Cissy Houston is a 90-year-old American soul and gospel singer who is better recognized as the mother of Whitney Houston. Cissy and her daughter are both popular, thanks to their incredible musical talents. Moreover, Cissy Houston’s family circle is comprised of several celebrities who have made their mark in the entertainment or sporting world.
Alongside her 7 older siblings, Cissy began singing in Church from an early age and her parents were a huge influence on her professional career.
Cissy has remained unmarried since parting ways with her second husband, John Russell Houston, in the year 1990. Before him, she was married to Freddie Garland between 1955 to 1957.
Cissy Houston Is The Only Surviving Child Of Her Parents
Cissy Houston was born on September 30, 1933, in New Jersey as Emily Drinkard. Nitcholas “Nitch” Drinkard was her father and he died in 1952 of stomach cancer while her mother, Delia Mae Drinkard passed in 1941. Following the death of her parents, Cissy went to live with her older sister Lee, and her husband Mancel Warwick.
Meanwhile, she has said that her father ensured all his children were well-educated and he also encouraged them to sing in Church. Houston was raised Methodist Episcopal and said that she encountered Christ when she turned 14.90-year-old Cissy is the only one left of all her siblings. Meet them.
- William (1918–2003)
- Handsome (1925–1986)
- Nicky (1929–1992)
- Larry (1931–2012)
- Lee (1920–2005)
- Marie (1922–2007)
- Anne (1927–2003)
Cissy Houston Has Been Married and Divorced Twice
Freddie Garland is Cissy’s first husband and the pair got married in 1955. They welcomed their first child, Gary Garland on October 12, 1957. Gary is not a singer like his mother but he has made a name for himself as an NBA basketball player and DePaul University Athletic Hall of Famer.
Cissy and her first husband Freddie later divorced in 1957, the same year they had their son. Afterward, the American singer met John Russell Jr. and began a relationship with him. Their romance led to the birth of their kids, Michael (Born August 14, 1961) and Whitney (born August 9, 1963).
John and Cissy’s marriage later turned volatile. By 1977, they agreed to legally separate, though they remained married until 1991.
Whitney, the Most Famous of all Cissy’s Kids Died in 2012
All of Cissy’s children have excelled in their various career endeavors. However, Whitney maintained her spot as one of the best-selling music artists of all time with over 220 million records sold worldwide.
Often referred to as ‘the voice’ Whitney began singing at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. She also sang as a background vocalist while in high school.
Whitney made her professional debut in 1977 and her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston (1985) and Whitney (1987), both peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. She has also released numerous hit singles that established her as a catalyst in the acceptance of black female artists.
Additionally, Whitney is also an actress and she made her acting debut with the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard (1992). She is known for movies like Waiting to Exhale (1995), The Preacher’s Wife (1996) and Cinderella (1997).
Away from her professional life, Whitney, married American singer, songwriter, rapper, and dancer, Bobby Brown in 1992. They had their first and only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown on March 4, 1993.
Unfortunately, Whitney’s marriage turned abusive, leading her to file for legal separation from Brown. Their divorce was granted on April 24, 2007.
Sadly, Whitney was pronounced dead on February 11, 2011, two days after she was found unconscious in The Beverly Hilton Hotel. The cause of death was not immediately made public. But on March 22, 2012, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reported that Whitney’s death was caused by drowning and the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use. Further toxicology results revealed additional drugs in her system.
Meet Other Famous Entertainers who are Related to Cissy Houston
Bobbi Kristina Brown
Bobbi was an American reality television personality and singer. She was the only child of Whitney and her estranged husband, Bobby Brown.
Bobbi was looking forward to building a solid entertainment career until her demise on January 31, 2015. In a similar fate to that of her mother. She was found unconscious in a bathtub in her home. Afterward, went into a coma for nearly six months before she died from lobar pneumonia on July 26, aged 22.
Meanwhile, Bobbi is not the only grandchild of Cissy Houston. Cissy has six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Marie Dionne Warwick
Marie is an American singer, actress, and television host. She has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and has won many awards, including six Grammy Awards. Marie is also known as the maternal first cousin of Cissy Houston.
Dee Dee Warwick
Dee Dee Warwick was an American soul singer. She was the sister of singer Dionne Warwick, the niece of Cissy Houston, and the first cousin of singer Whitney Houston. She had congenital diabetes and her health began to deteriorate in the 90s. Warwick suffered a stroke in the summer of 2008 and died on October 18, 2008, aged 66.
Leontyne is an American spinto soprano. She was the first African-American soprano to receive international acclaim and regularly appeared at the world’s major opera houses, including the Royal Opera House. In addition to her career, Leontyne is known as the first cousin of Cissy Houston.