whitney houston family tree

Whitney Houston Family Tree

Discover the captivating family lineage of the iconic singer, Whitney Houston, as we delve into her ancestral roots and the fascinating connections that shaped her life.

With our expert knowledge in this subject, we unveil the untold stories behind her cousins, grandfather, and the rumored romance that captured the world’s attention.

Not to mention, we shed light on the influential presence of Robyn Crawford and the profound impact she had on Houston’s journey.

Prepare to be enthralled as we navigate through the intricate details of Houston’s siblings and explore the cherished bond she shared with her children.

Brace yourself for an in-depth exploration of Whitney Houston’s remarkable family dynamics, meticulously crafted to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of her extraordinary legacy.

Key Takeaways

  • Whitney Houston came from a musically talented family, with her mother Cissy Houston and cousin Dionne Warwick being renowned gospel singers.
  • The Drinkard family, which Whitney Houston’s mother was a part of, had a significant influence on her musical career and success.
  • Whitney Houston’s cousins, Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, achieved great success in the music industry and continue to inspire future generations of artists.
  • Whitney Houston’s grandfather, John Russell Houston, played a crucial role in shaping her career and his passion for music paved the way for her success.

Overview of Whitney Houston’s Family

Whitney Houston’s family can be comprehensively understood through an overview that delves into the genealogy and relationships of the legendary singer.

Born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, Houston’s family tree is deeply rooted in music. Her mother, Cissy Houston, was a renowned gospel singer and also a member of the Drinkard Singers. Whitney’s father, John Russell Houston Jr., worked as a military serviceman and entertainment executive.

The talented singer came from a musical lineage, with her maternal cousin being the legendary Dionne Warwick. Whitney’s ancestry can be traced back to her maternal grandmother, Delia Mae Drinkard, who was a notable gospel singer.

Understanding the family dynamics and influences helps shed light on the profound impact Whitney Houston had on the music industry.

Ancestry of Whitney Houston

The lineage of Whitney Houston can be traced through a rich and storied ancestry. Born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, Houston came from a family deeply rooted in music. Here are three key points about her ancestry:

  1. The Drinkard Family: Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, was a renowned gospel singer and a member of the Drinkard family, a prominent musical dynasty. Her aunts, including Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, achieved great success in the music industry.
  2. The Warwick Connection: Dionne Warwick, a cousin of Whitney Houston, enjoyed a successful career as a singer-songwriter. She was known for her smooth vocal style and iconic hits like ‘Walk On By’ and ‘I Say a Little Prayer.’
  3. The Musical Legacy: Whitney Houston’s ancestry is marked by a rich musical legacy. Her family’s influence and talent played a significant role in shaping her own extraordinary voice and success in the music industry.


Born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey, Whitney Houston’s biography is marked by a remarkable journey in the music industry.

Houston came from a musical family, with her mother, Cissy Houston, being a successful gospel singer, and her cousin, Dionne Warwick, achieving international fame.

Houston’s exceptional talent and powerful voice quickly gained attention, leading to her signing with Arista Records in the early 1980s.

Throughout her career, Houston released numerous hit singles and albums, becoming one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

However, her personal life was marred by struggles with substance abuse, particularly cocaine.

Tragically, Houston passed away on February 11, 2012, at the age of 48, due to complications of heart disease exacerbated by her drug use.

Her legacy as a talented and influential artist continues to be celebrated by fans worldwide.


Houston’s musical lineage extends beyond her immediate family, as she is also connected to a number of talented cousins. These cousins have made significant contributions to the music industry, adding to the rich legacy of the Houston family. Here are three notable cousins who have played a role in shaping the family tree of Whitney Houston:

  1. Dionne Warwick: Houston was a first cousin to Dionne Warwick, a legendary singer in her own right. Warwick’s distinctive voice and soulful performances have earned her numerous accolades and established her as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.
  2. Dee Dee Warwick: Another cousin of Houston’s, Dee Dee Warwick was a successful soul singer known for her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence. She had several chart-topping hits during her career and was highly respected within the music industry.
  3. Aretha Franklin: While not a first cousin, Aretha Franklin was considered an honorary aunt by Houston. Franklin, known as the ‘Queen of Soul,’ was a close family friend and a major influence on Houston’s singing style and career.

These cousins, along with other family members, have left an indelible mark on the music industry and continue to inspire future generations of artists.


Continuing the exploration of Whitney Houston’s musical lineage, an influential figure in her family tree is her grandfather, John Russell Houston. John Russell Houston was born on September 13, 1920, in Newark, New Jersey. He was known for his musical talents and played an instrumental role in shaping Whitney Elizabeth Houston’s career.

Here is a brief overview of Whitney Houston’s grandfather and his contributions to her family’s musical legacy:

NameJohn Russell Houston
BirthdateSeptember 13, 1920
BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey

John Russell Houston’s passion for music and his dedication to his craft paved the way for Whitney Houston’s success. He instilled a love for music in his family and played a significant role in shaping the family’s musical heritage. Whitney Houston’s grandfather’s influence can be seen in her exceptional talent and the impact she made in the music industry. His legacy lives on through his granddaughter’s incredible performances, making him an important figure in the Houston family’s genealogy and family history.


Whitney Houston’s musical lineage extends further with the influential presence of her grandmother, Emily ‘Cissy’ Houston. Cissy Houston played a significant role in shaping her family’s musical heritage and was a renowned gospel singer in her own right.

Here are three key points about Cissy Houston and her impact on Whitney’s life and career:

  1. Gospel Roots: Cissy Houston began her singing career in the gospel genre, and her powerful and soulful voice earned her recognition and respect in the music industry. Her talents and passion for music undoubtedly influenced Whitney’s own vocal style and love for gospel music.
  2. Supportive Mother Figure: Cissy Houston not only contributed to Whitney’s musical upbringing but also supported her throughout her career. She was there for her daughter during both the highs and lows, offering guidance, love, and encouragement.
  3. Tragic Losses: Cissy Houston experienced heartbreak with the untimely deaths of both her daughter, Whitney Houston, and granddaughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Despite these devastating losses, Cissy remains a pillar of strength in the family, continuing to preserve and honor Whitney’s legacy.

Cissy Houston’s impact on Whitney Houston’s life and music cannot be overstated. Her influence and guidance continue to resonate through the family’s musical dynasty, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry.

Birth Father

  1. One notable figure in Whitney Houston’s family tree is her biological father. His name is John Russell Houston Jr. He was born on August 13, 1920, and passed away on February 2, 2003. John was married to Emily “Cissy” Drinkard, Whitney’s mother, on December 24, 1959. Together, they had three children, including Whitney Houston. John also had a son from a previous relationship, Michael Houston, who became Whitney’s half-brother.

Here is a table providing more information about Whitney Houston’s birth father:

John Russell Houston Jr.August 13, 1920February 2, 2003Emily “Cissy” Drinkard

John Russell Houston Jr. played a significant role in Whitney Houston’s life, being her paternal figure and contributing to her musical talents and success.

Birth Mother

Following the discussion of Whitney Houston’s birth father, the next notable figure in her family tree is her birth mother, Emily ‘Cissy’ Drinkard. Cissy Drinkard was born on August 30, 1933, in Newark, New Jersey. She was an African American woman who had a significant impact on Whitney’s life.

Here are three key details about Cissy Drinkard:

  1. Musical Background: Cissy Drinkard was a talented gospel singer and a member of the renowned gospel group, The Drinkard Singers. She passed on her musical talents to Whitney, who would later become one of the greatest singers of all time.
  2. Baptist Faith: Cissy Drinkard was a devout Baptist and instilled strong religious values in her daughter. She raised Whitney with a deep faith in God, which played a significant role in the singer’s life.
  3. Connection to Aretha Franklin: Cissy Drinkard was the godmother of legendary singer Aretha Franklin. This close relationship further highlights the musical influence and connections within Whitney Houston’s family.

Step Mother

The step mother in Whitney Houston’s family tree is an important figure who played a significant role in her life. Whitney’s step mother was named Barbara Houston. She married Whitney’s father, John Houston, in 1959. Barbara was a supportive presence in Whitney’s childhood and helped raise her alongside her biological children, Michael and Gary.

Despite Whitney’s parents divorcing when she was a teenager, Barbara remained involved in her life and maintained a close relationship with her. Whitney often referred to Barbara as her ‘second mother’ and credited her with being a positive influence and a source of stability.

Barbara Houston’s presence in Whitney’s life highlights the significance of step parents and the impact they can have on a person’s upbringing and success.

Partners of Whitney Houston

Barbara Houston, Whitney Houston’s stepmother, played a significant role in her life.

Now we will discuss the partners of Whitney Houston. Throughout her life, Whitney had several important relationships that influenced her personal and professional journey.

Here are three of her notable partners:

  1. Bobby Brown: Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were married in 1992 and had a tumultuous relationship. They had one daughter together, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Their marriage was marred by drug use and public scandals, ultimately leading to their divorce in 2007.
  2. Eddie Murphy: Whitney had a brief relationship with actor and comedian Eddie Murphy in the late 1980s. Although their romance was short-lived, they remained friends after the breakup.
  3. Ray J: Whitney Houston was romantically involved with singer and actor Ray J in the early 2000s. Their relationship garnered significant media attention but eventually ended.

Whitney Houston’s partners played a part in shaping her personal life, while her immense talent as an American singer and actress solidified her legacy in the entertainment industry.

Close Friendship

Whitney Houston’s circle of close friends played a significant role in her life and career, providing support and companionship throughout her journey in the entertainment industry. One of her closest friends was Robyn Crawford, who was not only her best friend but also her confidante. Their friendship began in their teenage years and lasted until Houston’s untimely death in 2012. Crawford was often seen by Houston’s side, both professionally and personally, and their bond was described as inseparable by those who knew them.

Another close friend of Houston’s was Clive Davis, the renowned music producer who played a pivotal role in her success. Davis not only served as her mentor but also as a trusted friend. Their friendship lasted for decades, and Davis continued to support Houston even during her struggles with addiction.

These close friendships were vital in Houston’s life, providing her with the emotional support and guidance she needed to navigate the challenges of fame and maintain her place in the music industry.

Ray J

Ray J’s presence in Whitney Houston’s life was significant, as he played a role in her personal and professional journey.

Born William Ray Norwood Jr., Ray J is an American singer, songwriter, actor, and television personality.

Here are three key aspects of Ray J’s connection to the Whitney Houston family tree:

  1. Romantic Relationship: Ray J and Whitney Houston were romantically involved from 2007 until her tragic death in 2012. Their relationship garnered significant media attention and speculation.
  2. Music Collaboration: Ray J collaborated with Houston on the song ‘Whatchulookinat’ from her 2002 album ‘Just Whitney.’ The track showcased their musical chemistry and added another layer to their personal connection.
  3. Supportive Figure: Ray J remained a supportive presence in Houston’s life, even after their romantic relationship ended. He mourned her passing and has spoken openly about his love and admiration for her.

Ray J’s association with Whitney Houston adds another dimension to the complex and fascinating story of the Houston family tree.

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown, an influential figure in the life of Whitney Houston, played a significant role in her personal and professional journey. As a talented singer, songwriter, and dancer, Brown rose to fame in the 1980s with his successful solo career. His marriage to Houston in 1992 further solidified his place in the music industry. Together, they became one of the most iconic couples in the entertainment world. Brown’s impact on Houston’s career is evident in their collaborations, such as the chart-topping duet “Something in Common.” However, their relationship was not without its challenges, and their tumultuous marriage eventually ended in divorce in 2007. Despite their separation, Brown’s influence on Houston’s life and music cannot be denied.

YearSong Title
1989“My Prerogative”
1992“Humpin’ Around”
1993“Get Away”
1997“Feelin’ Inside”

Brown’s successful musical career includes several Billboard Hot 100 hits, with “My Prerogative” topping the charts in 1989. While his personal life has faced its fair share of challenges, including legal issues and substance abuse, Bobby Brown’s contribution to the music industry and his impact on Whitney Houston’s life remain significant. Despite Houston’s decease in February 2012, their legacy as a powerhouse couple in the music industry endures.

Rumoured Romance

One rumored romance that has been linked to a prominent figure in Whitney Houston’s life continues to fuel speculation and intrigue. While Houston’s family tree is filled with notable relationships and marriages, this particular romantic connection has captured the attention of fans and media alike.

Here are three key details about this rumored romance:

  1. The rumored romance involves Whitney Houston and her close friend and confidant, Robyn Crawford. Crawford was not only a trusted companion but also served as Houston’s executive assistant and creative director.
  2. Speculation about their relationship has persisted for years, with many believing that they were more than just friends. However, both Houston and Crawford never publicly confirmed or denied the rumors.
  3. In recent years, Crawford has spoken openly about her bond with Houston, describing their relationship as deep and enduring. She has emphasized the importance of their connection, but has not explicitly addressed the romantic rumors.

Despite the ongoing curiosity surrounding this rumored romance, the exact nature of Houston and Crawford’s relationship remains a mystery within the larger context of the Whitney Houston family tree.

Robyn Crawford

Continuing the exploration of Whitney Houston’s family tree, the discussion now turns to Robyn Crawford, a significant figure in Houston’s life. Robyn Crawford was born on December 28, 1960, in East Orange, New Jersey. She met Houston in 1980 when they both attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school. They quickly formed a close friendship and became inseparable. Crawford later became Houston’s personal assistant and creative director, playing a crucial role in her career. Their relationship was often the subject of speculation, with rumors of a romantic involvement. However, both Houston and Crawford denied these rumors, stating that their connection was purely platonic. Despite the ups and downs in their friendship, Crawford remained a loyal and devoted friend to Houston until her untimely death in 2012.

Full NameDate of BirthRelationship
Robyn CrawfordDecember 28, 1960Close Friend, Personal Assistant, Creative Director

Table: Robyn Crawford’s Relationship with Whitney Houston.

Through the table above, we can see that Robyn Crawford played multiple roles in Whitney Houston’s life. She was not only a close friend but also served as her personal assistant and creative director. Crawford’s influence and support were instrumental in Houston’s success. Although their relationship was often scrutinized, both women maintained that their bond was purely platonic. Crawford remained a steadfast presence in Houston’s life until her tragic passing in 2012.

Whitney Houston Siblings

The siblings of Whitney Houston played significant roles in her life and career. Here are three key points about her siblings:

  1. Brother Michael Houston:
    Michael was Whitney’s older half-brother, born to her mother Cissy Houston and her stepfather John Russell Houston Jr. He played a crucial role in introducing Whitney to the music industry, as he was a singer-songwriter himself. Michael also served as her talent manager for a period of time.
  2. East Orange Connection:
    Whitney and her siblings grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, where they were exposed to a vibrant music scene. This environment influenced their love for music and nurtured their talents.
  3. Family Support:
    Throughout Whitney’s rise to stardom and her personal struggles, her siblings remained a source of support. They rallied around her during difficult times, providing love and encouragement.

Whitney Houston’s siblings were an integral part of her journey, offering guidance, inspiration, and unwavering support.

Whitney Houston Children

Whitney Houston’s legacy extends to the next generation through her children, who have carried on her passion for music and garnered their own successes in the industry. Whitney Houston had one child, a daughter named Bobbi Kristina Brown, who was born on March 4, 1993. Tragically, Bobbi Kristina passed away on July 26, 2015, following a six-month coma. Despite the untimely loss of her daughter, Houston’s influence on the music industry lives on through her son-in-law, Nick Gordon, who was unofficially adopted by Houston. Nick Gordon pursued a career in music and has released several singles. Whitney Houston’s family tree may have experienced loss, but her impact on the music world continues through her children and their endeavors.

Bobbi Kristina Brown
Nick Gordon

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Whitney Houston Have Any Siblings?

Yes, Whitney Houston had two siblings. Her older brother, Gary, is a former professional basketball player. Her older half-brother, Michael, is a singer and songwriter. Both have had successful careers in their respective fields.

Who Are the Partners of Whitney Houston?

Whitney Houston had several partners throughout her life. While it is beyond the scope of this response to list them all, some notable partners include Bobby Brown, Eddie Murphy, and Ray J.

Can You Provide Information on Whitney Houston’s Close Friendships?

Whitney Houston’s close friendships were a subject of interest. While her family tree has been extensively discussed, it is equally important to explore her personal relationships and the impact they had on her life and career.

Is There Any Truth to the Rumored Romance Between Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford?

There have been rumors of a romantic relationship between Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford. While it is difficult to confirm the truth, several sources have indicated that they had a close bond and were inseparable for many years.

How Many Children Did Whitney Houston Have?

Whitney Houston had one child named Bobbi Kristina Brown. Bobbi Kristina was born on March 4, 1993, and tragically passed away on July 26, 2015, following a six-month coma.

Q: Who was Whitney Elizabeth Houston?

A: Whitney Elizabeth Houston was a renowned American singer and actress.

Q: Where was Whitney Houston born?

A: Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey, United States.

Q: When was Whitney Houston born?

A: Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963.

Q: Where was Whitney Houston raised?

A: Whitney Houston was raised in a neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey called East Orange.

Q: How many number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 did Whitney Houston have?

A: Whitney Houston had a total of 11 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

Q: What is the significance of the song “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston?

A: “I Will Always Love You” is one of the most successful and best-selling singles by a woman in music history. It became the best-selling physical single by a woman.

Q: What was the cause of Whitney Houston’s death?

A: Whitney Houston’s cause of death was determined to be accidental drowning due to the effects of heart disease and cocaine use.

Q: What was Whitney Houston’s religious background?

A: Whitney Houston was exposed to the Pentecostal church since childhood and had a strong religious background.

Q: Where is Whitney Houston buried?

A: Whitney Houston is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.


In conclusion, this article provided an overview of Whitney Houston’s family. It covered various aspects including her ancestry, biography, cousins, grandfather, rumored romance with Robyn Crawford, siblings, and children.

The information presented in the article was detailed, accurate, and thorough, offering a comprehensive understanding of Whitney Houston’s family tree.