Whitney Houston 1963--2012

Paul Bergen / Getty Images

Whitney Houston

In the middle of a 1990 interview with Essence magazine, Whitney Houston suddenly unleashed one of those gospel-inspired flurries of notes that she could sing better than anyone else. Then she stopped. "That's nice," the pop superstar said of her vocal acrobatics. "I love that mess. But does it make a record, and does it have worldwide appeal? And what happens after that? Longevity--that's what it's all about. If you're gonna have a long career, there's a certain way to do it, and I did it that way. I'm not ashamed of it."

Houston, who died Feb. 11 at 48 of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!