By the time she was a teenager, she was singing backing vocals for some of her idols, like Chaka Khan.
Whitney then started modelling, becoming the first African American woman on the cover of Seventeen magazine, but soon the focus was back on her vocals, and she was soon scouted by record labels to sign her.
She was signed by Arista Records and in 1985, she released her first album, an eponymous album which gained great success across Europe before it started to become popular elsewhere.
Eventually, her fellow Americans started paying attention, and she received Grammy nominations, winning the Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for Saving All My Love For You.
Her second album, Whitney, was released in 1987, and also won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for I Wanna Dance With Somebody.