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Tribute To The Memory Of Whitney Houston

Rep. Donald M. Payne

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend my deepest sympathy to the family, friends and fans of Ms. Whitney Elizabeth Houston whose sudden death on February 11, 2012 has left us all saddened. Her passing leaves a void in the lives of those of us who knew and loved her. It also marks the silencing of a voice that was one of the greatest in the history of the recording industry and one that will be missed throughout the world.

Ms. Houston, known lovingly to her legions of fans as Whitney and to her family and friends as ``Nippy'' was born and raised within the borders of the 10th Congressional District in the cities of Newark and East Orange. Whitney made her singing debut at the family's longtime church home, New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. The fact that Whitney would love to sing came as no surprise to anyone who knew her family's history. The Drinkard Sisters, on her mother side were legendary in the Greater Newark area and beyond. Her mother, Cissy Houston and cousin, Dionne Warwick are both well known talents. What we would discover over the course of Whitney's career would be her incredible international appeal driven by her angelic voice and God given talent. Not only was Whitney a gifted singer but she was an actress, a model, film producer, record producer and songwriter.

Whitney Houston was a Super Star and in 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. These awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards. She was a trend setter and influenced many of the artists performing today. Her incomparable style will live on forever with every mention of incredible voices.

Mr. Speaker, I know my colleagues here in the House of Representatives agree that our nation has lost one of its greatest talents in Whitney Houston. Fortunately for her family especially Bobbi Kristina, her legacy will live on. My thoughts and prayers are with you.