Lights. Camera. Action. Whitney, a biopic based on the musically gifted pop queen and fashion icon, Whitney Houston, is coming to select theaters, today, July 6th, 2018. Directed by Oscar-winner, Kevin Macdonald, the movie has everyone eagerly waiting with anticipation. With several awards and nominations under his belt, the Scottish director and producer is known for The Last King of Scotland (2006), State of Play (2009), and Touching the Void (2003).
The captivating documentary uses raw archived footage of the multi Grammy-winning singer’s career, courtesy of the Estate of Whitney E. Houston. With some of the family’s touches, Macdonald told Billboard, “I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have a final cut. That was the agreement from the beginning and the family had self-interest in that because they realized there was no point in another puff piece about Whitney Houston. There had been enough speculative, inaccurate things written about her.”
In 2015, Whitney Houston’s family slammed Lifetime over the biopic they produced of the late singer saying, “Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities,” according to an interview her sister-in-law, Pat Houston, did with Rolling Stone. The film allegedly had another hidden agenda and the finished product was unloving toward Whitney Houston.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Pat says, “Kevin is to film what Michael Jordan is to basketball,” giving the director full access to her archives, with great ease. She also stated that, “Whitney herself, back in the late 1990s, started doing a documentary. I knew it was something she wanted to do, and I just wanted to finish it, put it to rest, so that we could celebrate her in the way that she should be celebrated—through her legacy of music…and he did.”
The film will closely follow Whitney’s career, as she extraordinarily left her footprints in the music industry. She’s sold more than 170 million albums, videos, and singles. Houston sold 12 million copies of her self-titled album, Whitney, in the United States; the soundtrack of The Bodyguard sold 11.8 million soundtrack units, making it the best-selling soundtrack in over 20 years, and of that soundtrack, her infamous 1992 single, I Will Always Love You, topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, making it the second longest reign in the music chart’s history—this record also won her a Grammy award for “Record of the Year.”
Completely changing how the world viewed the national anthem, Whitney accrued and audience of 79.6 million viewers, creating a new realm of Super Bowl performance standards, but her success didn’t stop there.
Whitney Houston went on to gain several other awards throughout her career, seizing three Grammy awards for “Best Pop Vocal Performance” for Saving All My Love for You (1986), I Wanna Dance With Somebody (1988), and I Will Always Love You (1994). That same year in ’94, she won Grammy awards for “Record of the Year” for I Will Always Love You, as stated above; “Album of the Year” for The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album, and “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance” for It’s Not Right but It’s Okay. The late singer had an extensive list of other nominations and awards. She was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013, after her passing.
While this documentary will touch on the highlights of her career and success, it will also unsparingly uncover interviews with family and her inner circle about the sexual abuse Whitney Houston experienced as a child, the trauma she endured from her parents’ divorce and respective affairs, her toxic marriage with Bobby Brown, the relationship she had with her late daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown; as well as screening in on her long battle with drug addiction.
Whitney as a Fashion Icon
While many of us may respectfully remember her as “The Voice”, or “Queen of Pop”, some of us remember her as the fashion icon she was.
From her famous red-carpet looks, to her stunningly covering fashion magazines such as Essence, Ebony, and Jet. She also covered Seventeen, being the first Black woman to grace their cover. Whitney Houston embodied the definition of style and grace.
Some of Houston’s most memorable looks include everything from the teal Grecian gown she wore to the 1986 Grammy’s; her 1920s-inspired photoshoot with Randee St. Nicholas; the red, white, and blue tracksuit she wore when performing the national anthem at the Super Bowl XXV.
We hold on to the dear memories of Whitney Houston, remembering all that she was, and everything she did throughout her lifetime. Her loyal fan base—including us—cannot wait to go see the film in theaters. Catch a glimpse of the documentary below!
Catch up on a behind the scenes clip of Whitney Houston from ‘Whitney’ in the video below.
‘Whitney’ will premiere in select movie theaters on Friday, June 6, 2018.
Zoë Green is a Fashion Editor of Feeling the Vibe Magazine based in Philadelphia, PA. She is currently studying Broadcast Journalism and Criminology at The Pennsylvania State University. She loves wine tasting, hiking, and reading fashion magazines. For tips or comments, email Zoë at [email protected]