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Grammy award-winning Whitney Houston features in this week's Blitz Biography, and also as our back page pin-up.



WHEN BILLBOARD MAGAZINE SAID Whitney Houston had the pedigree and style to be-come a major vocalist they weren't joking.

The Grammy Award-winning artist is the latest to emerge from a family of successful female pop performers. Whitney's mother Cissy Houston is a soul legend who has performed with such greats as Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick is her first cousin. Dionne and Cissy have been instrumental in shaping Whitney's career.

Last year, Whitney named them both as key influences on her style and musical taste. Her career got off to an early start when she began performing with her mother in a nightclub act at the age of 15. Whitney started by singing backup for her Mum but eventually shared the spotlight. She tagged along on the road with Dionne while her mother was sing-ing backup for her.

"I learned a lot from her (Dionne)," she says. "I was just watching, absorbing and listening then." She also sang backup on many albums and shared lead vocals with Jermaine Jackson on his hit Take Good Care of My Heart before recording on her own. Whitney has a wealth of experience for someone at the tender age of 22 and this was highlighted when she won the Grammy in February for the best female pop vocal performance in Saving All My Love For You. Her career is on the move, her self-titled debut album has been a tremendous success, Saving won her a Grammy and she is currently charting with How Will I Know.

So what does the future hold for this young star? She is unlikely to fall for the many show business traps that have nipped in the bud many promising careers _ before she embarked on a professional career her mother sat her down and told her of the many pitfalls and dangers. And she has no shortage of people to ask advice from. Whitney was undecided as to when she would get back into the studio or change elements evident in her first album.

"It depends on the producers and who we get and whether they have the material ready or whether we have to look for songs," she says. "If there's one thing I don't want to change from the album that's out now, it's the quality and the meaning and all those things that went into the album and the time to get the best and to get it right." Whitney may also sing with other artists in the future.

"I have this thing that if they want to sing with me, I don't mind singing with them," she says. At least if Whitney's singing career does fall in a heap, she will have plenty of other options. Since she was 16, she has been a sought-after fashion model _ something her success in the recording industry won't harm at all. She has also appeared in television shows including Gimme A Break and As the World Turns. Could she be the next pop star to branch out into films and a lucrative acting career? She's certainly got the looks, the voice and the talent.

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