Whitney Houston's recent death surprised and dismayed music lovers around the world this weekend. The singer had been churning out hits since the mid-80s. Her debut album climbed to the top of the charts throughout 1985, propelled by tracks such as "You Give Good Love" and "How Will I Know". By the time she released her now classic dance track, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)", in 1987, she was a bona fide star. She continued to make great music through to her 2009 comeback hit, "Million Dollar Bill".
In between the hits, however, she led a notoriously troubled personal life. Issues with drugs and alcohol began to derail her career in the late-90s. Though she still had the gorgeous voice and the megawatt stage presence, she seemed unable to focus on moving her career forward or capitalizing on her past success. A reality series about her then husband, musician Bobby Brown, was meant to keep both artists in the spotlight. Unfortunately, it also illuminated many of the things that were going wrong in her life. Her seventh album, released in 2009, seemed to be a step in the right direction, and multiple public performances since then, showed her older, but still undoubtedly a star. In 2009, she also sold her massive New Jersey mansion, which seemed to be a sign that she was leaving a particularly rough patch behind and beginning anew.
The five-bedroom, five-bath house in Mendham, New Jersey, is circular and situated on five acres of land. Long hallways feature floor-to-ceiling windows and stained glass touches. The interior became familiar to millions during the filming of Bobby Brown's reality series. Ms. Houston purchased it for $5 million, but sold it for half of that just a few years later. As fans plaster websites and social media platforms with tribute videos and comments, and Ms. Houston's friends and family hold memorial services around the world, the spotlight is once again turned towards everything Whitney Houston had, and questions about everything she could have become.
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