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Whitney Houston: A Life in Pictures

The superstar singer, who died Saturday at age 48, entered her third rehab last year and lived a life marked by erratic behavior and trouble with the law. We look back on the addiction-related struggles of an icon.

  • July 18, 1992

    Houston marries singer Bobby Brown in New Jersey in front of 800 guests. She was 29 years old.

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  • March 1993

    Her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, is born.

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  • 1999

    Whitney’s mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, stages an intervention, but Whitney refuses treatment. "I said, 'Mommy, you've raised me with the love, and with God. Now if I can't make it with you and with the love of God, I'm not putting my life in someone else's hands,'" Houston tells Diane Sawyer years later. 

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  • January 2000

    Houston’s suitcase—reportedly containing less than half an ounce of marijuana in two plastic baggies and three partially smoked marijuana cigarettes—is seized at the Keahole-Kona Airport in Hawaii. Houston is not arrested and boards a plane before police arrive. Charges are later dropped. 

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  • August 2001

    Houston accompanies Bobby Brown as he is rushed to a Morristown, New Jersey, hospital at 3 a.m. to receive treatment for an apparent seizure. Houston's spokeswoman, Nancy Seltzer, later explains, "He hadn't been getting enough fluid and basically he was lightheaded.”

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  • November 2002

    Brown is arrested in Atlanta and charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, speeding and having no driver's license or proof of insurance, according to the Associated Press.

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  • December 2002

    In an interview with Diane Sawyer on Primetime, Houston admits, “I partied a lot. Trust me: I partied my tail off,” and, "First of all, let's get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack." Brown, who is also interviewed on the show, says, “Me and drugs. We're not friends. We're not friends at all. I'm a very high-strung person...(Marijuana) seems to help me...from going up and down."

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  • March 2004

    Houston enters rehab for the second time. 

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  • March 2004

    Five days into her scheduled one-month treatment program, Houston leaves rehab. "Miss Houston is continuing the prescribed treatment as was planned," says rep Nancy Seltzer. "Her movements are in total keeping with the program." 

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  • May 2004

    Houston’s Atlanta attorney, Mark Trigg, releases a statement: "[Whitney Houston] successfully completed the 30-day treatment program and she is now in an aftercare program, the specific terms of which are confidential." “I'm finally completely me again," Houston tells the press. “I feel much stronger than ever before."

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  • March 2005

    Houston enters the Crossroads treatment center (founded by musician Eric Clapton) in Antigua, West Indies.

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  • June 2005

    Bobby Brown does interviews to promote his new Bravo reality show, Being Bobby Brown. "They have made it seem like my wife was a crack-head,” he says. “It wasn't like that. Whitney is healthy and is looking extremely good."

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  • April 2007

    Houston and Brown’s divorce is finalized.

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  • April 2008

    In his autobiography, Bobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But, Brown slams Houston: “I never used cocaine until after I met Whitney. Before then, I had experimented with other drugs, but marijuana was my drug of choice. At one point in my life, I used drugs uncontrollably. I was using everything I could get my hands on, from cocaine to heroin, weed and cooked cocaine." He also says their marriage was “doomed” and confesses to sleeping with other women.

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  • September 2009

    Houston tells Oprah Winfrey that she was a heavy user of marijuana and rock cocaine. She said that she still occasionally drinks but, “no weed, no coke.”

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  • April 2010

    Houston is hospitalized for an upper respiratory infection during her European tour. “I’m feeling great," she says, after she was released from the hospital. “My health is terrific. But this is a time when I get a lot of allergies. I'm just ready to move on and continue my world tour."

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  • March 2011

    Photos of Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, allegedly snorting cocaine hit the Internet. Bobbi fires back on Twitter, “A former very dear person to me did this. Set me up to make it look exactly what it looks like. God will smite them yes...But it's really not what it looks like...People will do anything for money which is extremely sad, and I'm very hurt by this."

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  • March 3, 2011

    Houston is spotted fist-pumping, singing, and hugging her daughter Bobbi Kristina in the front row of a Prince concert in Los Angeles.

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  • May 10, 2011

    Houston’s rep confirms that she has once again entered rehab: "I can confirm that Whitney Houston is currently in an outpatient rehab program for drug and alcohol treatment. Whitney voluntarily entered the program to support her long-standing recovery process."

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  • June 6, 2011

    After completing a 30-day outpatient program, Houston decides to seek additional treatment on her own—including, reportedly, a round-the-clock sober companion.

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  • February 9, 2012

    Whitney appears on stage with Kelly Price at the "Kelly Price and Friends Unplugged" Grammy party in Hollywood. Two days later, she's found dead by her stylist and bodyguard in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton hotel. There are reports of Xanax and other prescribed medication in her room.


    Alison Prato is a writer and editor specializing in entertainment journalism. Her work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar UK, Women’s Health, Health, New York Magazine, Maxim, Page Six Magazine, Playboy and The Daily Beast.

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By Alison Prato 02/10/12

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