Cleveland is a major city in the U. S. state of Ohio, the county seat of Cuyahoga County. The city proper has a population of 385,525, making it the 51st-largest city in the United States, the second-largest city in Ohio. Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 32nd-largest metropolitan area in the U. S. with 2,055,612 people in 2016. The city anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the United States; the city is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie 60 miles west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border. It was founded in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, it became a manufacturing center due to its location on both the river and the lake shore, as well as being connected to numerous canals and railroad lines. Cleveland's economy relies on diversified sectors such as manufacturing, financial services and biomedicals. Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland residents are called "Clevelanders".
The city has many nicknames, the oldest of which in contemporary use being "The Forest City". Cleveland was named on July 22, 1796, when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company laid out Connecticut's Western Reserve into townships and a capital city, they named it "Cleaveland" after General Moses Cleaveland. Cleaveland oversaw design of the plan for what would become the modern downtown area, centered on Public Square, before returning home, never again to visit Ohio; the first settler in Cleaveland was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814. In spite of the nearby swampy lowlands and harsh winters, its waterfront location proved to be an advantage, giving access to Great Lakes trade; the area began rapid growth after the 1832 completion of the Erie Canal. This key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes connected the city to the Atlantic Ocean via the Erie Canal and Hudson River, via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Its products could reach markets on the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links. Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836. In 1836, the city located only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two. Ohio City remained an independent municipality until its annexation by Cleveland in 1854; the city's prime geographic location as a transportation hub on the Great Lakes has played an important role in its development as a commercial center. Cleveland serves as a destination for iron ore shipped from Minnesota, along with coal transported by rail. In 1870, John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in Cleveland. In 1885, he moved its headquarters to New York City, which had become a center of finance and business. Cleveland emerged in the early 20th century as an important American manufacturing center, its businesses included automotive companies such as Peerless, People's, Jordan and Winton, maker of the first car driven across the U.
S. Other manufacturers located in Cleveland produced steam-powered cars, which included White and Gaeth, as well as the electric car company Baker; because of its significant growth, Cleveland was known as the "Sixth City" of the US during this period. By 1920, due in large part to the city's economic prosperity, Cleveland became the nation's fifth-largest city; the city counted Progressive Era politicians such as the populist Mayor Tom L. Johnson among its leaders, its industrial jobs had attracted waves of European immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, as well as both black and white migrants from the rural South. In commemoration of the centennial of Cleveland's incorporation as a city, the Great Lakes Exposition debuted in June 1936 along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown. Conceived as a way to energize the city after the Great Depression, it drew four million visitors in its first season, seven million by the end of its second and final season in September 1937; the exposition was housed on grounds that are now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Burke Lakefront Airport, among others.
Following World War II, Cleveland continued to enjoy a prosperous economy. In sports, the Indians won the 1948 World Series, the hockey team, the Barons, became champions of the American Hockey League, the Browns dominated professional football in the 1950s; as a result, along with track and boxing champions produced, Cleveland was dubbed "City of Champions" in sports at this time. Businesses proclaimed that Cleveland was the "best location in the nation". In 1940, non-Hispanic whites represented 90.2% of Cleveland's population. Wealthy patrons supported development of the city's cultural institutions, such as the art museum and orchestra; the city's population reached its peak of 914,808, in 1949 Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time. By the 1960s, the economy slowed, residents sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of suburban growth following the subsidized highways. In the 1950s and 1960s, African Americans worked in numerous cities to gain constitutional rights and relief from racial discrimination.
As change lagged despite federal laws to enforce rights and racial unrest occurred in Cleveland and numerous other industrial cities. In Cleveland, the Hough Riots erupted from July 18 to 23, 1966; the Glenville Shootout took place from July 23 to 25, 1968. In November 1967, Cleveland became the first major American city to elect a black mayor, Carl Stokes. Industrial restructuring in the railroad and steel industries, resulted in the loss of numerous
Hara Arena was a 5,500-seat multi-purpose arena located in the Dayton, Ohio suburb of Trotwood. The facility began as a ballroom in 1956, added an arena in 1964 and grew to a six-building complex which closed in August 2016. At one time, it hosted the Dayton Jets basketball team and Dayton Gems, Dayton Blue Hawks, Dayton Owls, Dayton Bombers, Dayton Ice Bandits, Dayton Demonz, Megacity Hockey Club and Dayton Demolition ice hockey teams and the Marshals indoor football team; the site was the family-owned fruit orchard of Harold and Ralph Wampler. The name stems from HA from RA from Ralph. In 1956, the Wampler Ballroom was erected; the arena itself opened in 1964. The original plans did not include an ice rink, but were changed to accommodate the Dayton Gems who were looking for a home arena; as of 2016, the complex spanned 165,000 square feet which includes the main arena, four exhibition halls, a conference center, a pub and a golf course. The Arena used the slogan in advertising "Nowhere Else But Hara."On July 29, 2016, it was announced that the facility would close after hosting a final event August 27, 2016 due to ongoing financial issues and a 20-year long legal fight over the unresolved estate of founder Harold Wampler.
At the time of the closure announcement, the facility was said to have a $36 million annual impact to the area. The closure forced events, like the annual Dayton Hamvention, it forced the Dayton Demolition ice hockey team to cease operations after only one season. As of March 2018, the property had been abandoned for over a year-and-a-half, at times vandalized and broken into. In December 2017, PNC Bank foreclosed on the property, seeking to collect on $350,000 owed to the bank, it was reported that many had called Trotwood's government with ideas for the property, which had a list price of $775,000, but anyone seeking to acquire the property would need a "specific plan for the complicated situation of'well over $1 million' in taxes that are due, the multiple parcels of land and arena." In April 2018, YouTube video from a self-described "local explorer" illicitly entering the arena showed disrepair and deteriorating conditions. The city of Trotwood had made attempts to secure the property, but with limited success, it was reported to have hundreds of code violations.
On May 2, 2018, it was revealed that the property was purchased by Michael Heitz, a developer based in Louisville, Kentucky. Heitz stated that he had bought the income tax liens from Montgomery County and hoped to close on further liens with the banks in the week. Heitz stated that his first priority was to secure the property, he is known for purchasing other distressed properties within the area and getting them shovel ready for users. On February 25, 2019, at least three individuals were arrested for breaking into the property in an attempt to steal air conditioning parts. 1968–69 Dayton Gems 1969–70 Dayton Gems 1975–76 Dayton Gems 2013–14 Dayton Demonz Hara was the scene every other Monday night in the 1960s and 1970s for the "Original" Big Time Wrestling, featuring such stars as the Sheik, Bobo Brazil and Bull Curry, Mark Lewin, Ox Baker, many other wrestling stars. The ring announcer for most of the events was Les Pomervlle. Hara hosted Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1983 and 1984, it hosted a WWF Superstars of Wrestling TV taping in March, 1987, a WWF Wrestling Challenge taping in August, 1988, the Pay-Per-View events as follows: the 1995 WCW Great American Bash, WCW/NWO Souled Out, ECW Heatwave 1998 and ECW Heatwave 1999.
The arena was venue to many types of concerts, music festivals, trade shows and conventions including the annual Dayton Hamvention. The Miami Valley Home Improvement Show was held annually here. According to the American Radio Relay League, the 2016 Hamvention had been the 65th held in Dayton and the Hara complex hosted more than 25,000 visitors in that final year. Over a 60-year history, the facility hosted many musical performances from bands ranging from the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead to Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians. Heavy metal band Pantera performed at the facility numerous times between the years of 1990-2001, were named the house band of the venue in 1998. Hara Arena was; the Arena was home to many popular touring shows, such as Disney on Ice and Sesame Street on Ice. June 5 2016 webarchive of www.haracomplex.com
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the most populous city in the U. S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2017, the U. S. Census Bureau estimated the population was 859,035, making it the 17th-most populous city in the United States; the Charlotte metropolitan area's population ranks 22nd in the U. S. and had a 2016 population of 2,474,314. The Charlotte metropolitan area is part of a sixteen-county market region or combined statistical area with a 2016 census-estimated population of 2,632,249. Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country's fastest-growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents. Based on U. S. Census data from 2005 to 2015, it tops the 50 largest U. S. cities as the millennial hub. It is the second-largest city in the southeastern United States, just behind Florida, it is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States. It is listed as a "gamma" global city by World Cities Research Network. Residents are referred to as "Charlotteans".
Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States since 1995. Among Charlotte's many notable attractions, some of the most popular include the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the Charlotte Independence of the USL, the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse, two NASCAR Cup Series races and the NASCAR All-Star Race, the Wells Fargo Championship, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Carowinds amusement park, the U. S. National Whitewater Center. Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate, it is located several miles east of the Catawba River and southeast of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake are two smaller man-made lakes located near the city; the Catawba Native Americans were the first known historic tribe to settle Mecklenburg County and were first recorded around 1567 in Spanish records.
By 1759 half the Catawba tribe had died from smallpox, endemic among Europeans, because the Catawba had no acquired immunity to the new disease. At the time of their largest population, Catawba people numbered 10,000, but by 1826 their total population had dropped to 110; the European-American city of Charlotte was developed first by a wave of migration of Scots-Irish Presbyterians, or Ulster-Scot settlers from Northern Ireland, who dominated the culture of the Southern Piedmont Region. They made up the principal founding European population in the backcountry. German immigrants settled the area before the American Revolutionary War, but in much smaller numbers, they still contributed to the early foundations of the region. Mecklenburg County was part of Bath County of New Hanover Precinct, which became New Hanover County in 1729; the western portion of New Hanover split into Bladen County in 1734, its western portion splitting into Anson County in 1750. Mecklenburg County formed from Anson County in 1762.
Further apportionment was made in 1792, after the American Revolutionary War, with Cabarrus County formed from Mecklenburg. In 1842, Union County formed from Mecklenburg's southeastern portion and a western portion of Anson County; these areas were all part of one of the original six judicial/military districts of North Carolina known as the Salisbury District. The area, now Charlotte was settled by people of European descent around 1755, when Thomas Spratt and his family settled near what is now the Elizabeth neighborhood. Thomas Polk, who married Thomas Spratt's daughter, built his house by the intersection of two Native American trading paths between the Yadkin and Catawba rivers. One path was part of the Great Wagon Road. Nicknamed the "Queen City", like its county a few years earlier, Charlotte was named in honor of German princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become the Queen Consort of Great Britain and Ireland in 1761, seven years before the town's incorporation. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents.
He wrote that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion", leading to the nickname "The Hornet's Nest". Within decades of Polk's settling, the area grew to become "Charlotte Town", incorporating in 1768; the crossroads in the Piedmont became the heart of Uptown Charlotte. In 1770, surveyors marked the streets in a grid pattern for future development; the east–west trading path became Trade Street, the Great Wagon Road became Tryon Street, in honor of William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina. The intersection of Trade and Tryon—commonly known today as "Trade & Tryon," or "The Square"—is more properly called "Independence Square". While surveying the boundary between the Carolinas in 1772, William Moultrie stopped in Charlotte Town, whose five or six houses were "very ordinary built of logs". Local leaders came together in 1775 and signed the Mecklenburg Resolves, more popularly known as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. While not a true declaration of independence from British rule, it is among the first such declarations that led to the American Revolution.
May 20, the traditional date of the signing of the declaration, is celebrated annually in Charlotte as "MecDec", with musket and cannon fire by reenactors in Independence Square. North Carolina's state flag and state seal bea
Cincinnati Gardens was an indoor arena located in Cincinnati, Ohio that opened in 1949. It was sold by the Robinson Family in 2016 to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority; the 25,000 square foot brick and limestone building, whose entrance was decorated with six three-dimensional carved athletic figures. When it opened, its seating capacity of 11,000+ made it the seventh largest indoor arena in the United States; the Cincinnati Gardens' first event was an exhibition hockey game. It has been the home of six league championship hockey teams, most was the home of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League, but it has been host to numerous other sporting events, stage shows and political rallies; the Gardens' final primary tenant was the Cincinnati Rollergirls of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association. On June 16, 2016, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority approved a contract to acquire the property, located at 2250 Seymour Ave. in Bond Hill, for $1.75 million, from the Robinson Family.
The 19-acre site will be repurposed, for future light manufacturing. The deal brings to close a multi-year search by the Gardens' owners for a new buyer – and ends a 67-year legacy. Demolition took place in March 2018. Cincinnati Gardens has been known as a venue for ice hockey and boxing; the Gardens' first event was an exhibition hockey game on February 22, 1949, between the Dallas Texans of the United States Hockey League and their parent National Hockey League team, the Montreal Canadiens. Several of the Texans' players would soon seed the first professional hockey team in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Mohawks, who played at the Gardens from 1949 through 1958—three seasons in the AHL and six in the International Hockey League. Three NHL Hall of Famers played for the Mohawks — Harry Howell, Buddy O'Connor and Clint Smith — and from 1952 through 1957, the team won an IHL record five consecutive Turner Cup championships. Cincinnati Gardens was home to the Cincinnati Mohawks of the Midwest Amateur Hockey League in 1966, 1968, 1969.
Most of the Mohawks games were held in the annex. The Xavier University Ice Hockey Program began using the Cincinnati Gardens as its home facility for the 2007-2008 season. During the summer before the 2009-2010 season the team constructed its own permanent home inside the arena; the Chuck Stout Locker Room now serves as the home of the Xavier ice hockey team. Complete with 22 individual stalls, shower facilities, coaches room and equipment and workout area the Chuck Stout Locker Room is a great asset to the Xavier program; the Cincinnati Swords played in the AHL as an affiliate of the NHL Buffalo Sabres from 1971 through 1974 and won the Calder Cup as AHL champions in 1973. The Cincinnati Wings played the 1963-64 season at the Gardens, relocating from Indianapolis after their home arena, the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, was damaged in a propane explosion on October 31, 1963 which killed 74 people; the Cincinnati Cyclones played in the East Coast Hockey League for two seasons and the IHL for five seasons at the Cincinnati Gardens.
When the Cyclones moved to U. S. Bank Arena in 1997, the AHL returned to the building for the third time with the creation of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, an affiliate of the NHL Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Detroit Red Wings, who played in the building until 2005; the Cincinnati Thunder of the NA3HL moved to the Gardens beginning with the 2015-16 season, making the team the Gardens' newest hockey tenant. Though having no pro-hockey team, the Gardens still acted as the home rink for several area high school teams; the Gardens was home to the Cincinnati Royals of the National Basketball Association from 1957 through 1972. Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson played for the Royals from 1960 through 1970; the arena hosted the NBA All-Star Game in January 1966, Royals' guard Adrian Smith was named the game's Most Valuable Player. College basketball, including 42 "Crosstown Shootout" games between the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, has been played at the Gardens since its first week in 1949.
The arena has served as the home court for both schools at various times, lastly for Xavier from 1983 until their move to the on-campus Cintas Center in 2000. From 1984 through 1987, the Cincinnati Slammers of the Continental Basketball Association played their home games at the Gardens. High school basketball has used the Gardens over the years, both for regular season games – such as contests matching Middletown & Hamilton Highs – as well as post-season tournaments including the state tourney in 1953 & 1955; the Gardens has hosted a number of boxing matches several featuring prominent local & international fighters. Eventual Heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer Ezzard Charles of Cincinnati defeated Joey Maxim in a heavyweight title contender fight on February 28, 1949, in the arena's first week. Cincinnatian Wallace "Bud" Smith defended his World Lightweight crown there on October 19, 1955. Numerous Golden Gloves competitions have drawn as many as 10,000+ fans, a "Super Brawl Sunday" event was held in 2002.
On August 30, 2008, Relentless Events packed over 6000 fans into the arena for former heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster's comeback fight against Danny Batchelder. Brewster won by fifth-round knockout. Local favorites Rashad Holloway and Aaron Pryor Jr. won on the undercard. Other sports hosted at the Gardens have included: Indoor soccer – Cincinnati Silverbacks, Cincinnati Kings Roller Derby – Cincinnati Rollergirls.
Memphis is a city located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Shelby County, United States. The 2017 city population was 652,236, making Memphis the largest city on the Mississippi River, second-largest city in Tennessee, as well as the 25th largest city in the United States. Greater Memphis is the 42nd largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 1,348,260 in 2017; the city is the anchor of West Tennessee and the greater Mid-South region, which includes portions of neighboring Arkansas and Mississippi. Memphis is the seat of the most populous county in Tennessee; as one of the most historic and cultural cities of the southern United States, the city features a wide variety of landscapes and distinct neighborhoods. The first European explorer to visit the area of present-day Memphis was Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto in 1541 with his expedition into the New World; the high bluffs protecting the location from the waters of the Mississippi would be contested between the Spanish and the English as Memphis took shape.
Modern Memphis was founded in 1819 by three prominent Americans: John Overton, James Winchester, future president Andrew Jackson. Memphis grew into one of the largest cities of the Antebellum South as a market for agricultural goods, natural resources like lumber, the American slave trade. After the American Civil War and the end of slavery, the city experienced faster growth into the 20th century as it became among the largest world markets for cotton and lumber. Home to Tennessee's largest African-American population, Memphis played a prominent role in the American civil rights movement and was the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 assassination. The city now hosts the National Civil Rights Museum—a Smithsonian affiliate institution. Since the civil rights era, Memphis has grown to become one of the nation's leading commercial centers in transportation and logistics; the city's largest employer is the multinational courier corporation FedEx, which maintains its global air hub at Memphis International Airport, making it the second-busiest cargo airport in the world.
Today, Memphis is a regional center for commerce, media and entertainment. The city has long had a prominent music scene, with historic blues clubs on Beale Street originating the unique Memphis blues sound during early 20th century; the city's music has continued to be shaped by a multi-cultural mix of influences across the blues, rock n' roll and hip-hop genres. Memphis barbecue has achieved international prominence, the city hosts the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which attracts over 100,000 visitors to the city annually. Occupying a substantial bluff rising from the Mississippi River, the site of Memphis has been a natural location for human settlement by varying cultures over thousands of years; the area was known to be settled in the first millennium A. D. by people of the Mississippian Culture, who had a network of communities throughout the Mississippi River Valley and its tributaries. They built complexes with large earthwork ceremonial and burial mounds as expressions of their sophisticated culture.
The historic Chickasaw Indian tribe, believed to be their descendants occupied the site. French explorers led by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto encountered the Chickasaw tribe in that area in the 16th century. J. D. L. Holmes, writing in Hudson's Four Centuries of Southern Indians, notes that this site was a third strategic point in the late 18th century through which European powers could control United States encroachment and their interference with Indian matters—after Fort Nogales and Fort Confederación: "... Chickasaw Bluffs, located on the Mississippi River at the present-day location of Memphis. Spain and the United States vied for control of this site, a favorite of the Chickasaws."In 1795 the Spanish Governor-General of Louisiana, Francisco Luis Héctor de Carondelet sent his Lieutenant Governor, Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, to negotiate and secure consent from the local Chickasaw so that a Spanish fort could be erected on the bluff. Holmes notes that consent was reached despite opposition from "disappointed Americans and a pro-American faction of the Chickasaws", when the "pro-Spanish faction signed the Chickasaw Bluffs Cession and Spain provided the Chickasaws with a trading post…".
Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas remained a focal point of Spanish activity until, as Holmes summarizes: he Treaty of San Lorenzo or Pinckney's Treaty of 1795, all of the careful, diplomatic work by Spanish officials in Louisiana and West Florida, which has succeeded for a decade in controlling the Indians, was undone. The United States gained the right to navigate the Mississippi River and won control over the Yazoo Strip north of the thirty-first parallel; the Spanish dismantled the fort, shipping its iron to their locations in Arkansas. In 1796, the site became the westernmost point of the newly admitted state of Tennessee, located in what was called the Southwest United States; the area was still occupied and controlled by the Chickasaw nation. Captain Isaac Guion led an American force down the Ohio River to claim the land, arriving on July 20, 1797. By this time, the Spanish had departed; the fort's ruins went unnoticed twenty years when Memphis was laid out as a city, after the United States government paid the Chickasaw for land.
The city of Memphis was founded on May 22, 1819 by John Overton, James Winchester and Andrew Jackson. They named it after the ancient capita
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide, she released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts—as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know"—influenced several African-American women artists who followed in her footsteps. Houston became a background vocalist while in high school. With the guidance of Arista Records chairman Clive Davis, she signed to the label at the age of 19, her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston and Whitney, both reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and became two of the world's best-selling albums of all time. She became the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from "Saving All My Love for You" in 1985 to "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" in 1988.
Houston made her screen acting debut in the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard. She recorded seven songs for the film's soundtrack, including "I Will Always Love You", which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history; the soundtrack album received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the world's best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston made other high-profile film appearances, including Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife; the theme song "Exhale" became her eleventh and final number-one single on the Hot 100 chart, while The Preacher Wife's soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history. Following the critical and commercial success of My Love Is Your Love, Houston signed a $100 million contract with Arista Records. However, her personal struggles began overshadowing her career, the album Just Whitney received mixed reviews, her drug use and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown were publicized in media.
After a six-year break from recording, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart with her final studio album, I Look to You. On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in the Beverly Beverly Hills, California; the coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards which she was scheduled to perform and featured prominently in international media. Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963, in what was a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, she was the daughter of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. and gospel singer Emily "Cissy" Houston. Her elder brother Michael is a singer, her elder half-brother is former basketball player Gary Garland, her parents were both African American. Through her mother, Houston was a first cousin of Dee Dee Warwick, her godmother was Darlene Love and her honorary aunt was Aretha Franklin, whom she met at age 8 or 9 when her mother took her to a recording studio.
Houston was raised a Baptist, but was exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four, her parents' marriage ended in divorce. At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she learned to play the piano, her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". Houston attended a Catholic girls' high school in Caldwell, New Jersey. Houston graduated from Mount Saint Dominic in 1981. While Houston was still in school, her mother, continued to teach her how to sing. Houston spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where Cissy was performing, she would get on stage and perform with her. Houston was exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack, most of whom would have an influence on her as a singer and performer. In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band's single "Life's a Party".
In 1978, at age 15, Houston sang background vocals for Lou Rawls. In the early 1980s, Houston started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother, she appeared in Seventeen and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of the magazine. She was featured in layouts in the pages of Glamour, Young Miss, appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial, her looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models of that time. While modeling, she continued her burgeoning recording career by working with producers Michael Beinhorn, Bill Laswell and Martin Bisi on an album they were spearheading called One Down, credited to the group Material. For that project, Houston contributed the ballad "Memories", a cover of a song by Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice called her contribution "one of the most gorgeous ballads you've heard", she appeared as a lead vocalist on one track on a Paul Jabara album, entitled Paul Jabara and Friends, released by Columbia Records in 1983.
In 1983, Gerry Gri