Whitney Houston shot to fame in the 1980s when she became one of the first African-American female artists to receive regular rotation on MTV – a feat that successfully opened doors for other women to find success in music and movies. Best known for her work with Kevin Costner in “The Bodyguard”, Houston has led a life of service to others when not on screen or behind a microphone.

The 44-year-old first showed her socially-conscious side when still a model, before her fame rocketed her to stardom. Back then she refused to work for agencies that did business with South Africa, due to the country’s regime of apartheid. It was an issue that she later brought to the attention of the world when she performed at Nelson Mandela's 70th Birthday Concert in London, an event that brought pressure on the Government to ease its restrictions and eventually release the future president of South Africa.

Following the concert, Houston formed the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, an organization that cared for the homeless and children with cancer and AIDS. It eventually brought the singer one of her many awards for her humanitarian work, as did her involvement with the United Negro College Fund.

Houston is also the only artist to turn the national anthem into a chart hit when her rendition of The Star Spangled Banner reached the Top 100 in 1991. She donated her royalties to the Red Cross.

In 1997, the HBO Concert “Classic Whitney live from Washington DC” raised over $300000 for the Children's Defense Fund.

In 2011, she partnered with her sister-in-law in launching a line of scented candles to benefit charity.

For a comprehensive list of Whitney’s charity work, visit Whitney-Fan.com.

Whitney Houston passed away in February, 2012.

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