American soul and gospel vocalist Emily “Cissy” Houston (née Drinkard; born September 30, 1933) is from the United States. Houston began a solo career after being a successful backup singer for musicians like Roy Hamilton, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin.
For her solo work, Houston won two Grammy Awards. Houston is a cousin of opera singer Leontyne Price, the aunt of singers Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and the mother of singer and actress Whitney Houston.
The family moved to New Jersey during the Great Migration after Houston’s three eldest siblings were born. Her parents strongly emphasized Houston and her siblings’ education and religious involvement, and her father supported their singing.
Delia, the mother of five-year-old Cissy, had a stroke in 1938 and passed away from a brain hemorrhage three years later. When Houston was 18, his father died of stomach cancer in March 1952. Cissy moved in with Lee, her older sister, and Mancel Warrick.
Mancel Warrick Jr., a boy, and Marie Dionne Warrick and Delia Juanita (Dee Dee) Warrick, two daughters, were the Warricks’ three children. Leontyne Price, a soprano, is a Drinkard relative.
How Much is Cissy Houston In 2023?
American soul and gospel singer Cissy Houston has a $6 million net worth. Cissy Houston’s career began as a backup singer for well-known performers like Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley, but she later found even more popularity as a solo performer.
She is Whitney Houston’s mother as well. Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick are her nieces. Using a cross-genre singing style, she has performed alongside several well-known musicians, including Bette Midler, Linda Ronstadt, Burt Bacharach, and Herbie Mann.
She has also been the director and inspiration behind the 200-member New Hope Baptist Church Youth Inspirational Choir for over 50 years. She also consistently performs at the yearly gospel music festival McDonald’s Gospelfest.
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When Did Cissy Houston Start Her Profesion?
Houston joined her siblings as kids to form the gospel singing ensemble the Drinkard Four, later known as the Drinkard Singers. Houston made her television debut during this period on TV Gospel period. Regular church performances by the group were also captured on the “A Joyful Noise” live album, released by RCA.
Houston kept singing as she grew older, and in 1963, she, Doris Troy, and Dee Dee Warwick founded the group Sweet Inspirations. Slyvia Shemwell, Estelle Brown, and Myrna Smith joined the group a few years later, and Atlantic Records signed them.
Lou Rawls, Otis Redding, The Drifters, and Houston’s niece Dionne Warwick were just a few of the performers who utilized the backing voices of The Sweet Inspirations. They are most known for their appearance on the hit song Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison.
Houston can be heard singing the operatic soprano section on the Aretha Franklin song “Ain’t No Way,” which also features her. For The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s piece “Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” The Sweet Inspirations also contributed backing vocals.
By 1969, the quartet provided Elvis Presley with backing vocals in Las Vegas. Houston decided she wanted to quit touring as regularly to concentrate on her solo career and spend more time with her children. Therefore, this would be her final performance with Sweet Inspirations.
Houston had been recording solo music when she was a member of the Sweet Inspirations, but it wasn’t until she signed a recording deal with Commonwealth United Record that she put out a solo album. The “Presenting Cissy Houston” album was released in 1970.
Two of the songs on it reached the R&B charts. James Records bought her contract after which she made another album and several singles in the early 1970s. She published Jim Weatherly’s “Midnight Train to Georgia” in its original form, which Gladys Knight & The Pips later covered and became a smashing success. Up until 1975, she remained a James Records employee.