Whitney Elizabeth Houston, born in New Jersey in 1963, was the most awarded female act of all time according to the Guinness World Records. Sadly, she had an untimely death in February 2012 at only age 48. She was a very accomplished singer, selling 170-200 million records around the world and serving as the only artist to have seven consecutive top 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. Houston was exposed to music at an early age as her mother was a gospel singer, and started performing as a soloist at her junior gospel choir at 11. That was also when she learned to play the piano. At age 23, shortly after releasing her debut album, Houston earned her first Grammy Award. The rest, as they say, is history.