Remembering Whitney: Watch Her Television Debut On ‘The Merv Griffin Show’ In 1983

Three years ago today, the world mourned the loss of legendary singer Whitney Houston. Whitney is one of pop music’s best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170-200 million records sold worldwide.

On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California. The official coroner’s report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub.

As early as 1980, Houston had been offered several recording contracts but her mother declined the offers stating her daughter must first complete high school. In 1983, Gerry Griffith, an A&R representative from Arista Records, saw her performing with her mother in a New York City nightclub and was impressed. He convinced Arista’s head Clive Davis to make time to see Houston perform. Davis too was impressed and offered a worldwide recording contract which Houston signed. Later that year, she made her national televised debut alongside Davis on The Merv Griffin Show.

In this taping of the Merv Griffin Show, which was her national television debut, Whitney Houston sings a duet with her mother Cissy Houston of a medley of classic Aretha Franklin tunes.

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