9 August 1963, Newark, New Jersey, USA. This pop and soul singer followed the traditions of her mother Cissy Houston and cousin Dionne Warwick by beginning her vocal career in gospel. There was much diversity in her early performances, however. These included engagements as backing singer with established acts, such as Chaka Khan, as well as lead vocals on the Michael Zager Bands single Lifes A Party. She also appeared as a model in various magazines, and as an actress in television shows such as Give Me A Break. By 1983, she had entered a worldwide contract with Arista Records, and the following year had her first commercial success when Hold Me, a duet with Teddy Pendergrass, crept into the US Top 50. However, the rest of that year was taken up with the recording of a debut album. Clive Davis, the head of Arista, who had taken a strong personal interest in the vocalist, insisted on selecting the best songwriters and producers...
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