. (2004)
Playwrights Before the Fall: Eastern European Drama in Times of Revolution. Editor Daniel Gerould. (2010)
Quick Change: 28 Theatre Essays, 4 Plays in Translations. Daniel Gerould. (2010)
Romania After 2000: Five New Romanian Plays. Gianina Carbunariu … [et al.]. Edited by Saviana Stanescu and Daniel Gerould. (2007)
Theatre/Theory/Theatre: The Major Critical Texts from Aristotle and Zeami to Soyinka and Havel. Edited with introductions by Daniel Gerould. (2000)
Stanisław I. Witkiewicz, The Beelzebub Sonata: Plays, Essays, Documents. Edited by Daniel Gerould and Jadwiga Kosicka. (1980)
Twentieth-Century Polish Avant-Garde Drama: Plays, Scenarios, Critical Documents.
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz … [et al.]. Edited, translated, and with
an introduction by Daniel Gerould, in collaboration with Eleanor
Witkacy: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz As an Imaginative Writer. Daniel Gerould. (1981)
Witkiewicz Reader. Edited, translated, and with an introduction by Daniel Gerould. (1992)
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Eamonn Deacy, 53, Irish footballer, member of Aston Villa championship-winning team (1981), died from a heart attack he was 53
(1 October 1958 – 13 February 2012)
Deacy made his debut for Limerick on 28 November 1976 at Flower Lodge. At the end of the season he was on the losing side in the FAI Cup Final. However in his last game for the Shannonsiders he won the Munster Senior Cup.
The 21-year-old full back left Galway Rovers for Aston Villa in
February 1979, after writing 12 letters to the club requesting a trial.
He went on to have an unforgettable five years at the club, during which
time they won the League Championship, European Cup and European Super
He was one of only 14 players used by Ron Saunders in the 1980–81
league-winning season, making enough appearances (11 in all, including
six starts) to win a medal (he was Villa’s number 12 on 19 occasions
that season). He made one appearance for Villa in European competition against Juventus in the 1982–83 European Cup.
He had a brief loan spell at Derby, where he played five games, before
rejecting an offer of a new two-year deal from Villa to return home to
Deacy’s first game back in the Maroon was in a League of Ireland Cup tie against Finn Harps on 2 September 1984.
Ironically his last League of Ireland game was also in Harold’s Cross on St Patrick’s Day 1991 away to St Patrick’s Athletic.
- Galway United
- Munster Senior Cup (1): 1977
- Aston Villa
- Football League First Division (1): 1980–81
- FA Charity Shield (1): 1981 (shared)
- European Cup (1): 1982
- European Super Cup (1): 1982
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Louise Cochrane was an American-born writer and television producer best known for creating the BBC Children’s TV programme Rag, Tag and Bobtail
in the early 1950s died she was 93. She also wrote a series of career guidance books
for young people and a biography of the 12th-century philosopher Adelard of Bath.
Louise Cochrane (née Morley) was born in New York on 22 December 1918. Her father, Christopher Morley, was a writer. After attending Hunter College High School she enrolled at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania to study politics. After graduating in 1940 she spent a short time working for Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of American President Franklin D Roosevelt. Later that year she joined the International Student Service,[a]
with responsibility for organising its conference programme. There in
1942 she met Englishman Peter Cochrane, a delegate visiting from
Britain; within a year she had joined him in England, and the couple were married a few weeks later.
Cochrane joined the BBC in 1948 as a producer of schools’ news and current affairs programmes, and was appointed to the Fulbright Commission two years later. In 1953 Cochrane wrote the first of her 26 episodes of Rag, Tag and Bobtail,
a children’s television series that “continues to be remembered with
affection”. She also wrote a series of four books giving career guidance
for young people.
In 1958 Cochrane moved with her husband and two daughters to Sussex,
where she took up secondary school teaching. Ten years later the family
moved to the area around Bath, which along with her keen interest in mathematics, and geometry in particular, triggered Cochrane’s long-standing interest in the 12th-century philosopher Adelard of Bath, of whom she published a biography in 1994.
The Cochranes relocated to Edinburgh in 1979, where Louise remained
active despite her failing eyesight. She died on 13 February 2012 aged
93, survived by her husband and daughters Alison and Janet.
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Allen Ray Brenner was a football player in the Canadian Football League for seven years died he was 64.
Brenner played defensive back for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Ottawa Rough Riders from 1971-1977. He was a CFL All-Star in 1972, the same year he set a record of most interceptions in a season at 15, and also won the Grey Cup
with the Tiger-Cats. He was also part of the Ottawa Rough Riders when
they won the Grey Cup in 1976. Brenner started his career with the New York Giants of the NFL, for whom he played two seasons. He played college football at Michigan State University where he was an All-American in 1968. Al Brenner was also the Head Coach of the Burlington Braves Junior Football Team in 1981.
While playing in the CFL for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats he intercepted Joe Theismann
4 times in one game. Brenner also was part of “The Game of the
Century”, where both Michigan State and Notre Dame were ranked number 1
in the country and went to a 10-10 tie in 1966.
Brenner was reported missing in April 1983. He, his wife, and four children were residents of Burlington, Ontario.
Brenner is featured in a Fifth Estate program on Dec 3, 2010 which
discusses his disappearance and subsequent resurfacing eight years after
abandoning his family. He is interviewed living in an unnamed small town in North Carolina and says he cannot explain why he left.
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Charles Anthony Caruso (né Calogero Antonio Caruso), better known by his stage name of Charles Anthony, was an American tenor noted for his portrayal of comprimario characters in opera died from kidney failure he was 82. Anthony had the distinction of appearing in more performances at the Metropolitan Opera than any other performer.
He celebrated his fiftieth anniversary with the company in 2004, and
gave his farewell in the role of the aged Emperor Altoum in Turandot, at the Met, on January 28, 2010.
( July 15, 1929 – February 15, 2012)
Anthony was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the child of immigrants from Sicily. He studied music at Loyola University New Orleans, where he studied under Dorothy Hulse, also the teacher of Audrey Schuh and Harry Theyard, from where he graduated in 1951. The tenor sang the role of the Messenger in Il trovatore, at the New Orleans Opera
Association, in 1947. At the age of twenty-two, he auditioned under his
birth name for the Metropolitan Opera’s Auditions of the Air. He won
the auditions, but Sir Rudolf Bing convinced him to drop his surname, saying that it would invite comparisons with Enrico Caruso.
At the Metropolitan
Anthony made his debut at the Metropolitan on March 6, 1954, playing the role of the Simpleton in Boris Godunov. Critics were impressed; The New York Times
wrote, “Mr Anthony had better be careful. If he does other bit parts so
vividly, he’ll be stamped as a character singer for life.” In the
event, this proved true; although Anthony performed some larger roles
early in his career (including Don Ottavio, to the Donna Anna of Herva Nelli, in Don Giovanni), he made his mark as a comprimario singer.
On February 17, 1992, following Act II of a performance of Puccini‘s Tosca, Anthony was honored in an onstage ceremony on the occasion of his breaking the record of George Cehanovsky
for most appearances by an artist at the Metropolitan Opera. By the
time of his retirement, Anthony had performed 2,928 times with the
company, over fifty-six seasons. He was also an honorary member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One in New York City. Following his retirement from the Metropolitan Opera, he lived in Tampa, Florida, where he died at his home from kidney failure at the age of 82.
Anthony was included in many of the Met’s telecasts, including Otello (conducted by James Levine, 1979), Elektra (with Birgit Nilsson, 1980), Un ballo in maschera (with Katia Ricciarelli, 1980), Il trittico (with Renata Scotto, 1981), Rigoletto (with Louis Quilico in the title role, 1981), Der Rosenkavalier (with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, 1982), Idomeneo (produced by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, 1982), Tannhäuser (with Richard Cassilly, 1982), Don Carlos (opposite Plácido Domingo and Mirella Freni, 1983), Ernani (with Luciano Pavarotti in the name part, 1983), Lohengrin (with Peter Hofmann, 1986), Dialogues des Carmélites (directed by John Dexter, 1987), Ariadne auf Naxos (with Jessye Norman, 1988), Il barbiere di Siviglia (1988), Un ballo in maschera (staged by Piero Faggioni, 1991), La fanciulla del West (1992), Stiffelio (1993), Il tabarro (with Teresa Stratas, 1994), Simon Boccanegra (1995), Otello (1995), Die Meistersinger (2001), Fedora (1997), Samson et Dalila (1998), and, finally, Turandot (with Maria Guleghina, 2009).
In 1956 and 1957, the tenor recorded excerpts from Les contes d’Hoffmann, Pagliacci, La périchole (with Patrice Munsel and Theodor Uppman), and Don Pasquale (with Salvatore Baccaloni) for the Metropolitan Opera Record Club.
In 1982, Anthony recorded Gastone, in La traviata (which he had sung opposite Maria Callas, in 1958), with Levine leading Stratas, Domingo, and Cornell MacNeil. In 1990, he recorded the role of the Messenger, in Aïda, conducted by Levine.
Mr Anthony died on February 15, 2012, from kidney failure, aged 82.
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Dory Previn, American singer-songwriter (Mythical Kings and Iguanas) and lyricist (Valley of the Dolls, Last Tango in Paris) died she was 86
During the late 1950s and 1960s she was a lyricist on songs intended for motion pictures and, with her then husband, André Previn, received several Academy Award nominations. In the 1970s, after their divorce, she released six albums
of original songs and an acclaimed live album. Previn’s lyrics from
this period are characterized by their originality, irony and honesty in
dealing with her troubled personal life as well as more generally about
relationships, sexuality, religion and psychology. Until her death, she
continued to work as a writer of song lyrics and prose.
Previn was born in Rahway, New Jersey,
the eldest daughter in a strict Catholic family of Irish origin. She
had a troubled relationship with her father, especially during
childhood. He had served in the First World War and been gassed, and experienced periods of depression and violent mood swings.
He tended to alternately embrace and reject her, but supported her when
she began to show talents for singing and dancing. However, his mental
health deteriorated after the birth of a second daughter, culminating in
a paranoid episode in which he boarded the family up in their home and
held them at gunpoint for several months. Previn’s childhood
experiences, described in her autobiography Midnight Baby, had a profound effect on her later life and work.
After high school, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for a year before having to leave due to financial difficulties. She toured as a chorus line dancer and singer, and started to write songs. She later wrote,
“I have been an actress, model, and chorus girl. I’ve worked at odd
jobs – secretary, salesgirl, accounting in a filling station, waitress –
anything to keep me going while I pursued my writing.” At this time,
she entered a brief first marriage which ended in divorce soon after.
Lyricist and marriage: 1958–1969
Through a chance contact with film producer Arthur Freed, she gained a job as a lyricist at MGM. There she met, and began collaborating with, composer André Previn. In 1958, as Dory Langdon, she recorded an album of her songs, The Leprechauns Are Upon Me, with André Previn and jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell accompanying her, for Verve Records.
She married André Previn in 1959. The couple collaborated on a number
of songs used in motion pictures, including “The Faraway Part Of Town”
sung in the film Pepe by Judy Garland, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song in 1960. In 1961 they wrote “One, Two, Three Waltz” for the movie One, Two, Three, and, in 1962, wrote “A Second Chance” for the movie Two for the Seesaw, which won them a second Oscar nomination. They also wrote songs recorded by Rosemary Clooney, Chris Connor, Vic Damone, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr., Doris Day, Eileen Farrell, Jack Jones, Marilyn Maye, Carmen McRae, Matt Monro, Leontyne Price, Nancy Wilson, Monica Zetterlund and others. In 1964, she and André Previn collaborated with Harold Arlen on “So Long, Big Time!”, which was recorded by Tony Bennett. Later in 1966, the song was covered by Carola, accompanied by the Heikki Sarmanto Trio.
By the mid-1960s Previn’s husband had become a classical music
conductor, touring worldwide. She had a morbid fear of air travel and
did not join him. In 1965 Previn’s mental health deteriorated, she
suffered a nervous breakdown and was briefly institutionalized in a
psychiatric hospital. However, she continued to write with her husband,
on songs including “You’re Gonna Hear from Me“, recorded by Frank Sinatra, and began to use the name Dory Previn professionally. In 1967, they wrote five songs for the movie Valley of the Dolls. The soundtrack album spent six months in the charts, and Dionne Warwick had a pop hit with her version of the theme song. In 1968, she wrote a new English language libretto for Mozart‘s The Impresario. The following year she won a third Oscar nomination for “Come Saturday Morning,” with music by Fred Karlin, from the movie The Sterile Cuckoo. A hit version was recorded by The Sandpipers.
In 1968 André Previn had fully moved from composing film scores to conducting symphony orchestras, most notably the London Symphony Orchestra. While in London he began an affair with the then 23-year-old actress Mia Farrow, who was working on the film A Dandy in Aspic.
In 1969 Previn discovered that Farrow had become pregnant, compelling
Previn to separate from her husband. Their divorce became final in July
1970. André Previn subsequently married Farrow. This betrayal led to Previn being institutionalized again, where she was treated with electroconvulsive therapy.
This seemed to change her outlook as a songwriter, making her more
introspective. She subsequently expressed her feelings regarding Farrow
and the end of her marriage in the song “Beware of Young Girls” on her
1970 album On My Way to Where.
In 1970 she signed as a solo artist with the Mediarts company founded by Alan Livingston and Nik Venet, and recorded her first album for 12 years, On My Way To Where.
Much of the album, which like several subsequent albums was produced by
Venet, deals with her experiences in the late 1960s. “Mister Whisper”
examines episodes of psychosis from within the confines of a psychiatric hospital, while “Beware of Young Girls” is a scathing attack on Mia Farrow and her motives for befriending the Previns (Farrow belatedly apologized to Dory in her memoir What Falls Away). The track “With My Daddy in the Attic” is a chilling piece dealing with Stockholm Syndrome and fantasies of incest. The album’s lyrics were published in book form in 1971.
Her second album of this period, Mythical Kings and Iguanas, released in 1971, was even more successful. United Artists Records then took over Mediarts and released her third album, Reflections in a Mud Puddle. The album was voted one of the best albums of 1972 by Newsweek magazine, and was included in The New York Times
critics’ choice as one of the outstanding singer-songwriter albums of
the 1970s. “Taps, Tremors and Time-Steps: One Last Dance for my Father,”
the second side of Reflections In a Mud Puddle, is a personal
account of the deterioration of their relationship and her anguish at
their differences remaining unresolved at the time of her father’s
In 1972 she released Mary C. Brown and the Hollywood Sign,
a thematic album about Hollywood misfits and Mary C. Brown, an actress
who kills herself jumping from Hollywood’s letter “H”, apparently based
upon real-life Peg Entwistle.
The songs were intended for a musical revue that ran briefly in Los
Angeles. Previn teamed up with producer Zev Bufman to stage it on Broadway, but the previews were poor and the show was cancelled before it opened.
Her albums maintained a balance of intensely personal lyrics and
wider commentary – “A Stone for Bessie Smith” is about the premature
death of singer Janis Joplin,
while “Doppelgänger” examines the latent savagery of humanity.
Self-conscious spirituality at the expense of the tangible is criticised
in “Mythical Kings and Iguanas,” while songs dealing with emotionally
frail characters appear as “Lady With the Braid”, “Lemon-Haired Ladies”,
and “The Altruist and the Needy Case”. Feminist issues and dilemmas are
explored in “Brando” and “The Owl and the Pussycat”, while the male ego
is attacked with wit and irony in “Michael, Michael”, “Don’t Put Him
Down”, and “The Perfect Man”.
In 1973, her screenplay Third Girl From The Left was filmed and broadcast as a TV movie.
She also undertook some public performances that year, including a
concert in New York on April 18, 1973. This was recorded and released
later as a double LP, Live At Carnegie Hall,
which featured in a book of the two hundred best rock albums. She also
continued to collaborate on music for film and TV. Her last film credit
was the title song for Last Tango in Paris (1973), with music by Gato Barbieri.
She then switched to Warner Bros. Records, and released the album Dory Previn in 1974, followed by We’re Children of Coincidence and Harpo Marx
in 1976. Overcoming her fear of flying, she toured in Europe in the
late 1970s, and in 1980 performed in a musical revue of her songs, Children Of Coincidence, in Dublin. She withdrew from music for a period, and wrote two autobiographies, Midnight Baby: an Autobiography (1976, ISBN 0-02-299000-4) and Bogtrotter: An Autobiography with Lyrics (1980; ISBN 0-385-14708-2). The latter title refers to her Irish heritage: “bogtrotter” is a derogatory term for an Irish person. She wrote Schizo-phren, a one-woman play with songs.
From the 1980s, she often used the name Dory Previn Shannon, Shannon being her mother’s maiden name. In 1983 she wrote and appeared in a musical statement on nuclear war, August 6, 1945, in Los Angeles. Working for television, she won an Emmy Award in 1984 for “We’ll Win this World” (from Two of a Kind) with Jim Pasquale, and an Emmy nomination in 1985 for “Home Here” (from Two Marriages) with Bruce Broughton.
In 1984 she married actor and artist Joby Baker. She performed in London in 1986, and wrote a stage work, The Flight Of The Gooney Bird. She last appeared in concert in 1988, in Dublin and at the Donmar Warehouse in London. As a writer, her short stories have appeared in several publications, and she has also worked on a novel, Word-Play with an Invisible Relative. She lectured on lyric writing, recording, and writing autobiographies at various American universities. Baker provided illustrations for The Dory Previn Songbook (1995), which contains songs from her period with United Artists.
In 1997 she collaborated with André Previn again, to produce a piece for soprano and ensemble entitled The Magic Number. This was first performed by the New York Philharmonic, with Previn as conductor and Sylvia McNair performing the soprano part. A piano reduction was published by G. Schirmer, Inc (ISBN 0-7935-8803-0). In 2002 she released a royalty-free recording available via the internet entitled Planet Blue.
This contains a mixture of recent and previously unreleased material
dealing with environmental degradation and the threat of nuclear
disaster. She continued to work, in spite of having suffered several strokes, which affected her eyesight. A new compilation of her early 1970s work, entitled The Art of Dory Previn, was released by EMI on January 21, 2008.
- The Leprechauns Are Upon Me (1958)—Verve, as Dory Langdon. Reissued in 1983 as Dory & Andre Previn
- On My Way to Where (1970)—Mediarts
- Mythical Kings and Iguanas (1971)—Mediarts
- Reflections in a Mud Puddle/Taps Tremors and Time Steps (1971)—United Artists
- Mary C. Brown and the Hollywood Sign (1972)—United Artists
- Live at Carnegie Hall (1973)—United Artists
- Dory Previn (1974)—Warner Bros. Records
- We’re Children of Coincidence and Harpo Marx (1976)—Warner Bros. Records
- Planet Blue—(2002) Download only
- One A.M. Phonecalls (1977) United Artists
- In Search of Mythical Kings: The U.A. Years (1993) EMI
- The Art of Dory Previn (2008) EMI
Previn’s material from her period with United Artists has been re-issued on CD under the Beat Goes On label.
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Tonmi Lillman (born Tommi Kristian Lillman), was a Finnish musician, best known as Otus, the former drummer of the Finnish hard rock band Lordi died he was 38.
Lillman died on 13 February 2012 from a bout of illness.
Lillman’s father was a musician, and as a result he grew up
surrounded by a large assortment of instruments. Tonmi received his
first drum kit at age 9 and started performing live at age 14. Apart from drums and bass guitar, his primary instruments, Tonmi also played the keyboards and guitar. Prior to his death, he was involved in the bands Ajattara, Kylähullut, Vanguard and 3rror. From his previous bands, he became best Sinergy, To/Die/For and Lordi.
known as the drummer of
In his professional career Lillman has also taught digital recording
and drums at Kouvola Musiikkiopisto (Kouvola Conservatoire). He has
played in numerous folk, dance and pop orchestras, as well as handling
the drums on the “Dimebag Beyond Forever 2009″ tour alongside Rainer ”Raikku” Tuomikanto.
After Kita, the drummer of Lordi had decided to pursue a solo career, Tonmi sent a sms to Mr. Lordi
saying that he had heard they needed a drummer. He had already worked
with Mr Lordi when he helped him with Lordi’s stage props.
Mr Lordi accepted the offer and Tonmi became their second drummer with
his new stage name “Otus” which is Finnish for “creature” or “thing”.
His first gig with the band took place during the “Europe For Breakfast
Tour” on November 5, 2010 in the hall Ozhidania St. Petersburg (Russia).
His character was described as a combination between a butcher, an
executioner, an alien, a lizard, and a zombie. According to Lordi he was
a “tough dude. And definitely one of the ugliest members in our family …
Otus edited the DVD of the compilation album Scarchives Vol. 1
and can be heard on the documentary track. He didn’t record any studio
album with Lordi before his death, but the outro track of To Beast or Not to Beast is a live-record of Otus’ drum solo.
After his death, Lordi Fan Nation, the fan magazine about the band, did a special edition in tribute to Otus. [mag]
Lillman had appeared on several albums, acting as a studio musician for bands such as Reflexion, Twilight Ophera, and for instance providing the drum work for the Guitar Heroes -album. Recently Tonmi has distinguished himself as a studio engineer, mixing and recording such bands as Beherit, Bloodride, Chainhill, D-Creation, Exsecratus, Fierce, Fear Of Domination, Heorot, In Silentio Noctis, Laava, Lie in Ruins, MyGRAIN, Rage My Bitch, Raivopäät, Roo, Rujo, Rytmihäiriö, Saattue, Serene Decay, Trauma, Vapaat Kädet and V For Violence.
Tonmi Lillman used Pearl drums, Sabian cymbals and Pro-Mark drum sticks, and has signed an endorsement contract with the aforementioned labels. Lillman was known for his characteristic style of drum placement and was a devout user of double kick drums. His style of drumming was rooted in rock, so he valued good groove and a strong rhythmic backbone, combined with innovative fills, over high speeds and blast beats. Tonmi mentioned as his main influences the drummers Teijo “Twist Twist” Erkinharju, Mikkey Dee, Deen Castronovo, and his greatest influence as Dave Weckl.
Tonmi Lillman’s drum kit has recently appeared for sale by his estate on the Finnish musicians’ website muusikoiden.net.
Graphics and music videos
Besides music, Tonmi worked as a graphic designer specializing in 3D-graphics. He has also worked as an editor on music videos, such as on Ajattara‘s “…Putoan” and “Ikuisen Aamun Sara”, ”Marks On My Face” by Mind Of Doll, the Kylähullut video “Kieli hanurissa” and on “Whisper” by Vanguard. He has designed the Cover Art for bands like To/Die/For, Sinergy, Kylähullut, HateFrame, D-Creation and Dance Nation,
among several others. In addition, he has edited video presentations,
commercials and product labels for different companies as well as
providing video production and post production to, for instance, the Crumbland promo DVD. Tonmi also designed and produced the background animations for Lordi‘s European tour. Other graphical works include web designing, site production and providing banners and animation for various on-line gaming sites.
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John J. Yeosock was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1937 and grew up in Plains Township. He studied at the Valley Forge Military Academy where he graduated as valedictorian. Unable to get into West Point due to bad eyesight, Yeosock joined the ROTC at Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1959. As an armor officer Yeosock served in the Vietnam War. During the 1980s, Yeosock was the head of an American military team sent to help modernize the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
He commanded the 1st Cavalry Division from June 1986 to May 1988. Promoted to Lieutenant General, in 1989 he was given command of the 3rd U.S. Army. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, the 3rd Army was sent to Saudi Arabia in the buildup of coalition forces protecting the Kingdom during Operation Desert Shield. During the ground phase of the Gulf War,
the 3rd Army formed the nucleus of the forces performing the “left
hook” against the Iraqi Army. On February 19, 1991, he needed medical
evacuation to Germany for emergency surgery, his command temporarily taken over by LTG Calvin Waller until his return to Saudi Arabia approximately ten days later. Yeosock retired from the army in August 1992.
Yeosock died on February 15, 2012 in Fayetteville, Georgia, aged 74, from lung cancer and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Betta (née Hoffner), son John, and daughter Elizabeth J. Funk.
|Distinguished Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster|
|Bronze Star Medal with “V” device and one Oak Leaf Cluster|
|Army Meritorious Service Medal|
|Army Commendation Medal|
|National Defense Service Medal with service star|
|Army Service Ribbon|
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Clive Shakespeare, British-born Australian guitarist (Sherbet) and record producer, died from prostate cancer he was 62
Clive Richard Shakespeare was an English-born Australian pop guitarist, songwriter and producer died from prostate cancer he was 62. He was a co-founder of pop, rock group Sherbet, which had commercial success in the 1970s including their number-one single, “Summer Love” in 1975. The majority of Sherbet’s original songs were co-written by Shakespeare with fellow band member Garth Porter.
Other Sherbet singles co-written by Shakespeare include “Cassandra”
(peaked at number nine in 1973), “Slipstream” and “Silvery Moon” (both
reached number five in 1974). In January 1976 Shakespeare left the band
citing dissatisfaction with touring, pressures of writing and concerns
over the group’s finances. Shakespeare has produced albums for other
artists including Post by Paul Kelly in 1985.
Clive Richard Shakespeare was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 3 June 1949. With his family he migrated to Australia and settled in Sydney. As lead guitarist, he joined various bands including The Road Agents in 1968 in Sydney with Terry Hyland on vocals. He was a founding member of Down Town Roll, which was a Motown covers band, alongside Adrian Cuff (organ), Frank Ma (vocals), Doug Rea (bass guitar), Pam Slater (vocals) and Danny Taylor on drums.
In April 1969 Rea, Shakespeare and Taylor founded pop, rock band, Sherbet with Dennis Laughlin on vocals (ex-Sebastian Hardie Blues Band, Clapham Junction) and Sammy See on organ, guitar, and vocals (Clapham Junction). See had left in October 1970 to join The Flying Circus and was replaced by New Zealand-born Garth Porter (Samael Lilith, Toby Jugg) who provided Hammond organ and electric piano. Sherbet’s initial singles were cover versions released by Infinity Records and distributed by Festival Records.
From 1972 to 1976, Sherbet’s chief songwriting team of Porter and
Shakespeare were responsible for co-writing the lion’s share of the
band’s material, which combined British pop and American soul
influences. For their debut album, Time Change… A Natural Progression (December 1972), Shakespeare co-wrote five tracks including the top 30 single, “You’ve Got the Gun”.
Other Sherbet singles co-written by Shakespeare include “Cassandra”
(peaked at number nine in 1973), “Slipstream” and “Silvery Moon” (both
reached number five in 1974), and their number-one hit “Summer Love”
from 1975. Sherbet followed with more top five singles, “Life” and “Only One You” / “Matter of Time”.
In January 1976, Shakespeare left Sherbet citing ‘personal reasons’.
He later explained “I couldn’t even go out the front of my house
because there were all these girls just hanging on the fence [...] There
was always a deadline for Garth and me – another album, another tour.
When it did finally end, I was relieved more than anything because I had
had enough. I left the band early in 1976 for reasons I don’t want to
discuss fully … but let’s just say I wasn’t happy about where all the
money went”. The last single he played on was “Child’s Play”, which was a No. 5 hit in February. Shakespeare was soon replaced by Harvey James (ex-Mississippi, Ariel). In 1977, Shakespeare issued a solo single, “I Realize” / “There’s a Way” on Infinity Records.
Shakespeare rejoined Sherbet for reunion concerts including the Countdown Spectacular
tour throughout Australia during September and October 2006. That year
also saw the release of two newly recorded tracks on the compilation
album, Sherbet – Super Hits, “Red Dress” which was written by Porter, Shakespeare, Daryl Braithwaite, James, Tony Mitchell, and Alan Sandow; and “Hearts Are Insane” written by Porter. In January 2011 Harvey James died of lung cancer – the remaining members except Shakespeare, who was too ill, performed at Gimme that Guitar, a tribute concert for James on 17 February.
- “I Realize” / “There’s a Way” (1977)
- At the Alpine – Richard & Wendy (1978) producer
- “Stop all Your Talking” – Tuesday Piranha (1983) co-producer
- “All You Wanted” – The Apartments (1984) engineer
- “Possession” – Leonard Samperi / “Give It Up” – David Virgin (June 1984) engineer
- “Forget” – John Kennedy (September 1984) audio recorder
- Post – Paul Kelly (May 1985) co-producer
- “Ruby Baby” – Martin Plaza (1986) co-producer
- Everything – Let’s Go Naked (April 1986) engineer
- Hide & Seek – Julie Blanchard (February 2012) engineer
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Lina Romay (born Rosa María Almirall Martínez) was a Spanish actress who often appeared in films directed by her long-time companion (and later husband) Jesús Franco died from cancer she was , 57. She died in 2012, at age 57, from cancer in Málaga, Spain. Her husband Franco died a year later in 2013.
Romay was born in Barcelona.
Following graduation from high school, she studied the arts, married
actor/photographer Raymond Hardy (they later divorced), and began acting
in stage productions. She began appearing in Jesús Franco’s films from
the time that they met in 1971. She appeared in more than a hundred
feature films, most of them directed by Franco. The majority of their
films together were in the adult film
genre, but she has also starred in many horror, comedy and
action/adventure films as well. Among the most famous of her cult horror
movies are The Bare Breasted Countess (aka Female Vampire), Jack the Ripper, Exorcisms and Black Masses, and Barbed Wire Dolls.
Lina Romay and Jesús Franco were partners for decades, and they were officially married on April 25, 2008. She died on February 15, 2012, at age 57, from cancer in Málaga, Spain. Her husband Franco died soon after, in 2013.
- Daughter of Dracula (1972)
- The Erotic Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1972)
- The Curse of Frankenstein (1972)
- The Bare Breasted Countess (aka Female Vampire; 1973)
- Women Behind Bars (1975)
- Caged Women (1975)
- Barbed Wire Dolls (1975)
- Rolls-Royce Baby (1975)
- Exorcism and Black Masses (1975)
- Jack the Ripper (1976)
- Doriana Grey (1976)
- Night of the Skull (1976 – aka Night of the Killers)
- Ilsa, the Wicked Warden (1977)
- Man Hunter (1980)
- Macumba Sexual (1981)
- Mondo Cannibale (1981)
- Revenge in the House of Usher (1982)
- Mansion Of The Living Dead (1982)
- The Treasure of the White Goddess (1983)
- Faceless (1988)
- Tender Flesh (1997)
- Eight Legs To Love You (1998)
- Lust for Frankenstein (1998)
- Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula (1998)
- Dr. Wong’s Virtual Hell (1999)
- Broken Dolls (1999)
- Blind Target (2000)
- Helter Skelter (2001)
- Vampire Blues (2001)
- Vampire Junction (2001)
- Incubus (2002)
- Snakewoman (2005)
- Angel of Death 2 (2007)
- Paula-Paula (2010)
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Elyse Knox was an American actress, model, and fashion designer died she was 94.
Knox was born Elsie Lillian Kornbrath in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Austrian immigrants Minnie and Frederick Kornbrath. She studied at the Traphagen School of Fashion in Manhattan, then embarked on a career in fashion design. Her good looks enabled her to model some of her own creations for Vogue magazine that led to a contract offer from Twentieth Century Fox film studio in 1937.
Knox performed mainly in minor or secondary roles until 1942 when she had a leading role with Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummy’s Tomb, one of the series of Mummy horror films made by Universal Studios. She appeared as herself in the Universal Studios 1944 production Follow the Boys, one of the World War II morale-booster films made both for the soldiers serving overseas as well as civilians at home. Knox also was a pin up girl during the war, appearing in such magazines as Yank, a weekly published and distributed by the United States Military. In late 1945, Knox was signed by Monogram Pictures to portray Anne Howe, the love interest of fictional boxer Joe Palooka in Joe Palooka, Champ. Based on the very popular comic strip, the instant success of the May 1946 film led to Knox appearing in another five Joe Palooka productions. After acting in 39 films, Knox retired in 1949 following her performance in the musical film, There’s a Girl in My Heart.
While appearing on the Bing Crosby radio show, she met football star Tom Harmon. They were engaged to marry, but ended the relationship when Harmon entered the U.S. Army Air Corps
in 1942. Later that year, Knox married fashion photographer Paul Hesse
who had shot many of her print ads and magazine covers. The marriage was
brief. Following her divorce and Harmon’s return from World War II
(during which he survived two plane crashes and being lost in the
jungle), she and Harmon married in 1944. Knox’s wedding dress was made
from silk from the parachute Harmon used when bailing out of his plane. After Harmon’s demobilization, they settled in the Los Angeles area.
The couple had three children: Kristin (born 1945), Kelly (born 1948) and Mark (born 1951). Kristin became an actress and painter who at seventeen married recording artist Ricky Nelson and bore four children: Tracy, twins Gunnar and Matthew, and Sam. Kelly, a model turned interior designer, was once married to automaker John DeLorean and has two daughters and a son and two other stepchildren. Mark is a film and television actor, best known for NCIS, and has two sons with wife Pam Dawber.
|1937||Wake Up and Live||Nurse||uncredited|
|1940||Lillian Russell||Lillian Russell’s Sister||performer: “Brighten the Corner Where You Are”|
|1940||Youth Will Be Served||Pamela|
|1940||Yesterday’s Heroes||Undetermined role||uncredited|
|1940||Girl from Avenue A||Angela|
|1940||Girl in 313||Judith Wilson|
|1940||Free, Blonde and 21||Marjorie|
|1941||Miss Polly||Barbara Snodgrass|
|1941||Tanks a Million||Jeannie|
|1941||Sheriff of Tombstone||Mary Carson|
|1941||Footlight Fever||Eileen Drake|
|1942||The Mummy’s Tomb||Isobel Evans|
|1942||Top Sergeant||Helen Gray|
|1942||Hay Foot||Betty Barkley|
|1943||Hi’ya, Sailor||Pat Rogers|
|1943||So’s Your Uncle||Patricia Williams|
|1943||Hit the Ice||Nurse Peggy Osborne|
|1943||Mister Big||Alice Taswell|
|1943||Keep ‘Em Slugging||Suzanne|
|1943||Don Winslow of the Coast Guard||Mercedes Colby|
|1944||Army Wives||Jerry Van Dyke|
|1944||A Wave, a WAC and a Marine||Marian|
|1944||Moonlight and Cactus||Louise Ferguson|
|1944||Follow the Boys||Herself|
|1946||Sweetheart of Sigma Chi||Betty Allen|
|1946||Gentleman Joe Palooka||Anne Howe|
|1946||Joe Palooka, Champ||Anne Howe|
|1947||Linda Be Good||Linda Prentiss|
|1947||Joe Palooka in the Knockout||Anne Howe|
|1947||Black Gold||Ruth Frazer|
|1948||Joe Palooka in Winner Take All||Anne Howe|
|1948||I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes||Ann Quinn|
|1948||Joe Palooka in Fighting Mad||Anne Howe|
|1949||There’s a Girl in My Heart||Claire Adamson|
|1949||Joe Palooka in the Counterpunch||Anne Howe|
|1949||Forgotten Women||Kate Allison|
|1953||I Was a Burlesque Queen||Linda Prentiss||archive footage|
|1999||Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed||Isobel Evans||archive footage|
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Zelda Kaplan was a fixture in New York’s art, nightclub, and fashion worlds died she was 95. She was often seen at popular New York nightclubs until closing. Her trademark nightclub outfit was a matching African-print dress, handbag, and shoes, and a tall cloth hat.
She made numerous philanthropic and humanitarian efforts, frequently traveling to Africa to speak out against female genital mutilation and campaign for the right of women to inherit; in 1995 she spoke to villages in South Africa about birth control. In regard to women’s rights she was quoted by the Village Voice as saying, “It’s so important that girls not defer to the penis. I hope to let every girl know that she is somebody.”
In 2003, she was profiled in The New York Times.  Later that same year HBO premiered a documentary about Kaplan, Her Name Is Zelda, which followed her life from housewife to socialite. In 2006, at the age of 90, she was profiled in The Village Voice. Kaplan also once posed as a subject for her friend the photographer Andres Serrano. 
Kaplan died in 2012, aged 95, after collapsing at a runway show for
her friend the designer Joanna Mastroianni’s new collection at Lincoln Center in New York City during the city’s twice yearly fashion week. 
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Cyril Domb FRS was an internationally recognized theoretical physicist best known for his lecturing and writing on the theory of phase transitions and critical phenomena of fluids died he was 91. He was also known in the Orthodox Jewish world for his writings on Science and Judaism.
Domb was born on 9 December 1920, the fourth day of Hanukkah, in North London to a Hasidic Jewish family. His father, Yoel, who had shortened his name from Dombrowski to Domb, was a native of Warsaw, while his mother, Sarah, was from Oświęcim, Poland. He was given the Hebrew name of Yechiel. His father and grandfather paid for tutors to educate him in classical Jewish studies, and he also attended shiurim (Torah classes) given by Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler to young men in a nearby synagogue.
Domb possessed both an excellent memory and skill in mathematics. At the age of 17 he won a scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge. He graduated with a degree in mathematics in 1941. He then joined the Admiralty Signal Establishment in Portsmouth as one of several young scientists working on developing radar
systems during World War II. Until that point, radar operators were
able to determine the distance of an approaching object; Domb’s group
worked out a method for determining the height of an object as well.
Domb was a university lecturer in mathematics at Cambridge University
between 1952 and 1954 and professor of theoretical physics at King’s College London between 1954 and 1981. In the latter position, he became the youngest professor in London at that time.
In 1972 Domb began co-editing what would become a 20-volume series, Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena, considered a classic in the field. After the death of his first co-editor, Melville S. Green, he worked with Joel Lebowitz.
Science and Judaism
Domb began writing his views reconciling the apparent contradictions between science and Judaism in 1961, when The Jewish Chronicle of London asked him for a 1000-word article on how Jewish teachings accord with the Big Bang and Steady State cosmological theories. This article gained the attention of the Lubavitcher Rebbe,
who began a correspondence with Domb and encouraged him to continue his
efforts to show religious skeptics that there is no contradiction
between science and such Torah concepts as the Genesis creation narrative and the Existence of God. Unlike the Rebbe, Domb gave credence to the theory of evolution,
but held that this and other scientific theories were “only tentative
summaries of our situation, whereas religion deals with what is right
and what is wrong, and with many of the major driving forces in one’s
life”. Domb went on to publish a collection of articles on science and
religion in Challenge: Torah views on science and its problems (1976), which he co-edited with Rabbi Aryeh Carmell.
Move to Israel
In 1981, at the age of 60, Domb took early retirement from Kings College and made aliyah to Israel, settling in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem. Between 1981 and 1989 he was professor of physics at Bar-Ilan University,
boosting the prestige of the department and attracting leading
physicists and students to it. In keeping with his interests in Torah study, he opened each staff meeting with a Dvar Torah (Torah thought), started a Daf Yomi shiur after afternoon prayers, and founded an academic journal, Journal of Torah and Scholarship. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Maryland, Yeshiva University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Weizmann Institute of Science, and academic president of Machon Lev, the Jerusalem College of Technology.
Domb married Shirley Galinsky in 1957; they had six children.
Honors and awards
Selected scientific publications
- Domb, C. 1949. “Order-Disorder Statistics II. A two-dimensional model.” Proc. Roy. Soc. A199: 199-221
- Domb, C. 1960. “On the Theory of Cooperative Phenomena. “Adv. Phys., Phil. Mag. S9: 149-361
- Domb, C. and Sykes, M.F. 1961. “Use of Series Expansions for the
Ising Model Susceptibility and Excluded Volume Problem.” J. Math. Phys.
- Domb, C. and Green, M.S., Eds. 1972-1976. “Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena,” Vols. 1-6, London: Academic Press.
- Domb, C. and Lebowitz, J.L., Eds. 1983-2000. “Phase Transitions and Critical Behavior,” Vols. 6-20, London: Academic Press.
- The Critical Point: A historical introduction to the modern theory of critical phenomena. Taylor & Francis. 1996. ISBN 0-7484-0435-X.
- Memories of Kopul Rosen. Carmel College. 1970. ISBN 0-9501372-0-0.
- Challenge: Torah views on science and its problems. Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. 1976. ISBN 0-87306-174-8. (co-edited with Aryeh Carmell); 2nd edition published by Feldheim in 2000
- Maaser Kesafim: Giving a tenth to charity. ISBN 0-87306-304-X. (2nd edition published by Feldheim, 1982)
- Jewish views on evolution
- Prominent Orthodox Jewish physicists:
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Russell Arms, American singer (Your Hit Parade) and actor (The Man Who Came to Dinner) died he was 92
Arms began his career on radio, moving up to minor screen roles during World War II as a contract player with Warner Brothers and later as a freelance performer, mostly in Westerns. Subsequently he appeared in supporting roles in both feature films and television. He was well known for his 1957 hit single, “Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)”, which entered the charts
on January 12, 1957 and stayed for 15 weeks, peaking at No. 22. He
released an album with Era, “Where Can A Wanderer Go”, in 1957.
From 1952 to 1957, he was best known as a vocalist on Your Hit Parade, an NBC television series that reviewed the popular songs of the day and on which a regular cast of vocalists would perform the top seven songs of the week. Arms and Eileen Wilson (who starred on the show from 1950 to 1952) were the only surviving lead performers from the show until Arms’ death in 2012 in Illinois. He authored an autobiography in 2005, My Hit Parade … and a Few Misses. Arms made three guest appearances on Perry Mason,
including the roles of Attorney Everett Dorrell in the 1960 episode,
“The Case of the Credulous Quarry,” and Roger Correll in the 1963
episode, “The Case of the Greek Goddess.”
He was a graduate of the Signal Corps OCS program out of Ft.
Monmouth, New Jersey (1941–46) and again at Ft. Monmouth (1951–53). A
subsequent program was initiated during the Vietnam War (1965 to 1968)
at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He graduated from OCS at Ft. Monmouth with
class 40-44 on December 29, 1944. Of the original 500 plus that started
with that class, only 264 were found qualified for a commission. An
attrition rate of approximately 50% was “par” for the course in all of
the Signal Corps OCS programs, while the combat arms OCS programs
usually graduated between 75-80% of the starters.
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John Powers Severin was an American comic book artist noted for his distinctive work with EC Comics, primarily on the war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat; for Marvel Comics, especially its war and Western comics; and for his 45-year stint with the satiric magazine Cracked died he was 90. He was one of the founding cartoonists of Mad in 1952.
Severin was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2003.
(December 26, 1921 – February 12, 2012)
John Severin was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was a teenager in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York City, when he began drawing professionally. While attending high school, he contributed cartoons to The Hobo News, receiving payment of one dollar per cartoon. Severin recalled in 1999:
- I was sometimes selling 19 or 20 of them a week. Not every week,
naturally. But I didn’t have to get a regular job to carry me through
high school. It was almost every week—not every week—but almost every
week. I didn’t have to get a job. I hated to work, I’ll tell you. I
didn’t have to get a job then, because I was in high school.
He attended the High School of Music & Art in New York City, together with future EC Comics and Mad artists Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Al Jaffee and Al Feldstein.
After graduating from the High School of Music & Art in 1940, he
worked as an apprentice machinist and then enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II.
Early work: 1947–51
In a 1980 interview, Severin recalled his start as a professional artist:
I had decided to exhibit some paintings of mine in a High School of
Music and Art exhibition for the alumni. Charlie Stern was in charge of
it, so I went to see him at his studio. He was the “Charles” of the
Charles William Harvey Studio, the other two being William Elder and
Harvey Kurtzman. They asked me if I’d like to rent space with them
there. I did, and started working with them. When Charlie left… I
became the third man, but they didn’t want to change it to John William
Harvey Studio, so they left the name… Harvey was doing comics, Willie
and Charlie were doing advertising stuff, and I just joined in… [I
did] design work, logos for toy boxes, logos for candy boxes, cards to
be included in the candy boxes.
Inspired by the quick money Kurtzman would make in-between advertising assignments with one-page “Hey Look!” gags for editor Stan Lee at Timely Comics, Severin worked up comics samples inked by Elder. In late 1947, he recalled, the writer-artist-editor team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby at Crestwood Publications “gave us our first job.”
Since it was not standard practice to credit comics creators during
this era, a comprehensive list of his early work is difficult to
ascertain. Author and historian Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr., based on Severin’s
description of “a crime story about a boy and a girl who killed
somebody… I think it was their stepfather. They lived on a farm, or
out in the suburbs,” believes that first Severin/Elder story was the
eight-page “The Clue of the Horoscope” in Headline Comics #32 (cover-dated Nov. 1948), from the Crestwood-affiliated Prize Comics. The standard reference Grand Comics Database has no credits for that story, and lists Severin’s first confirmed work in comics as two stories published the same month: the ten-page Boy Commandos adventure “The Triumph of William Tell” in DC Comics‘ Boy Commandos #30; and the eight-page Western story “Grinning Hole in the Wall” in Prize Comics’ Prize Comics Western vol. 7, #5 (each Dec. 1948), both of which he penciled and the latter of which he also inked.
Through 1955, Severin drew a large number of stories for the latter
title and other Western series from Prize, and as penciler, he
co-created with an unknown writer the long-running Native American feature “American Eagle” in Prize Comics Western vol. 9, #6 (Jan. 1951), inked by his high-school classmate turned fellow pro Will Elder.
Around this time, Severin did his first confirmed work for two publishers with whom he would long be associated, Marvel Comics and EC Comics. For the future Marvel Comics, he penciled the seven-page romance comic story “My Heart Had No Faith” in Timely Comics‘ Actual Romances #1 (Oct. 1949).
For EC Comics, he broke in with the seven-page “War Story” in Two-Fisted Tales #19 (Feb. 1951), continuing to work in tandem with his friend Elder as his inker, notably on science fiction and war stories. Severin drew stories for both Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. When Kurtzman dropped the war comics to devote more time to Mad, Severin became sole artist on Two-Fisted Tales for four issues and scripted some stories. He also illustrated stories written by his friend Colin Dawkins and future Mad art director John Putnam. Severin and Dawkins were the uncredited co-editors of Two-Fisted Tales #36–39.
Severin and Elder eventually split as a team at EC. They both were in
the group of the five original artists who launched editor Harvey Kurtzman‘s landmark satiric comic book Mad, along with Kurtzman, Wally Wood and Jack Davis. Severin appeared in nine of Mad’s first ten issues, drawing ten pieces between 1952 and 1954.
According to accounts by both Severin and Kurtzman, the two had a
falling out over art criticisms Kurtzman made during this period. It was
Kurtzman who suggested that Severin ink with a pen as opposed to brush
inking. Though Severin eventually took this advice in his later work, he
was annoyed at Kurtzman at the time, for this and other remarks, and
refused further work with him. Kurtzman insisted on doing the layouts
for all the artists, which some resented, including Severin.
His ability to draw people of different nationalities convincingly
was highly admired by his peers, as was his eye for authentic details.
Upon Severin’s death, writer Mark Evanier remembered, “Jack Kirby
used to say that when he had to research some historical costume or
weapon for a story, it was just as good to use a John Severin drawing as
it was to find a photo of the real thing. They don’t make ‘em like that
Marvel Comics and other publishers
Following the cancellation of EC‘s comic book line in the wake of the Comics Code in the mid-1950s, Severin began working for Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics. Sergeant Barney Barker, drawn by Severin, was Atlas’ answer to Sgt. Bilko.
After Atlas transitioned to become Marvel Comics in the 1960s, Severin did extensive work as penciler, inker or both on such series as The Incredible Hulk, Conan the Barbarian, and Captain Savage. Herb Trimpe, the primary Hulk penciler during this period comics fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books,
said in 2009, “I was kind of thrilled when John Severin inked me,
because I liked his work for EC comics, and he was one of my idols.” As inker, Severin teamed with penciler Dick Ayers on an acclaimed run of the World War II series Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, beginning with #44 (July 1967). In the 1970s, he collaborated with his sister, artist Marie Severin, on Marvel’s sword and sorcery series, King Kull.
For Warren Publishing in the 1970s, he drew for the black-and-white comics magazines Blazing Combat and Creepy. Severin also contributed to Topps‘ line of bubble gum trading cards. He was one of the artists on Joe Kubert‘s self-published Sojourn series in 1977. His 1980s work for Marvel included The ‘Nam, What The–?!, and Semper Fi.
Circa 2000, writer Jeff Mariotte recalled in 2002, Severin phoned Scott Dunbier, a group editor at DC Comics‘ WildStorm imprint, “and said he was looking to do comics again” after working primarily for Cracked
at the time. “I happened to pass by Scott’s office as he hung up the
phone, and he sounded kind of awestruck as he told me that John Severin
wanted to do something with us. I said something like, ‘Gee, a Desperadoes story by Severin would be great,'” referring to Mariotte’s Western
miniseries for DC. “Scott agreed. We needed to hurry, before he was
snapped up by someone else, so I went home and worked up a proposal
overnight. We had sent him, right after that first call, copies of the
original Desperadoes books. That was followed up by the proposal, the next day. He liked what he saw and wanted to play along.” This led to Severin drawing the sequel miniseries Desperadoes: Quiet of The Grave.
He went on to illustrate the controversial 2003 Marvel limited series The Rawhide Kid, a lighthearted parallel universe Western that reimagined the outlaw hero as a kitschy
though still formidably gunslinging gay man. Severin, who had drawn the
character for Atlas in the 1950s, refuted rumors that he had not known
of the subject matter, saying at the time of the premiere issue’s
release, “The Rawhide Kid is rather effeminate in this story. It may be
quite a blow to some of the old fans of Rawhide Kid. But it’s a lot of
fun, and he’s still a tough hombre.” Also in the 2000s, Severin contributed to Marvel’s The Punisher; DC Comics‘ Suicide Squad, American Century, Caper, and Bat Lash; and Dark Horse Comics‘ Conan, B.P.R.D. and Witchfinder.
Severin’s family members working in the publishing and entertainment fields include his sister Marie Severin,
a comic book artist, who was the colorist for EC’s comics; his son John
Severin, Jr., the head of Bubblehead Publishing; his daughter, Ruth
Larenas, a producer for that company; and his grandson, John Severin
III, a music producer and recording engineer.
Severin died at his home in Denver,
Colorado, on February 12, 2012 at the age of 90. His wife of 60 years,
Michelina, survived him, as did his comics-artist sister Marie Severin
and six children.
Awards and honors
Severin was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2003.
His artwork was exhibited three times at the Words & Pictures Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts
– in the grand-opening group show (October 9, 1992 – January 5, 1993),
in the group exhibit “War No More” (May 18 – August 8, 1993) and in the
group show “Classic Comics: A Selection of Stories from EC Comics”
(December 7 – February 11, 1996).
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David Kelly, Irish actor (Fawlty Towers, Strumpet City, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) died he was 82
David Kelly was an Irish
actor, who had regular roles in several film and television works from
the 1950s onwards died he was 82. One of the most recognisable voices and faces of
Irish stage and screen, Kelly was known to Irish audiences for his role as Rashers Tierney in Strumpet City, to British audiences for his roles as Cousin Enda in Me Mammy and as the builder Mr. O’Reilly in Fawlty Towers, and to American audiences for his role as Grandpa Joe in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Another notable role was as Michael O’Sullivan in Waking Ned.
11 July 1929 – 12 or 13 February 2012; sources vary)
Early life and career
David Kelly was educated at Dublin’s Synge Street CBS Christian Brothers school. He began acting at the age of eight at the city’s Gaiety Theatre, and trained at The Abbey School of Acting. As a backup career, he additionally trained as a draughtsman and calligrapher, and also learned watercolor art. He appeared onstage in the original production of Brendan Behan‘s The Quare Fellow, and gained his first major career attention in Samuel Beckett‘s Krapp’s Last Tape at the Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in 1959. By then he had made his screen debut in a small part in director John Pomeroy‘s 1958 film noir Dublin Nightmare.
He became a familiar face on British television beginning in the 1960s with the BBC comedy Me Mammy, opposite Milo O’Shea and Anna Manahan. He went on to often-memorable guest roles on such series as Oh Father!, Never Mind the Quality Feel the Width, and On the Buses, and particularly during the 1970s with a long-running role as the one-armed dishwasher Albert Riddle in the Man About the House spin-off Robin’s Nest. He also had a regular long running role alongside Bruce Forsyth in both series of the comedy Slingers Day from 1986 to 1987.
In Ireland, he may be most famous for his portrayal of the character “Rashers” Tierney in the 1980 RTÉ miniseries Strumpet City, which starred Peter O’Toole, Cyril Cusack and Peter Ustinov. He went on to have starring roles in television shows such as Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s and Glenroe in the 1990s, as well as playing the grandfather in Mike Newell‘s film Into the West (1992).
Following his appearance as Michael O’Sullivan in the 1998 film Waking Ned, he found work in small but noticeable roles in such films as Tim Burton‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which he played Grandpa Joe; Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London; The Jigsaw Man opposite Sir Laurence Olivier; and Stardust, his final film. He also did extensive radio work, including a guest appearance on the BBC Radio 4 series Baldi.
Later life and death
Kelly was married to actress Laurie Morton, who survives him, along with children David and Miriam. He died after a short illness on 12 or 13 February 2012 (sources vary) at age 82. The Irish Times referred to him as the “grand old man of Irish acting”. His funeral took place in Dublin on 16 February 2012. Kelly was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery & Crematorium.
Awards and honors
Kelly won a 1991 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production, for a Kennedy Center revival of The Playboy of the Western World. As well, he earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for the 1998 film Waking Ned, In 2005, he won the Irish Film & Television Academy‘s Lifetime Achievement Award, in addition to earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- Dublin Nightmare (1958)
- Girl with Green Eyes (1964) – ticket collector
- Me Mammy (1968–71) – Cousin Enda
- Ulysses (1967) – Garrett Deasy
- Tales From the Lazy Acre (1972) – Dead Man
- The Italian Job (1969) – Vicar (funeral scene)
- Never Mind the Quality Feel the Width (1973)
- Fawlty Towers (1975) – O’Reilly (episode “The Builders“)
- Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970) – Tom Maguire
- Philadelphia, Here I Come (1975) – Canon O’Byrne
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1977) – Dean of Studies
- Robin’s Nest (1977–1981) – Albert Riddle
- Cowboys (1980–1981)- Wobbly Ron
- Strumpet City (1980) – Rashers Tierney
- Whoops Apocalypse (1982) – Abdab
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982) – Tavernkeeper
- The Jigsaw Man (1983)
- Red Monarch (1983) – Sergo
- Anne Devlin (1984)
- Pirates (1986) – Ship’s Surgeon
- Into the West (1992) – Grandfather Reilly
- The Run of the Country (1995) – Father Gaynor
- Upwardly Mobile (1995–1997) – Barman
- Glenroe – Sylvie Dolan
- The Matchmaker (1997) – O’Connor
- Ballykissangel (1998) – Mr O’Reilly
- Waking Ned Devine (1998) – Michael O’Sullivan
- Greenfingers (2000) – Fergus Wilks
- Rough for Theatre I (2000) – A
- Mean Machine (2001) – Doc
- The Calcium Kid (2003) – Paddy O’Flannagan
- Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004) – Trival
- Laws of Attraction (2004) – Priest/Michael
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) – Grandpa Joe
- The Kovak Box (2006) – Frank Kovak
- Stardust (2007) – Guard
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Galal Amer was an Egyptian journalist, well known for his sarcasm and sense of humor died from a heart attack he was , 59.. He graduated Egyptian Military Academy, and fought in several wars, such as War of Attrition and October War. He is an inspiration for many Arabian sarcastic journalists. After his death, a street was named after him in Alexandria, where he was born.
Journalism and publications
Galal Amer studied Law and Philosophy, and used to write short stories and poems and some of them got published, he started as a journalist in Al-Kahera newspaper, and then his articles were published by several newspapers, and wrote a daily article in Al-masry Al-youm
newspaper called “Takhareef”, then he started to use the social
networks to publish his articles and views, and got followed by hundred
of thousands of admirers.
He wrote Masr Ala Kaf Afreet
which got published in 2009, it discusses Egypt’s biggest problems in a
humorous way, and the average Egyptian troubled life. Another of his
well known books is Estkalet Raees Araby which got published in 2010.
After the start of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Galal Amer was one of the people that opposed Hosni Mubarak and Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and participated in the demonstration protests that demanded the end of military rule.
On 12 February 2012, Galal Amer had a heart attack while he was in a
protest. Newspapers published that the heart attack was caused by the
scene of Egyptian protesters getting attacked by thugs.
Galal Amer was married and had four children: Ramy, Rania, Ragy, and Reham.
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( October 2, 1945 – February 8, 2012)
Wanderley won the nickname Wando from his grandmother. As a child he moved from Cajuri to Juiz de Fora,
where he majored in classical guitar and started dealing with music
around 20 years. At that time he participated in music ensembles and has
performed at dances in the region. Later moved to Volta Redonda (RJ), where he worked as a truck driver and marketer.
His career as singer began in 1969 and the success came in 1973. He composed for other singers of MPB, as Jair Rodrigues, who in 1974 recorded “O Importante é Ser Fevereiro”. “A Menina e o Poeta” was recorded by Roberto Carlos in his 1976 album “Moça” (1975), “Chora Coração” (1985), which was part of the soundtrack of the Brazilian soap opera Roque Santeiro, and especially the song “Fogo e Paixão“, released the album “O Mundo Romântico de Wando” in 1988, were his greatest hits.
On January 27, 2012, Wando was admitted to ICU of a hospital in Belo Horizonte
with serious heart problems. He underwent an emergency angioplasty and
began to breathe on appliances. His death (cardiopulmonary arrest) was
announced at 8 am on February 8, 2012 at the Biocor Institute in Nova Lima, Minas Gerais.
- Glória a Deus e Samba na Terra (1973)
- Wando (1975)
- Porta do Sol (1976)
- Ilusão (1977)
- Gosto de Maçã (1978)
- Gazela (1979)
- Bem-vindo (1980)
- Pelas Noites do Brasil (1981)
- Fantasia Noturna (1982)
- Coisa Cristalina (1983)
- Vulgar e Comum é Não Morrer de Amor (1985)
- Ui-Wando Paixão (1986)
- Coração Aceso (1987)
- O Mundo Romântico de Wando (1988)
- Obsceno (1988)
- Tenda dos Prazeres (1990)
- Depois da Cama (1992)
- Mulheres (1993)
- Dança Romântica (1995)
- O Ponto G da História (1996)
- Chacundum (1997)
- Palavras Inocentes (1998)
- S.O.S. de Amor (1999) – Live
- Picada de Amor (2000)
- Fêmeas (2012)
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Zina Bethune was an American actress, dancer, and choreographer died she was hit-and-run she was 66 .
Life and career
Bethune was born in New York City, the daughter of Ivy (née Vigder), an actress (born June 1, 1918, Sevastopol, Russia) and William Charles Bethune, a sculptor and painter who died in 1950 when Zina was five years old. Zina began her formal ballet training aged six at George Balanchine‘s School of American Ballet. By age 14 she was dancing with the New York City Ballet.
As a child performer, she also appeared in the original cast of The
Most Happy Fella as well as several American daytime television dramas,
including a stint as the first “Robin Lang” on The Guiding Light from May 1956 to April 1958. Bethune played President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s daughter in Sunrise at Campobello in 1960.
She starred as “The Girl” alongside Harvey Keitel in Martin Scorsese‘s first feature film, Who’s That Knocking at My Door.
That movie was commercially released in 1967, although much of it
(including Bethune’s acting parts) was filmed in 1965 for Scorsese’s
film project at New York University. She was also featured on the CBS TV series The Nurses (1962–65), and other series, including Kraft Television Theatre (with Martin Huston in the series finale), Route 66, The Judy Garland Show, Pantomime Quiz, Hollywood Squares, Young Dr. Malone, Dr. Kildare, and Emergency!.
Bethune founded Bethune Theatredanse in 1980, a multimedia
performance company which has been designated as the official resident
company of the Los Angeles Theatre Center. She founded Dance Outreach,
now known as Infinite Dreams, in 1982, which currently enrolls about
1,000 disabled children in dance-related activities throughout Southern California.
On February 12, 2012, Bethune was killed in an apparent hit-and-run accident while she was trying to help an injured opossum in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. She was five days shy of her 67th birthday.
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Whitney Houston, American singer (“I Will Always Love You”) and actress (The Bodyguard), died when she accidental drowned, she was , 48
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time died when she accidental drowned, she was , 48. Houston was one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 200 million records worldwide.
She released six studio albums, one holiday album and three movie
soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum
or gold certification. Houston’s crossover appeal on the popular music
charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for “How Will I Know“, influenced several African American women artists who follow in her footsteps.
Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only woman to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly “Top Pop Albums”) on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston’s 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a woman in history. Rolling Stone named it the best album of 1986, and ranked it at number 254 on the magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a woman to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Houston’s first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film’s original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single “I Will Always Love You“, became the best-selling single
by a woman in music history. With the album, Houston became the first
act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies
of an album within a single week period under Nielsen SoundScan system. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher’s Wife (1996). The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.
On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at The Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California.
The official coroner’s report showed that she had accidentally drowned
in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as
contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and featured prominently in American and international media.
Life and career
1963–84: Early life and career beginnings
Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963 in what was then a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey.
She was the daughter of Army serviceman and entertainment executive
John Russell Houston, Jr. (September 13, 1920 – February 2, 2003), and
gospel singer Emily “Cissy” (Drinkard) Houston. Her elder brother Michael is a singer, and her elder half-brother is former basketball player Gary Garland. She was of African American, Native American, and Dutch descent. Through her mother, Houston was a first cousin of singers Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick. Her godmother was Darlene Love and her honorary aunt was Aretha Franklin. She met her honorary aunt at age 8, or 9, when her mother took her to a recording studio. Houston was raised a Baptist, but was also exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four.
At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the
junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she
also learned to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah“. When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school in Caldwell, New Jersey, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, whom she described as the “sister she never had”. While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. Houston was also exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack, most of whom would have an influence on her as a singer and performer.
Houston spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where her
mother Cissy was performing, and she would occasionally get on stage and
perform with her. In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the
Michael Zager Band‘s single “Life’s a Party”. In 1978, at age 15, Houston sang background vocals on Chaka Khan‘s hit single “I’m Every Woman“, a song she would later turn into a larger hit for herself on her monster-selling The Bodyguard soundtrack album. She also sang back-up on albums by Lou Rawls and Jermaine Jackson.
In the early 1980s, Houston started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother. She appeared in Seventeen and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of the magazine. She was also featured in layouts in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Young Miss, and appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial. Her looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models of that time. While modeling, she continued her burgeoning recording career by working with producers Michael Beinhorn, Bill Laswell and Martin Bisi on an album they were spearheading called One Down, which was credited to the group Material. For that project, Houston contributed the ballad “Memories“, a cover of a song by Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice called her contribution “one of the most gorgeous ballads you’ve ever heard.” She also appeared as a lead vocalist on one track on a Paul Jabara album, entitled Paul Jabara and Friends, released by Columbia Records in 1983.
Houston had previously been offered several recording agencies (Michael Zager in 1980, and Elektra Records in 1981), however her mother declined the offers stating her daughter must first complete high school. In 1983, Gerry Griffith, an A&R representative from Arista Records, saw her performing with her mother in a New York City nightclub and was impressed. He convinced Arista’s head Clive Davis
to make time to see Houston perform. Davis too was impressed and
offered a worldwide recording contract which Houston signed. Later that
year, she made her national televised debut alongside Davis on The Merv Griffin Show.
Houston signed with Arista in 1983, but did not begin work on her album immediately.
The label wanted to make sure no other label signed the singer away.
Davis wanted to ensure he had the right material and producers for
Houston’s debut album. Some producers had to pass on the project due to
prior commitments. Houston first recorded a duet with Teddy Pendergrass entitled “Hold Me” which appeared on his album, Love Language. The single was released in 1984 and gave Houston her first taste of success, becoming a Top 5 R&B hit. It would also appear on her debut album in 1985.
1985–86: Rise to international prominence
With production from Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson, and Narada Michael Walden, Houston’s debut album Whitney Houston was released in February 1985. Rolling Stone magazine praised Houston, calling her “one of the most exciting new voices in years” while The New York Times called the album “an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent.”
Arista Records promoted Houston’s album with three different singles
from the album in the US, UK and other European countries. In the UK,
the dance-funk “Someone for Me”, which failed to chart in the country,
was the first single while “All at Once” was in such European countries as the Netherlands and Belgium, where the song reached the top 5 on the singles charts, respectively.
In the US, the soulful ballad “You Give Good Love” was chosen as the lead single from Houston’s debut to establish her in the black marketplace first.
Outside the US, the song failed to get enough attention to become a
hit, but in the US, it gave the album its first major hit as it peaked
at No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and No. 1 on the Hot R&B chart.
As a result, the album began to sell strongly, and Houston continued
promotion by touring nightclubs in the US. She also began performing on
late-night television talk shows, which were not usually accessible to
unestablished black acts. The jazzy ballad “Saving All My Love for You“
was released next and it would become Houston’s first No. 1 single in
both the US and the UK. She was then an opening act for singer Jeffrey Osborne on his nationwide tour. “Thinking About You“
was released as the promo single only to R&B-oriented radio
stations, which peaked at number ten on the US R&B Chart. At the
time, MTV had received harsh criticism for not playing enough videos by
black, Latino, and other racial minorities while favoring white acts. The third US single, “How Will I Know“,
peaked at No. 1 and introduced Houston to the MTV audience thanks to
its video. Houston’s subsequent singles from this, and future albums,
would make her the first African-American woman to receive consistent
heavy rotation on MTV.
By 1986, a year after its initial release, Whitney Houston topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and stayed there for 14 non-consecutive weeks. The final single, “Greatest Love of All“,
became Houston’s biggest hit at the time after peaking No. 1 and
remaining there for three weeks on the Hot 100 chart, which made her
debut the first album by a woman to yield three No. 1 hits. Houston was
No. 1 artist of the year and Whitney Houston was the No. 1 album of the year on the 1986 Billboard year-end charts, making her the first woman to earn that distinction. At the time, Houston released the best-selling debut album by a solo artist. Houston then embarked on her world tour, Greatest Love Tour.
The album had become an international success, and was certified 13×
platinum (diamond) in the United States alone, and has sold 25 million
At the 1986 Grammy Awards, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year. She was not eligible for the Best New Artist category due to her previous hit R&B duet recording with Teddy Pendergrass in 1984. She won her first Grammy award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Saving All My Love for You”. Houston’s performance of the song during the Grammy telecast later earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.
Houston won seven American Music Awards in total in 1986 and 1987, and an MTV Video Music Award. The album’s popularity would also carry over to the 1987 Grammy Awards when “Greatest Love of All” would receive a Record of the Year nomination. Houston’s debut album is listed as one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and on The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame‘s Definitive 200 list.
Houston’s grand entrance into the music industry is considered one of
the 25 musical milestones of the last 25 years, according to USA Today. Following Houston’s breakthrough, doors were opened for other African-American women such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker to find notable success in popular music and on MTV.
1987–91: Whitney, I’m Your Baby Tonight and “The Star Spangled Banner”
With many expectations, Houston’s second album, Whitney, was released in June 1987. The album again featured production from Masser, Kashif and Walden as well as Jellybean Benitez. Many critics complained that the material was too similar to her previous album. Rolling Stone said, “the narrow channel through which this talent has been directed is frustrating”. Still, the album enjoyed commercial success. Houston became the first woman in music history to debut at number one on the Billboard
200 albums chart, and the first artist to enter the albums chart at
number one in both the US and UK, while also hitting number one or top
ten in dozens of other countries around the world. The album’s first
single, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)“, was also a massive hit worldwide, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and topping the singles chart in many countries such as Australia, Germany and the UK. The next three singles, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All“, “So Emotional“, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go“
all peaked at number one on the US Hot 100 chart, which gave her a
total of seven consecutive number one hits, breaking the record of six
previously shared by The Beatles and The Bee Gees. Houston became the first woman to generate four number-one singles from one album. Whitney
has been certified 9× Platinum in the US for shipments of over 9
million copies, and has sold a total of 20 million copies worldwide.
At the 30th Grammy Awards
in 1988, Houston was nominated for three awards, including Album of the
Year, winning her second Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
for “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”. Houston also won two American Music Awards in 1988 and 1989, respectively, and a Soul Train Music Award. Following the release of the album, Houston embarked on the Moment of Truth World Tour, which was one of the ten highest grossing concert tours of 1987.
The success of the tours during 1986–87 and her two studio albums
ranked Houston No. 8 for the highest earning entertainers list according
to Forbes magazine. She was the highest earning African-American woman overall and the third highest entertainer after Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy.
Houston was a supporter of Nelson Mandela
and the anti-apartheid movement. During her modeling days, the singer
refused to work with any agencies who did business with the
then-apartheid South Africa. On June 11, 1988, during the European leg of her tour, Houston joined other musicians to perform a set at Wembley Stadium in London to celebrate a then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday.
Over 72,000 people attended Wembley Stadium, and over a billion people
tuned in worldwide as the rock concert raised over $1 million for
charities while bringing awareness to apartheid. Houston then flew back to the US for a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City in August. The show was a benefit concert that raised a quarter of a million dollars for the United Negro College Fund. In the same year, she recorded a song for NBC‘s coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics, “One Moment in Time“, which became a Top 5 hit in the US, while reaching number one in the UK and Germany.
With her world tour continuing overseas, Houston was still one of the
top 20 highest earning entertainers for 1987–88 according to Forbes magazine.
In 1989, Houston formed The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children, a
non-profit organization that has raised funds for the needs of children
around the world. The organization cares for homelessness, children
with cancer or AIDS, and other issues of self-empowerment.
With the success of her first two albums, Houston was undoubtedly an
international crossover superstar, the most prominent since Michael Jackson, appealing to all demographics. However, some black critics believed she was “selling out“. They felt her singing on record lacked the soul that was present during her live concerts.
At the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, when Houston’s name was called out for a nomination, a few in the audience jeered.
Houston defended herself against the criticism, stating, “If you’re
gonna have a long career, there’s a certain way to do it, and I did it
that way. I’m not ashamed of it.” Houston took a more urban direction with her third studio album, I’m Your Baby Tonight,
released in November 1990. She produced and chose producers for this
album and as a result, it featured production and collaborations with L.A. Reid and Babyface, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder.
The album showed Houston’s versatility on a new batch of tough rhythmic
grooves, soulful ballads and up-tempo dance tracks. Reviews were mixed.
Rolling Stone felt it was her “best and most integrated album”. while Entertainment Weekly, at the time thought Houston’s shift towards an urban direction was “superficial”.
The album contained several hits: the first two singles, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “All the Man That I Need” peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; “Miracle” peaked at number nine; “My Name Is Not Susan” peaked in the top twenty; “I Belong to You“
reached the top ten of the US R&B chart and garnered Houston a
Grammy nomination; and the sixth single, the Stevie Wonder duet “We Didn’t Know“, reached the R&B top twenty. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and went on to be certified 4× platinum in the US while selling twelve million total worldwide.
In 1990, Houston was the spokesperson for a youth leadership
conference hosted in Washington, D.C. She had a private audience with
President George H. W. Bush in the Oval Office to discuss the associated
During the Persian Gulf War, Houston performed “The Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV at Tampa Stadium on January 27, 1991. This performance was later reported by those involved in the performance to have been lip synced
or to have been sung into a dead microphone while a studio recording
previously made by Houston was played. Dan Klores, a spokesman for
Houston, explained: “This is not a Milli Vanilli
thing. She sang live, but the microphone was turned off. It was a
technical decision, partially based on the noise factor. This is
standard procedure at these events.” (See also Star Spangled Banner lip sync controversy.)
A commercial single and video of her performance were released, and
reached the Top 20 on the US Hot 100, making her the only act to turn
the US national anthem into a pop hit of that magnitude (José Feliciano‘s version reached No. 50 in November 1968). Houston donated all her share of the proceeds to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund. As a result, the singer was named to the Red Cross Board of Governors.
Her rendition was critically acclaimed and is considered the benchmark for singers. Rolling Stone
commented that “her singing stirs such strong patriotism.
Unforgettable”, and the performance ranked No. 1 on the 25 most
memorable music moments in NFL history list. VH1 listed the performance
as one of the greatest moments that rocked TV.
Following the attacks on 9/11, it was released again by Arista Records,
all profits going towards the firefighters and victims of the attacks.
This time it peaked at No. 6 in the Hot 100 and was certified platinum
by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Later in 1991, Houston put together her Welcome Home Heroes concert with HBO for the soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf War and their families. The free concert took place at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia in front of 3,500 servicemen and women. HBO descrambled the concert so that it was free for everyone to watch. Houston’s concert gave HBO its highest ratings ever. She then embarked on the I’m Your Baby Tonight World Tour.
1992–94: Marriage to Bobby Brown and The Bodyguard
Throughout the 1980s, Houston was romantically linked to American football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy, whom she dated. She then met R&B singer Bobby Brown at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards. After a three-year courtship, the two were married on July 18, 1992. On March 4, 1993, Houston gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown, her only child, and his fourth. Brown would go on to have several run-ins with the law, including some jail time.
With the commercial success of her albums, movie offers poured in, including offers to work with Robert De Niro, Quincy Jones, and Spike Lee; but Houston felt the time wasn’t right. Houston’s first film role was in The Bodyguard, released in 1992 and co-starring Kevin Costner. Houston played Rachel Marron, a star who is stalked by a crazed fan and hires a bodyguard to protect her. USA Today listed it as one of the 25 most memorable movie moments of the last 25 years in 2007. Houston’s mainstream appeal allowed people to look at the movie color-blind.
Still, controversy arose as some felt the film’s advertising
intentionally hid Houston’s face to hide the film’s interracial
relationship. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1993, the singer commented that “people know who Whitney Houston is – I’m black. You can’t hide that fact.” Houston received a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress. The Washington Post
said Houston is “doing nothing more than playing Houston, comes out
largely unscathed if that is possible in so cockamamie an undertaking”, and The New York Times commented that she lacked passion with her co-star.
Despite the film’s mixed reviews, it was hugely successful at the box
office, grossing more than $121 million in the U.S. and $410 million
worldwide, making it one of the top 100 grossing films in film history
at its time of release, though it is no longer in the top 100 due to
rising ticket prices since the time the film was released.
The film’s soundtrack also enjoyed big success. Houston executive produced and contributed six songs for the motion picture’s adjoining soundtrack album. Rolling Stone said it is “nothing more than pleasant, tasteful and urbane”. The soundtrack’s lead single was “I Will Always Love You“, written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton
in 1974. Houston’s version of the song was acclaimed by many critics,
regarding it as her “signature song” or “iconic performance”. Rolling Stone and USA Today called her rendition “the tour-de-force”. The single peaked at number one on the Billboard
Hot 100 for a then-record-breaking 14 weeks, number one on the R&B
chart for a then-record-breaking 11 weeks, and number one on the Adult
Contemporary charts for five weeks.
The single was certified 4× platinum by the RIAA,
making Houston the first woman with a single to reach that level in the
RIAA history and becoming the best-selling single by a woman in the US. The song also became a global success, hitting number-one in almost all countries, and one of the best-selling singles of all time with 12 million copies sold. The soundtrack topped the Billboard
200 chart and remained there for 20 non-consecutive weeks, the longest
tenure by any album on the chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era, and
became one of the fastest selling albums ever.
During Christmas week of 1992, the soundtrack sold over a million
copies within a week, becoming the first album to achieve that feat
under Nielsen SoundScan system. With the follow-up singles “I’m Every Woman“, a Chaka Khan cover, and “I Have Nothing” both reaching the top five, Houston became the first woman to ever have three singles in the Top 11 simultaneously. The album was certified 17× platinum in the US alone, with worldwide sales of 44 million, making The Bodyguard the biggest-selling album by a female act on the list of the world’s Top 10 best-selling albums, topping Shania Twain‘s 40 million sold for Come On Over.
Houston won three Grammys for the album in 1994, including two of the Academy’s highest honors, Album of the Year and Record of the Year. In addition, she won a record 8 American Music Awards at that year’s ceremony including the Award of Merit, 11 Billboard Music Awards, 3 Soul Train Music Awards in 1993–94 including Sammy Davis, Jr. Award as Entertainer of the Year, 5 NAACP Image Awards including Entertainer of the Year, a record 5 World Music Awards, and a BRIT award. Following the success of the project, Houston embarked on another expansive global tour, The Bodyguard World Tour,
in 1993–94. Her concerts, movie, and recording grosses made her the
third highest earning female entertainer of 1993–94, just behind Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand according to Forbes magazine. Houston placed in the top five of Entertainment Weekly‘s annual “Entertainer of the Year” ranking and was labeled by Premiere magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood.
In October 1994, Houston attended and performed at a state dinner in the White House honoring newly elected South African president Nelson Mandela.
At the end of her world tour, Houston performed three concerts in South
Africa to honor President Mandela, playing to over 200,000 people. This
would make the singer the first major musician to visit the newly
unified and apartheid free nation following Mandela’s winning election.
The concert was broadcast live on HBO with funds of the concerts being
donated to various charities in South Africa. The event was considered
the nation’s “biggest media event since the inauguration of Nelson
1995–97: Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife, and Cinderella
In 1995, Houston starred alongside Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon in her second film, Waiting to Exhale,
a motion picture about four African-American women struggling with
relationships. Houston played the lead character Savannah Jackson, a TV
producer in love with a married man. She chose the role because she saw
the film as “a breakthrough for the image of black women because it
presents them both as professionals and as caring mothers”. After opening at number one and grossing $67 million in the US at the box office and $81 million worldwide,
it proved that a movie primarily targeting a black audience can cross
over to success, while paving the way for other all-black movies such as
How Stella Got Her Groove Back and the Tyler Perry movies that became popular in the 2000s. The film is also notable for its portrayal of black women as strong middle class citizens rather than as stereotypes. The reviews were mainly positive for the ensemble cast. The New York Times said: “Ms. Houston has shed the defensive hauteur that made her portrayal of a pop star in ‘The Bodyguard’ seem so distant.” Houston was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture”, but lost to her co-star Bassett.
The film’s accompanying soundtrack, Waiting to Exhale: Original Soundtrack Album, was produced by Houston and Babyface.
Though Babyface originally wanted Houston to record the entire album,
she declined. Instead, she “wanted it to be an album of women with vocal
distinction”, and thus gathered several African-American female artists
for the soundtrack, to go along with the film’s message about strong
women. Consequently, the album featured a range of contemporary R&B female recording artists along with Houston, such as Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, and Patti LaBelle. Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)“
peaked at No. 1, and then spent a record eleven weeks at the No. 2 spot
and eight weeks on top of the R&B Charts. “Count On Me”, a duet
with CeCe Winans, hit the US Top 10; and Houston’s third contribution, “Why Does It Hurt So Bad“, made the Top 30. The album debuted at No. 1, and was certified 7× Platinum in the United States, denoting shipments of seven million copies. The soundtrack received strong reviews; as Entertainment Weekly
stated: “the album goes down easy, just as you’d expect from a package
framed by Whitney Houston tracks… the soundtrack waits to exhale,
hovering in sensuous suspense” and has since ranked it as one of the 100 Best Movie Soundtracks. Later that year, Houston’s children’s charity organization was awarded a VH1 Honor for all the charitable work.
In 1996, Houston starred in the holiday comedy The Preacher’s Wife, with Denzel Washington. She plays a gospel-singing wife of a pastor (Courtney B. Vance). It was largely an updated remake of the film “The Bishop’s Wife” (1948 in film|1948), which starred Loretta Young, David Niven, and Cary Grant.
Houston earned $10 million for the role, making her one of the
highest-paid actresses in Hollywood at the time and the highest earning
African-American actress in Hollywood.
The movie, with its all African-American cast, was a moderate success,
earning approximately $50 million at the U.S. box offices. The movie gave Houston her strongest reviews so far. The San Francisco Chronicle
said Houston “is rather angelic herself, displaying a divine talent for
being virtuous and flirtatious at the same time”, and she “exudes
gentle yet spirited warmth, especially when praising the Lord in her
gorgeous singing voice”. Houston was again nominated for an NAACP Image Award and won for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture.
Houston recorded and co-produced, with Mervyn Warren, the film’s accompanying gospel soundtrack. The Preacher’s Wife: Original Soundtrack Album included six gospel songs with Georgia Mass Choir that were recorded at the Great Star Rising Baptist Church in Atlanta. Houston also duetted with gospel legend Shirley Caesar. The album sold six million copies worldwide and scored hit singles with “I Believe in You and Me” and “Step by Step“, becoming the largest selling gospel album of all time. The album received mainly positive reviews. Some critics, such as that of USA Today, noted the presence of her emotional depth, while The Times
said, “To hear Houston going at full throttle with the 35 piece Georgia
Mass Choir struggling to keep up is to realise what her phenomenal
voice was made for”.
In 1997, Houston’s production company changed its name to BrownHouse Productions and was joined by Debra Martin Chase.
Their goal was “to show aspects of the lives of African-Americans that
have not been brought to the screen before” while improving how
African-Americans are portrayed in film and television. Their first project was a made-for-television remake of Rodgers & Hammerstein‘s Cinderella. In addition to co-producing, Houston starred in the movie as the Fairy Godmother along with Brandy, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bernadette Peters. Houston was initially offered the role of Cinderella in 1993, but other projects intervened. The film is notable for its multi-racial cast and nonstereotypical message. An estimated 60 million viewers tuned into the special giving ABC its highest TV ratings in 16 years. The movie received seven Emmy
nominations including Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy, while
winning Outstanding Art Direction in a Variety, Musical or Comedy
Houston and Chase then obtained the rights to the story of Dorothy Dandridge.
Houston was to play Dandridge, who was the first African American
actress to be nominated for an Oscar. Houston wanted the story told with
dignity and honor. However, Halle Berry also had rights to the project and got her version going first. Later that year, Houston paid tribute to her idols, such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Dionne Warwick, by performing their hits during the three-night HBO Concert Classic Whitney Live from Washington, D.C.. The special raised over $300,000 for the Children’s Defense Fund. Houston received the Quincy Jones Award for outstanding career achievements in the field of entertainment at the 12th Soul Train Music Awards.
1998–2000: My Love Is Your Love and Whitney: The Greatest Hits
After spending much of the early and mid-1990s working on motion
pictures and their soundtrack albums, Houston’s first studio album in
eight years, the critically acclaimed My Love Is Your Love,
was released in November 1998. Though originally slated to be a
greatest hits album with a handful of new songs, recording sessions were
so fruitful that a new full-length studio album was released. Recorded
and mixed in only six weeks, it featured production from Rodney Jerkins, Wyclef Jean and Missy Elliott. The album debuted at number thirteen, its peak position, on the Billboard 200 chart. It had a funkier and edgier sound than past releases and saw Houston handling urban dance, hip hop, mid-tempo R&B, reggae, torch songs, and ballads all with great dexterity.
From late 1998 to early 2000, the album spawned several hit singles: “When You Believe” (US No. 15, UK No. 4), a duet with Mariah Carey for 1998’s The Prince of Egypt soundtrack, which also became an international hit as it peaked in the Top 10 in several countries and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song; “Heartbreak Hotel” (US No. 2, UK No. 25) featured Faith Evans and Kelly Price, received a 1999 MTV VMA nomination for Best R&B Video, and number one on the US R&B chart for seven weeks; “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” (US No. 4, UK No. 3) won Houston her sixth Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance; “My Love Is Your Love” (US No. 4, UK No. 2) with 3 million copies sold worldwide; and “I Learned from the Best” (US No. 27, UK No. 19). These singles became international hits as well, and all the singles, except “When You Believe”, became number one hits on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play
chart. The album sold four million copies in America, making it
certified 4× platinum, and a total of eleven million copies worldwide.
The album gave Houston some of her strongest reviews ever. Rolling Stone said Houston was singing “with a bite in her voice” and The Village Voice called it “Whitney’s sharpest and most satisfying so far”. In 1999, Houston participated in VH-1’s Divas Live ’99, alongside Brandy, Mary J. Blige, Tina Turner, and Cher. The same year, Houston hit the road with her 70 date My Love Is Your Love World Tour. The European leg of the tour was Europe’s highest grossing arena tour of the year.
In November 1999, Houston was named Top-selling R&B Female Artist
of the Century with certified US sales of 51 million copies at the time
and The Bodyguard Soundtrack was named the Top-selling Soundtrack Album of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She also won The Artist of the Decade, Female award for extraordinary artistic contributions during the 1990s at the 14th Soul Train Music Awards, and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best R&B.
In May 2000, Whitney: The Greatest Hits
was released worldwide. The double disc set peaked at number five in
the United States, reaching number one in the United Kingdom. In addition, the album reached the Top 10 in many other countries. While ballad songs were left unchanged, the album features house/club remixes of many of Houston’s up-tempo hits. Included on the album were four new songs: “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” (a duet with Enrique Iglesias), “Same Script, Different Cast” (a duet with Deborah Cox), “If I Told You That” (a duet with George Michael), and “Fine“,
and three hits that had never appeared on a Houston album: “One Moment
in Time”, “The Star Spangled Banner”, and “If You Say My Eyes Are
Beautiful”, a duet with Jermaine Jackson from his 1986 Precious Moments album.
Along with the album, an accompanying VHS and DVD was released
featuring the music videos to Houston’s greatest hits, as well as
several hard-to-find live performances including her 1983 debut on The Merv Griffin Show, and interviews. The greatest hits album was certified 3× platinum in the US, with worldwide sales of 10 million.
2000–05: Just Whitney and personal struggles
Though Houston was seen as a “good girl” with a perfect image in the
1980s and early 1990s, by the late 1990s, her behavior changed. She was
often hours late for interviews, photo shoots and rehearsals, and
canceling concerts and talk-show appearances.
With the missed performances and weight loss, rumors about Houston
using drugs with her husband circulated. On January 11, 2000, airport
security guards discovered marijuana in both Houston’s and husband Bobby
Brown’s luggage at a Hawaii airport, but the two boarded the plane and
departed before authorities could arrive. Charges were later dropped
against them, but rumors of drug usage between the couple would continue to surface. Two months later, Clive Davis was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Houston had been scheduled to perform at the event, but failed to show up.
Shortly thereafter, Houston was scheduled to perform at the Academy
Awards but was fired from the event by musical director and longtime
friend Burt Bacharach. Her publicist cited throat problems as the reason for the cancellation. In his book The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards,
author Steve Pond revealed that “Houston’s voice was shaky, she seemed
distracted and jittery, and her attitude was casual, almost defiant”,
and that while Houston was to sing “Over the Rainbow“, she would start singing a different song. Houston later admitted to having been fired.
Later that year, Houston’s long-time executive assistant and friend,
Robyn Crawford, resigned from Houston’s management company.
In August 2001, Houston signed the biggest record deal in music history with Arista/BMG. She renewed her contract for $100 million to deliver six new albums, on which she would also earn royalties. She later made an appearance on Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special.
Her extremely thin frame further spurred rumors of drug use. Houston’s
publicist said, “Whitney has been under stress due to family matters,
and when she is under stress she doesn’t eat.” The singer was scheduled for a second performance the following night but canceled. Within weeks, Houston’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” would be re-released after the September 11 attacks, with the proceeds donated to the New York Firefighters 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police. The song peaked at No. 6 this time on the US Hot 100, topping its previous position.
In 2002, Houston became involved in a legal dispute with John Houston
Enterprise. Although the company was started by her father to manage
her career, it was actually run by company president Kevin Skinner.
Skinner filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit
and sued for $100 million (but lost), stating that Houston owed the
company previously unpaid compensation for helping to negotiate her $100
million contract with Arista Records and for sorting out legal matters.
Houston stated that her 81-year-old father had nothing to do with the
lawsuit. Although Skinner tried to claim otherwise, John Houston never
appeared in court. Houston’s father later died in February 2003. The lawsuit was dismissed on April 5, 2004, and Skinner was awarded nothing.
Also in 2002, Houston did an interview with Diane Sawyer
to promote her then-upcoming album. During the prime-time special,
Houston spoke on topics including rumored drug use and marriage. She was
asked about the ongoing drug rumors and replied, “First of all, let’s
get one thing straight. Crack
is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that
straight. Okay? We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is wack.” The line was from Keith Haring’s mural which was painted in 1986 on the handball court at 128th Street and 2nd Avenue. Houston did, however, admit to using other substances at times, including cocaine.
In December 2002, Houston released her fifth studio album, Just Whitney….
The album included productions from then-husband Bobby Brown, as well
as Missy Elliott and Babyface, and marked the first time that Houston
did not produce with Clive Davis as Davis had been released by top management at BMG. Upon its release, Just Whitney… received mixed reviews. The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart and it had the highest first week sales of any album Houston had ever released. The four singles released from the album did not fare well on the Billboard Hot 100, but became dance chart hits. Just Whitney… was certified platinum in the United States, and sold approximately three million worldwide.
In late 2003, Houston released her first Christmas album One Wish: The Holiday Album, with a collection of traditional holiday songs. Houston produced the album with Mervyn Warren and Gordon Chambers. A single titled “One Wish (for Christmas)“
reached the Top 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and the album was
certified gold in the US. Having always been a touring artist, Houston
spent most of 2004 touring and performing in Europe, the Middle East,
Asia, and Russia. In September 2004, she gave a surprise performance at the World Music Awards in a tribute to long-time friend Clive Davis. After the show, Davis and Houston announced plans to go into the studio to work on her new album.
In early 2004, husband Bobby Brown starred in his own reality TV program, Being Bobby Brown on the Bravo network,
which provided a view into the domestic goings-on in the Brown
household. Though it was Brown’s vehicle, Houston was a prominent figure
throughout the show, receiving as much screen time as Brown. The series
aired in 2005 and featured Houston in, what some would say, not her
most flattering moments. The Hollywood Reporter said it was “undoubtedly the most disgusting and execrable series ever to ooze its way onto television.”
Despite the perceived train-wreck nature of the show, the series gave
Bravo its highest ratings in its time slot and continued Houston’s
successful forays into film and television.
The show was not renewed for a second season after Houston stated that
she would no longer appear in it, and Brown and Bravo could not come to
an agreement for another season.
2006–12: Return to music, I Look to You, tour and film comeback
After years of controversy and turmoil, Houston separated from Bobby
Brown in September 2006, filing for divorce the following month. On February 1, 2007, Houston asked the court to fast track their divorce. The divorce was finalized on April 24, 2007, with Houston granted custody of the couple’s daughter. On May 4, Houston sold the suburban Atlanta home featured in Being Bobby Brown for $1.19 million. A few days later, Brown sued Houston in Orange County,
California court in an attempt to change the terms of their custody
agreement. Brown also sought child and spousal support from Houston. In
the lawsuit, Brown claimed that financial and emotional problems
prevented him from properly responding to Houston’s divorce petition.
Brown lost at his court hearing as the judge dismissed his appeal to
overrule the custody terms, leaving Houston with full custody and Brown
with no spousal support. In March 2007, Clive Davis of Arista Records announced that Houston would begin recording a new album. In October 2007, Arista released another compilation The Ultimate Collection outside the United States.
Houston gave her first interview in seven years in September 2009,
appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s season premiere. The interview was billed
as “the most anticipated music interview of the decade”. Whitney admitted on the show to using drugs with former husband Bobby Brown, who “laced marijuana with rock cocaine”. She told Oprah that before The Bodyguard
her drug use was light, but after the film’s success and the birth of
her daughter it got heavier, and by 1996 “[doing drugs] was an everyday
thing… I wasn’t happy by that point in time. I was losing myself.”
Houston released her new album, I Look to You, in August 2009. The album’s first two singles were the title track “I Look to You” and “Million Dollar Bill“. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1, with Houston’s best opening week sales of 305,000 copies, marking Houston’s first number one album since The Bodyguard, and Houston’s first studio album to reach number one since 1987’s Whitney.
Houston also appeared on European television programs to promote the
album. She performed the song “I Look to You” on the German television
show Wetten, dass..?. Three days later, she performed the worldwide first single from I Look to You, “Million Dollar Bill”, on the French television show Le Grand Journal. Houston appeared as guest mentor on The X Factor
in the United Kingdom. She performed “Million Dollar Bill” on the
following day’s results show, completing the song even as a strap in the
back of her dress popped open two minutes into the performance. She
later commented that she “sang [herself] out of [her] clothes”.
The performance was poorly received by the British media, and was variously described as “weird” and “ungracious”, “shambolic”
and a “flop”. Despite this reception, “Million Dollar Bill” jumped to
its peak from 14 to number 5 (her first UK top 5 for over a decade), and
three weeks after release I Look to You went gold. Houston appeared on the Italian version of The X Factor, also performing “Million Dollar Bill”, this time to excellent reviews. Houston was later awarded a Gold certificate for achieving over 50,000 CD sales of I Look to You in Italy.
In November, Houston performed “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” at the
2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California. Two days later,
Houston performed “Million Dollar Bill” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody
(Who Loves Me)” on the Dancing with the Stars season 9 finale. As of December 2009, I Look to You has been certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than one million copies in the United States. On January 26, 2010, her debut album was re-released in a special edition entitled Whitney Houston – The Deluxe Anniversary Edition.
Houston later embarked on a world tour, entitled the Nothing but Love World Tour.
It was her first world tour in over ten years and was announced as a
triumphant comeback. However, some poor reviews and rescheduled concerts
brought some negative media attention.
Houston canceled some concerts due to illness and received widespread
negative reviews from fans who were disappointed in the quality of her
voice and performance. Some fans reportedly walked out of her concerts.
In January 2010, Houston was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards,
one for Best Female Artist and one for Best Music Video. She won the
award for Best Music Video for her single “I Look to You”. On January
16, she received The BET Honors
Award for Entertainer citing her lifetime achievements spanning over 25
years in the industry. The 2010 BET Honors award was held at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. and aired on February 1, 2010. Jennifer Hudson and Kim Burrell
performed in honor of her, garnering positive reviews. Houston also
received a nomination from the Echo Awards, Germany’s version of the
Grammys, for Best International Artist. In April 2010, the UK newspaper The Mirror reported that Houston was thinking about recording her eighth studio album and wanted to collaborate with will.i.am (of The Black Eyed Peas), her first choice for a collaboration.
Houston also performed the song “I Look to You” on the 2011 BET Celebration of Gospel, with gospel–jazz singer Kim Burrell,
held at the Staples Center, Los Angeles. The performance aired on
January 30, 2011. Early in 2011, she gave an uneven performance in
tribute to cousin Dionne Warwick at music mogul Clive Davis’ annual
pre-Grammy gala. In May 2011, Houston enrolled in a rehabilitation
center again, as an out-patient, citing drug and alcohol problems. A
representative for Houston said that it was a part of Houston’s
“longstanding recovery process”.
In September 2011, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Houston would produce and star alongside Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps in the remake of the 1976 film Sparkle.
In the film, Houston portrays Sparks’ “not-so encouraging” mother.
Houston is also credited as an executive producer of the film. Debra
Martin Chase, producer of Sparkle, stated that Houston deserved the title considering she had been there from the beginning in 2001, when Houston obtained Sparkle production rights. R&B singer Aaliyah –
originally tapped to star as Sparkle – died in a 2001 plane crash. Her
death derailed production, which would have begun in 2002. Houston’s remake of Sparkle was filmed in the fall of 2011 over a two-month period, and was released by TriStar Pictures.
On May 21, 2012, “Celebrate”, the last song Houston recorded with
Sparks, premiered at RyanSeacrest.com. It was made available for digital
download on iTunes on June 5. The song was featured on the Sparkle: Music from the Motion Picture soundtrack as the first official single.
The movie was released on August 17, 2012 in the United States. The
accompanying music video for “Celebrate” was filmed on May 30, 2012. The video was shot over 2 days, and a sneak peek of the video premiered on Entertainment Tonight on June 4, 2012.
|Wikinews has related news: American pop star Whitney Houston dies at 48|
On February 9, 2012, Houston visited singers Brandy and Monica, together with Clive Davis, at their rehearsals for Davis’ pre-Grammy Awards party at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills. That same day, she made her last public performance, when she joined Kelly Price on stage in Hollywood, California, and sang “Jesus Loves Me“.
Two days later, on February 11, Houston was found unconscious in
Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub; she was
later pronounced dead. The cause of death was not immediately known. It was later ruled by the coroner to have been an “accidental drowning”. Beverly Hills paramedics arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m. and found the singer unresponsive and performed CPR. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. PST. Local police said there were “no obvious signs of criminal intent.”
On March 22, 2012, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office reported the
cause of Houston’s death was drowning and the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use”. The office stated the amount of cocaine found in Houston’s body indicated that she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results revealed additional drugs in her system: Benadryl, Xanax, marijuana and Flexeril. The manner of death was listed as an “accident”.
Houston had an invitation-only memorial on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. The service was scheduled for two hours, but lasted four. Among those who performed at the funeral were Stevie Wonder (rewritten version of “Ribbon in the Sky“, and “Love’s in Need of Love Today“), CeCe Winans (“Don’t Cry“, and “Jesus Loves Me”), Alicia Keys (“Send Me an Angel“), Kim Burrell (rewritten version of “A Change Is Gonna Come“), and R. Kelly (“I Look to You”). The performances were interspersed with hymns by the church choir and remarks by Clive Davis, Houston’s record producer; Kevin Costner; Ricky Minor, her music director; her cousin, Dionne Warwick; and Ray Watson, her security guard for the past 11 years. Aretha Franklin was listed on the program and was expected to sing, but was unable to attend the service. Bobby Brown, Houston’s ex-husband, was also invited to the funeral but he left before the service began. Houston was buried on Sunday, February 19, 2012, in Fairview Cemetery, in Westfield, New Jersey, next to her father, John Russell Houston, who died in 2003. In June 2012, the McDonald’s Gospelfest in Newark became a tribute to Houston.
The Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party that Houston was expected to
attend, which featured many of the biggest names in music and movies,
went on as scheduled although it was quickly turned into a tribute to
Houston. Davis spoke about Houston’s death at the evening’s start: “By
now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved
Whitney’s passing. I don’t have to mask my emotion in front of a room
full of so many dear friends. I am personally devastated by the loss of
someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so
full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight even though she
wasn’t scheduled to perform. Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent
beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave
so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney
would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry
Tony Bennett spoke of Houston’s death before performing at Davis’ party. He said, “First, it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now, the magnificent Whitney Houston.” Bennett sang “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?“
and said of Houston, “When I first heard her, I called Clive Davis and
said, ‘You finally found the greatest singer I’ve ever heard in my
Some celebrities opposed Davis’ decision to continue on the party
while a police investigation was being conducted in Houston’s hotel room
and her body was still in the building. Chaka Khan, in an interview with CNN‘s Piers Morgan
on February 13, 2012, shared that she felt the party should have been
canceled, saying: “I thought that was complete insanity. And knowing
Whitney I don’t believe that she would have said ‘the show must go on.’
She’s the kind of woman that would’ve said ‘Stop everything! Un-unh. I’m
not going to be there.’ [...] I don’t know what could motivate a person
to have a party in a building where the person whose life he had
influenced so enormously and whose life had been affected by hers. They
were like… I don’t understand how that party went on.” Sharon Osbourne
condemned the Davis party, declaring: “I think it was disgraceful that
the party went on. I don’t want to be in a hotel room when there’s
someone you admire who’s tragically lost their life four floors up. I’m
not interested in being in that environment and I think when you grieve
someone, you do it privately, you do it with people who understand you. I
thought it was so wrong.”
Further reaction and tributes
Many other celebrities released statements responding to Houston’s death. Darlene Love, Houston’s godmother, hearing the news of her death, said, “It felt like I had been struck by a lightning bolt in my gut.” Dolly Parton, whose song “I Will Always Love You“
was covered by Houston, said, “I will always be grateful and in awe of
the wonderful performance she did on my song and I can truly say from
the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be
missed.'” Aretha Franklin said, “It’s so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen.” Others paying tribute included Mariah Carey, Quincy Jones and Oprah Winfrey.
Moments after news of her death emerged, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News
all broke from their regularly scheduled programming to dedicate time
to non-stop coverage of Houston’s death. All three featured live
interviews with people who had known Houston including those that had
worked with her, interviewed her along with some of her peers in the
music industry. Saturday Night Live displayed a photo of a smiling Houston, alongside Molly Shannon, from her 1996 appearance.
MTV and VH-1 interrupted their regularly scheduled programming on
Sunday February 12 to air many of Houston’s classic videos with MTV
often airing news segments in between and featuring various reactions
from fans and celebrities.
Houston’s former husband, Bobby Brown,
was reported to be “in and out of crying fits” since receiving the
news. He did not cancel a scheduled performance and within hours of his
ex-wife’s sudden death, an audience in Mississippi observed as Brown
blew kisses skyward, tearfully saying: “I love you, Whitney.”
Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the 54th Grammy Awards, announced that Jennifer Hudson
would perform a tribute to Houston at the February 12, 2012 ceremony.
He said “event organizers believed Hudson – an Academy Award-winning
actress and Grammy Award-winning artist – could perform a respectful
musical tribute to Houston”. Ehrlich went on to say: “It’s too fresh in
everyone’s memory to do more at this time, but we would be remiss if we
didn’t recognize Whitney’s remarkable contribution to music fans in
general, and in particular her close ties with the Grammy telecast and
her Grammy wins and nominations over the years”.
At the start of the awards ceremony, footage of Houston performing “I
Will Always Love You” from the 1994 Grammys was shown following a prayer
read by host, LL Cool J.
Later in the program following a montage of photos of musicians who
died in 2011 with Houston singing “Saving All My Love for You” at the
1986 Grammys, Hudson paid tribute to Houston and the other artists by
performing “I Will Always Love You”. The tribute was partially credited for the Grammys telecast getting its second highest ratings in history.
Houston was honored in the form of various tributes at the 43rd NAACP
Image Awards, held on February 17. An image montage of Houston and
important black figures who died in 2011 was followed by video footage
from the 1994 ceremony, which depicted her accepting two Image Awards
for outstanding female artist and entertainer of the year. Following the
video tribute, Yolanda Adams delivered a rendition of “I Love the Lord” from The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack. In the finale of the ceremony, Kirk Franklin and The Family started their performance with “The Greatest Love of All”. The 2012 BRIT Awards, which took place at London’s O2 Arena
on February 21, also paid tribute to Houston by playing a 30-second
video montage of her music videos with a snippet of “One Moment in Time”
as the background music in the ceremony’s first segment. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that all New Jersey state flags would be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, February 21 to honor Houston. Houston was also featured, alongside other recently deceased figures from the movie industry, in the In Memoriam montage at the 84th Academy Awards on February 26, 2012.
Artistry and legacy
One of Houston’s best selling singles worldwide and recognized songs, “I Will Always Love You” prominently uses melismas.
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Houston was a mezzo-soprano, and was commonly referred to as “The Voice” in reference to her exceptional vocal talent. She was third in MTV’s list of 22 Greatest Voices, and sixth on Online Magazine COVE‘s list of the 100 Best Pop Vocalists with a score of 48.5/50. Jon Pareles of The New York Times
stated she “always had a great big voice, a technical marvel from its
velvety depths to its ballistic middle register to its ringing and airy
heights”. In 2008, Rolling Stone
listed Houston as the thirty-fourth of the 100 greatest singers of all
time, stating, “Her voice is a mammoth, coruscating cry: Few vocalists
could get away with opening a song with 45 unaccompanied seconds of
singing, but Houston’s powerhouse version of Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will
Always Love You’ is a tour de force.” Matthew Perpetua from Rolling Stone
also eulogized Houston’s vocal, enumerating ten performances, including
“How Will I Know” from the 1986 MTV VMAs and “The Star Spangled Banner”
at the 1991 Super Bowl. “Whitney Houston was blessed with an
astonishing vocal range and extraordinary technical skill, but what
truly made her a great singer was her ability to connect with a song and
drive home its drama and emotion with incredible precision,” he stated.
“She was a brilliant performer, and her live shows often eclipsed her
Jon Caramanica of The New York Times commented, “Her voice was
clean and strong, with barely any grit, well suited to the songs of
love and aspiration. [...] Hers was a voice of triumph and achievement,
and it made for any number of stunning, time-stopping vocal
performances.” Mariah Carey stated, “She [Whitney] has a really rich, strong mid-belt that very few people have. She sounds really good, really strong.” While in her review of I Look to You, music critic Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times
writes, “[Houston's voice] stands like monuments upon the landscape of
20th century pop, defining the architecture of their times, sheltering
the dreams of millions and inspiring the climbing careers of countless
imitators”, adding “When she was at her best, nothing could match her
huge, clean, cool mezzo-soprano.”
Lauren Everitt from BBC News Magazine commented on melisma
used in Houston’s recording and its influence. “An early ‘I’ in Whitney
Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ takes nearly six seconds to sing. In
those seconds the former gospel singer-turned-pop star packs a series
of different notes into the single syllable,” stated Everitt. “The
technique is repeated throughout the song, most pronouncedly on every
‘I’ and ‘you’. The vocal technique is called melisma, and it has
inspired a host of imitators. Other artists may have used it before
Houston, but it was her rendition of Dolly Parton’s love song that
pushed the technique into the mainstream in the 90s. [...] But perhaps
what Houston nailed best was moderation.” Everitt said that “[i]n a
climate of reality shows ripe with ‘oversinging,’ it’s easy to
appreciate Houston’s ability to save melisma for just the right moment.”
Houston’s vocal stylings have had a significant impact on the music industry. According to Linda Lister in Divafication: The Deification of Modern Female Pop Stars, she has been called the “Queen of Pop” for her influence during the 1990s, commercially rivaling Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Stephen Holden from The New York Times, in his review of Houston’s Radio City Music Hall
concert on July 20, 1993, praised her attitude as a singer, writing,
“Whitney Houston is one of the few contemporary pop stars of whom it
might be said: the voice suffices. While almost every performer whose
albums sell in the millions calls upon an entertainer’s bag of tricks,
from telling jokes to dancing to circus pyrotechnics, Ms. Houston would
rather just stand there and sing.” With regard to her singing style, he
added: “Her [Houston's] stylistic trademarks – shivery melismas that
ripple up in the middle of a song, twirling embellishments at the ends
of phrases that suggest an almost breathless exhilaration – infuse her
interpretations with flashes of musical and emotional lightning.”
Elysa Gardner of the Los Angeles Times in her review for The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack
praised Houston’s vocal ability highly, commenting, “She is first and
foremost a pop diva – at that, the best one we have. No other female pop
star – not Mariah Carey, not Celine Dion, not Barbra Streisand –
quite rivals Houston in her exquisite vocal fluidity and purity of
tone, and her ability to infuse a lyric with mesmerizing melodrama.”
During the 1980s, MTV was coming into its own and received criticism for not playing enough videos by black artists. With Michael Jackson
breaking down the color barrier for black men, Houston did the same for
black women. She became the first black woman to receive heavy rotation
on the network following the success of the “How Will I Know” video. Following Houston’s breakthrough, other African-American women, such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker, were successful in popular music. Baker commented that “Because of what Whitney and Sade did, there was an opening for me… For radio stations, black women singers aren’t taboo anymore.”
noted her contribution to the success of black artists on the pop
scene, commenting, “Houston was able to handle big adult contemporary
ballads, effervescent, stylish dance-pop, and slick urban contemporary
soul with equal dexterity” and that “the result was an across-the-board
appeal that was matched by scant few artists of her era, and helped her
become one of the first black artists to find success on MTV in Michael
Jackson’s wake”. The New York Times
stated that “Houston was a major catalyst for a movement within black
music that recognized the continuity of soul, pop, jazz and gospel vocal
traditions”. Richard Corliss of Time magazine commented on her initial success breaking various barriers:
Of her first album’s ten cuts, six were ballads. This chanteuse
[Houston] had to fight for air play with hard rockers. The young lady
had to stand uncowed in the locker room of macho rock. The soul strutter
had to seduce a music audience that anointed few black artists with
superstardom. [...] She was a phenomenon waiting to happen, a canny
tapping of the listener’s yen for a return to the musical middle. And
because every new star creates her own genre, her success has helped
other blacks, other women, other smooth singers find an avid reception
in the pop marketplace.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times said that Houston “revitalized the tradition of strong gospel-oriented pop-soul singing”. Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times referred to the singer as a “national treasure”. Jon Caramanica, other music critic of The New York Times,
called Houston “R&B’s great modernizer,” adding “slowly but surely
reconciling the ambition and praise of the church with the movements and
needs of the body and the glow of the mainstream”. He also drew comparisons between Houston’s influence and other big names’ on 1980s pop:
She was, alongside Michael Jackson and Madonna, one of the crucial
figures to hybridize pop in the 1980s, though her strategy was far less
radical than that of her peers. Jackson and Madonna were by turns
lascivious and brutish and, crucially, willing to let their production
speak more loudly than their voices, an option Ms. Houston never went
for. Also, she was less prolific than either of them, achieving most of
her renown on the strength of her first three solo albums and one
soundtrack, released from 1985 to 1992. If she was less influential than
they were in the years since, it was only because her gift was so rare,
so impossible to mimic. Jackson and Madonna built worldviews around
their voices; Ms. Houston’s voice was the worldview. She was someone
more to be admired, like a museum piece, than to be emulated.
music critic Andy Gill also wrote about Houston’s influence on modern
R&B and singing competitions, comparing it to Michael Jackson’s.
“Because Whitney, more than any other single artist ― Michael Jackson
included ― effectively mapped out the course of modern R&B, setting
the bar for standards of soul vocalese, and creating the original
template for what we now routinely refer to as the ‘soul diva’,” stated
Gill. “Jackson was a hugely talented icon, certainly, but he will be as
well remembered (probably more so) for his presentational skills, his
dazzling dance moves, as for his musical innovations. Whitney, on the
other hand, just sang, and the ripples from her voice continue to
dominate the pop landscape.” Gill said that there “are few, if any,
Jackson imitators on today’s TV talent shows, but every other contestant
is a Whitney wannabe, desperately attempting to emulate that wondrous
combination of vocal effects – the flowing melisma, the soaring
mezzo-soprano confidence, the tremulous fluttering that carried the ends
of lines into realms of higher yearning”.
Houston was considered by many to be a “singer’s singer”, who had an
influence on countless other vocalists, both female and male.
Similarly, Steve Huey from Allmusic wrote that the shadow of Houston’s
prodigious technique still looms large over nearly every pop diva and
smooth urban soul singer – male or female – in her wake, and spawned a
legion of imitators. Rolling Stone,
on her biography, stated that Houston “redefined the image of a female
soul icon and inspired singers ranging from Mariah Carey to Rihanna“. Essence
ranked Houston the fifth on their list of 50 Most Influential R&B
Stars of all time, calling her “the diva to end all divas”.
A number of artists have acknowledged Houston as an influence, including Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Christina Aguilera, LeAnn Rimes, Jessica Simpson, Nelly Furtado, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Ciara, P!nk, Ashanti, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Hudson, Stacie Orrico, Amerie, and Destiny’s Child. Mariah Carey, who was often compared to Houston, said, “She [Houston] has been a big influence on me.” She later told USA Today that “none of us would sound the same if Aretha Franklin hadn’t ever put out a record, or Whitney Houston hadn’t.”
Celine Dion who was the third member of the troika that dominated
female pop singing in the 1990s, did a telephone interview with Good Morning America
on February 13, 2012, telling “Whitney’s been an amazing inspiration
for me. I’ve been singing with her my whole career, actually. I wanted
to have a career like hers, sing like her, look beautiful like her.” Beyoncé told the Globe and Mail that Houston “inspired [her] to get up there and do what [she] did”.
She also wrote on her website on the day after Houston’s death, “I,
like every singer, always wanted to be just like [Houston]. Her voice
was perfect. Strong but soothing. Soulful and classic. Her vibrato, her
cadence, her control. So many of my life’s memories are attached to a
Whitney Houston song. She is our queen and she opened doors and provided
a blueprint for all of us.”
Mary J. Blige said that Houston inviting her onstage during VH1‘s Divas Live show in 1999 “opened doors for [her] all over the world”. Brandy
stated, “The first Whitney Houston CD was genius. That CD introduced
the world to her angelic yet powerful voice. Without Whitney, half of
this generation of singers wouldn’t be singing.” Kelly Rowland, in an Ebony‘s
feature article celebrating black music in June 2006, recalled that
“[I] wanted to be a singer after I saw Whitney Houston on TV singing
‘Greatest Love of All’. I wanted to sing like Whitney Houston in that
red dress.” She added that “And I have never, ever forgotten that song
[Greatest Love of All]. I learned it backward, forward, sideways. The
video still brings chills to me. When you wish and pray for something as
a kid, you never know what blessings God will give you.”
Alicia Keys said “Whitney is an artist who inspired me from [the time I was] a little girl.” Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson cites Houston as her biggest musical influence. She told Newsday that she learned from Houston the “difference between being able to sing and knowing how to sing.” Leona Lewis,
who has been called “the new Whitney Houston”, also cites her as an
influence. Lewis stated that she idolized her as a little girl.
Awards and achievements
Houston was the most awarded female artist of all time, according to Guinness World Records,
with two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22
American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010.
She held the all-time record for the most American Music Awards
of any female solo artist and shared the record with Michael Jackson
for the most AMAs ever won in a single year with eight wins in 1994. Houston won a record 11 Billboard Music Awards at its fourth ceremony in 1993. She also had the record for the most WMAs won in a single year, winning five awards at the 6th World Music Awards in 1994.
In May 2003, Houston placed at number three on VH1‘s list of “50 Greatest Women of the Video Era”, behind Madonna and Janet Jackson. She was also ranked at number 116 on their list of the “200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons of All Time”. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s 50th anniversary, ranking Houston at number nine. Similarly, she was ranked as one of the “Top 100 Greatest Artists of All Time” by VH1 in September 2010. In November 2010, Billboard
released its “Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years” list
and ranked Houston at number three who not only went on to earn eight
number-one singles on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but also landed five number ones on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
Houston’s debut album is listed as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine and is on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s Definitive 200 list. In 2004, Billboard picked the success of her first release on the charts as one of 110 Musical Milestones in its history. Houston’s entrance into the music industry is considered one of the 25 musical milestones of the last 25 years, according to USA Today in 2007. It stated that she paved the way for Mariah Carey’s chart-topping vocal gymnastics.
In 1997, the Franklin School in East Orange, New Jersey was renamed to
The Whitney E. Houston Academy School of Creative and Performing Arts.
In 2001, Houston was the first artist to be given a BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, she was one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 200 million albums and singles worldwide. She was ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 55 million certified albums sold in the US, and held an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Grambling State University, Louisiana. Houston was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013.
- Studio albums
- 1985: Whitney Houston
- 1987: Whitney
- 1990: I’m Your Baby Tonight
- 1998: My Love Is Your Love
- 2002: Just Whitney…
- 2009: I Look to You
- Holiday albums
- Soundtrack albums
- Compilations/Greatest Hits albums
- 2000: Whitney: The Greatest Hits
- 2001: Love, Whitney
- 2007: The Ultimate Collection
- 2012: I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston
|Year||Title||Role||Notes and awards|
|1992||The Bodyguard||Rachel Marron||Feature film|
|1995||Waiting to Exhale||Savannah Jackson||Feature film
|1996||The Preacher’s Wife||Julia Biggs||Feature film
|1997||Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella||Fairy Godmother||Made-for-television film, part of a revival of the Wonderful World of Disney.|
|2004||Nora’s Hair Salon||Herself||Direct-to-video|
|2007||The Last Days of Left Eye||Herself||Documentary
|2013||CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story||Herself||Television Biographical Film
|1984||Gimme a Break!||NBC||Rita||“Katie’s College” (Season 3, Episode 20, air date: March 15, 1984)|
|As the World Turns||CBS||Herself||Houston appeared on the soap on August 1–2, 1984, with Jermaine
Jackson singing two duets off a new album he was releasing at the time:
“Take Good Care of My Heart” and “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do”. They
taped their appearance on July 25 at CBS Studios in New York City.
|1985||Silver Spoons||NBC||Herself||“Head Over Heels” (Season 4, Episode 1, air date: September 15, 1985)
She performed the edited version of “Saving All My Love for You“, changing some of the words.
|2003||Boston Public||Fox||Herself||“Chapter Sixty-Six” (Season 3, Episode 22, air date: May 12, 2003)
She performed “Try It On My Own” from the 2002 studio album Just Whitney.
|1983||Dr Pepper/Seven Up||Canada Dry
(soft drink beverage)
(soft drink beverage)
(soft drink beverage)
(the stereo, TV)
|AT&T||Telephone services||United States|
|1999||Nissin||Consumer credit business||Japan||
|Year||Title||Director||Notes and awards|
|1997||Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella||Robert Iscove||Executive producer|
|2001||The Princess Diaries||Garry Marshall||Producer
|2003||The Cheetah Girls||Oz Scott||Producer|
|2004||The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement||Garry Marshall||Producer|
|2006||The Cheetah Girls 2: When in Spain||Kenny Ortega||Co-executive producer|
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He began his journalism career with the Brandon Sun at the age of 15 covering minor hockey and moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba three years later to accept a job with the Canadian Press and the Winnipeg Tribune in 1938. He shared lodgings with Winnipeg Free Press columnist Scott Young and befriended Tribune columnist Ralph Allen. He covered his first World Series in 1941 and interviewed Joe DiMaggio. He left Winnipeg in 1942 for Ontario leaving his childhood nickname behind in favour of his given name of Trent.
He followed Young and Allen to Toronto and joined the Globe and Mail as a general reporter earning $45 a week. At the Globe he met June Callwood whom he married in 1944. Frayne resumed his work as a full-time sportswriter when he joined the staff of the Toronto Telegram. He moved to Maclean’s Magazine in the 1950 where Callwood was by then working as a freelancer. Fellow Maclean’s writer Pierre Berton
became a close friend and said of the couple “They were very much in
love, a handsome couple who called each other ‘Dreamy,'” The couple
raised four children in the Etobicoke home they shared until Callwood’s
death in 2007. Frayne and Callwood also hosted the CBC Television talk show The Fraynes in the 1954-55 television season.
In 1959, Frayne was hired by the Toronto Star as a feature writer and, from 1962 to 1968, worked as a publicist for the Ontario Jockey Club before resuming his journalism career and then moving to the Toronto Sun in the 1970s. From 1983 to 1989 the couple both worked as columnists at the Globe and Mail. Frayne wrote monthly columns for Maclean’s from 1989 until his retirement at the age of 78 in 1997.
During his career, Frayne’s work has also appeared in Chatelaine, Sports Illustrated and Saturday Evening Post magazines. He has written more than a dozen books and won the National Newspaper Award for sports writing in 1975 and was the first recipient of Brandon University’s Quill Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1990. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984, receiving the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, and inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1988, and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, and also inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and was honoured with a life membership in the Baseball Writers of America.
Frayne’s memoir is titled The Tales of an Athletic Supporter.
He and Callwood had four children, Jill (born 1945), Brant (born
1948), Jesse (born 1951) and Casey who was born in 1961 and was killed
in a motorcycle accident in 1982.
He died at the age of 93 of pneumonia and complications related to
old age. Frayne is survived by three children and his extended family.
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(1927 – February 11, 2012)
He was born in Israel as the youngest son of an immigrant family from Bender (Bessarabia). At the age of fifteen, he served in the Haganah and Palmach. In the Israeli War of Independence (1948) he fought on the southern front with the Negev Brigade, where he met his future wife, Hassida.
In 1953, Davidi volunteered for the new IDF Paratroopers
as a company commander. The next year, the unit was very active in
retaliatory operations and other dangerous missions behind enemy lines.
Davidi and his company supported Ariel Sharon’s Unit 101 in the raid on Qibya, he and Sharon remained close friends. He was decorated for actions in the Gaza strip in 1955 with the Medal of Courage.
In the Sinai Campaign, Davidi, as Lieutenant-Colonel and regimental commander, played a decisive role in the battle of Mitla Pass. From 1965 to 1968, as a colonel, he was the first commander of the IDF Paratrooper and Infantry Corps. During the 1967 Six Day War, Davidi commanded the decisive actions to capture Sharm-el-Sheik. When Raful Eitan was wounded in action, Davidi led his paratroopers to the Suez Canal.
Davidi began teaching geography at Tel Aviv University in 1974. Three years later, he moved to the Golan Heights as Director of Community and Cultural Activities of the Golan and Jordan Valley. In the summer of 1982, during the 1982 Lebanon War, Davidi founded the Sar-El
IDF volunteer program which flourishes today with 5,000 world-wide
volunteers a year. In 2010, Davidi won the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism.
Davidi, who lived in Ramat Gan,
had three children, 11 grandchildren. and two great-grandchildren. His
sister, Rivka Davidit, was a Hebrew children’s author and theater
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Aharon Davidi died on February 11, 2012.
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Zaslow was widely known as coauthor of best-selling books including The Last Lecture (2008) with Randy Pausch; Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters with Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (2009); as well as Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope (2011) with Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. He was the sole author of numerous books, including Tell Me All About It (1990), The Girls from Ames (2009), and The Magic Room (2012).
Early life and education
Zaslow was born in 1958 in Broomall, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, one of the four children of Naomi and Harry Zaslow, a real estate investor. He attended Marple Newtown High School,
where he was student council president his senior year. He wrote for
the school paper and was in school plays while in junior high – starring
in “You Can’t Take It With You”. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon
University in 1980 with a degree in creative writing, Zaslow began his
professional writing career at the Orlando Sentinel.
Zaslow’s Wall Street Journal column, “Moving On”, as well as his numerous books, focused on life transitions.
In September 2007, after he attended the final lecture of Carnegie Mellon University Professor Randy Pausch, he collaborated with Pausch on writing The Last Lecture, released in 2008. The book by Pausch and Zaslow, translated into 48 languages, was a #1 New York Times best-seller, spending more than 110 weeks on the list. Media coverage included The Oprah Winfrey Show and an ABC special hosted by Diane Sawyer. More than five million copies of the book are in print in the U.S.
The Girls from Ames is a nonfiction book about a group of eleven women friends who grew up together in Ames, Iowa,
remaining friends for forty years. It was billed by the publisher
(Gotham Books) as “the inspiring true story of eleven girls and the ten
women they became.” (www.GirlsFromAmes.com) It spent 26 weeks on the New
York Times bestseller list, rising as high as #3. Highest Duty was co-written by Zaslow with Capt. Sullenberger, who successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. The book debuted at #3 on the New York Times list.
In 2011, Zaslow collaborated with Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, on their memoir, Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope. In January 2012, Zaslow released The Magic Room: A story about the love we wish for our daughters,
a non-fiction narrative set at a small-town Michigan bridal shop, and
looked at the lives of a handful of brides and their parents who
journeyed to the store’s “Magic Room.” (www.magicroombook.com)
Zaslow first worked at the Orlando Sentinel, as a writer for that newspaper’s Florida magazine. He then was a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal from 1983 to 1987 and columnist at the Sun-Times from 1987 to 2001.
Zaslow gained recognition as the author of an advice column called All That Zazz at the Wall Street Journal, having won a competition (with 12,000 applicants) at age 29 to replace Ann Landers at the Chicago Sun-Times.
He was twice named by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists
as best columnist in a newspaper with more than 100,000 circulation and
had received the Distinguished Column Writing Award from the New York Newspaper Publishers Association. While working at the Sun-Times, Zaslow received the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award. He appeared on such television programs as The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, 60 Minutes, The Today Show and Good Morning America.
Zaslow married Sherry Margolis, a TV news anchor with WJBK television in Detroit, and together lived with their three daughters in West Bloomfield, Michigan. His literary agent was Gary Morris. Zaslow was an avid runner.
Zaslow died on February 10, 2012, at age 53 in a car accident on M-32 in Warner Township, Michigan while on tour for his non-fiction book The Magic Room. Former co-author Chesley Sullenberger was among those who eulogized Zaslow at his funeral on February 13.
Following his death, Zaslow was the subject of a number of written tributes, including an essay by columnist Bob Greene, titled Jeff Zaslow’s last lesson, pieces by fellow journalists and by bloggers, posts on the Wall Street Journal remembrance page, and eulogies by family members on the family’s remembrance page.
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