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Unbelievable talent, Whitney Houston passes at 48

HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 3/28/2012, 3:24 p.m.

But it would be remiss not to note her political stances, none more admirable than her anti-apartheid activism in the late '80s and her unwavering support for Nelson Mandela. She must be commended, too, for the creation in 1989 of the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, which raises funds for needy children around the world.

Another performance highlight was her appearance at Super Bowl XXV, where she sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." She did it so well that her rendition was later released as a single and made the Top 20 in the U.S. Hot 100, exceeding Jose Feliciano's 1968 version.

Her marriage to Bobby Brown in 1992 followed their meeting on "Soul Train" three years earlier. A year later, their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was born.

That year was also eventful because it marked Houston's film debut with Kevin Costner in "The Bodyguard." Despite harsh reviews, the movie was a box-office success and provided her with yet another venue to express her charm and charisma.

"Whitney Houston was an unbelievable talent and one of the greatest voices of all time," read a joint response from Gamble and Huff. "Her passing is a tremendous shock and terrible shame. She had a rough life and was under so much pressure as an artist because she gave so much to the music community. She was one of the most admired singers ever who was loved by everybody. We're praying for her family."

No matter the circumstances of her death, her life was deeply rewarding and her legacy is forever sealed in the beautiful music she created. "We will always love you," Whitney.