Concept

Cissy Houston

Résumé
Emily "Cissy" Houston (née Drinkard; born September 30, 1933) is an American soul and gospel singer. After a successful career singing backup for such artists as Roy Hamilton, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin, Houston embarked on a solo career, winning two Grammy Awards for her work. Houston is the mother of singer and actress Whitney Houston, the aunt of singers Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and a cousin of opera singer Leontyne Price. Houston is the grandmother of Whitney Houston's only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Born Emily Drinkard in Newark, New Jersey, to Nitcholas "Nitch" Drinkard (1895–1952) and Delia Mae Drinkard (née McCaskill) (1901–1941), she was the eighth and final child; older siblings were brothers William (1918–2003), Handsome (1925–1986), Nicky (1929–1992), and Larry (1931–2012); and sisters Lee (1920–2005), Marie (1922–2007), and Anne (1927–2003). Houston's father Nitcholas Drinkard was born to Susan Bell (called Delia) Drinkard (née Fuller), of Dutch and African-American descent. His father John Drinkard, Jr., was of Native American descent. The Drinkards had owned a substantial amount of farmland in Blakely, Georgia, at a time when it was unusual for black people to have large landholdings. The asset was gradually depleted as they sold small portions of land over time, to resolve the continued legal troubles of a close relative. After Houston's three oldest siblings were born, the family relocated to New Jersey during the Great Migration. Her parents emphasized the children getting educated and being involved in the church, and her father encouraged Houston and her siblings to sing. In 1938, five-year-old Cissy's mother Delia suffered a stroke and died of cerebral hemorrhage three years later. Houston's father died of stomach cancer in March 1952 when Houston was 18. Cissy went to live with her older sister Lee and her husband Mancel Warwick. The Warwicks had three children: a son, Mancel Warwick Jr. and two daughters Marie Dionne Warwick and Delia Juanita (Dee Dee) Warwick.
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