John Russell Houston Cause of Death: The Tragic Story of Whitney Houston’s Father

John Russell Houston was a former army serviceman and entertainment executive who is best known as the father of the late singer and actress Whitney Houston. He had a long and successful career in the music industry, helping his wife Cissy Houston and his daughter Whitney with their singing careers. However, he also had a troubled personal life, which involved three marriages, a lawsuit against his own daughter, and a long battle with diabetes and heart disease. He died on February 2, 2003, at the age of 82. What was the cause of his death and how did it affect his family? Here is a brief overview of his life and death.

His Early Life and Career

John Russell Houston was born on September 13, 1920, in Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. He was the son of John Russell Houston Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Collins Houston. He served in the US Army during World War II and later became an entertainment manager. He founded his own company, John Houston Enterprises, which represented several artists in the R&B and gospel genres. He also worked as a consultant for Arista Records, the label that signed Whitney Houston in 1983.

His Marriage to Cissy Houston and Raising Whitney

John married Cissy Houston, whose birth name was Emily Drinkard, in 1959. Cissy was a renowned singer who had performed with various groups such as The Drinkard Singers, The Sweet Inspirations, and The Gospelaires. She also sang backup for famous artists such as Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, and Dionne Warwick. John and Cissy had two children together: Michael Houston, who is also a singer, and Whitney Houston, who became one of the most successful and influential singers of all time. John also had three other children from his previous and subsequent relationships: Gary Garland, Alana Houston, and John Russell Houston III.

John was very supportive of his children’s musical talents and helped them pursue their careers. He was especially involved in Whitney’s career, acting as her manager and advisor for many years. He negotiated her contracts with Arista Records, which gave her artistic freedom and lucrative deals. He also helped her deal with the media attention and the pressures of fame.

His Divorce from Cissy Houston and Lawsuit against Whitney

However, John’s marriage to Cissy was not without problems. The couple separated in 1987 and divorced in 1990 after 31 years of marriage. The reason for their divorce was not publicly disclosed, but some sources claimed that it was due to John’s infidelity and financial mismanagement. After the divorce, John married Barbara Peggy Houston, who stayed with him until his death.

In 2002, John’s company filed a lawsuit against Whitney, claiming that she owed them $100 million for their services in negotiating her contract renewal with Arista Records in 2001. The contract was worth $100 million for Whitney, but John’s company alleged that she did not pay them their agreed commission of 10%. Whitney denied the allegations and said that her father was being influenced by people who were lying to him. She also said that she loved her father and wanted to settle the matter peacefully.

His Death and Legacy

John suffered from diabetes and heart disease for many years. He had several complications from these conditions, such as kidney failure, stroke, and amputation of his legs. He died on February 2, 2003, at a hospital in Fort Lee, Bergen County, New Jersey. The cause of death was not immediately known, but later reports revealed that it was due to drowning and the effects of heart disease and cocaine use. He was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.

John’s death was a huge shock and loss for his family, especially for Whitney, who was very close to him. She attended his funeral and sang “The Lord Is My Shepherd” in his honor. She also paid tribute to him in her song “I Look to You”, which she released in 2009. She said that her father was her inspiration and motivation throughout her life.

John Russell Houston was a man who had a significant impact on the music industry and on his daughter’s career. He was a loving father who wanted the best for his children. He was also a troubled man who faced many challenges in his personal life. He left behind a legacy of success and controversy that will always be remembered by his fans and family.

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