Is Dionne Warwick Whitney Houston’S Aunt? Examining Their Family Connection

With their undeniable vocal talent and fame in the music industry, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston share an unmistakable musical bond. But does their connection run deeper than music? Were these two singing legends actually family? Keep reading to learn the truth about their relationship and how these two icons are connected.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston were cousins, not aunt and niece. Their family connection traces back to Dionne Warwick’s mother and Whitney Houston’s grandmother, who were sisters. Though not a direct aunt-niece relationship, Warwick and Houston shared blood ties and grew up as extended family.

Detailed Breakdown of Warwick and Houston’s Family Tree

When it comes to the legendary Dionne Warwick and the late Whitney Houston, there is indeed a family connection. Let’s take a closer look at their family tree to understand how these two iconic musicians are related.

Introducing the Drinkard Family Origins

The story begins with the Drinkard family, a highly talented and influential musical family hailing from Newark, New Jersey. The Drinkards were deeply rooted in the gospel music scene, and their contributions to the industry cannot be overstated.

Their impact on Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston’s careers is undeniable.

The family’s musical legacy can be traced back to the patriarch, Lee Drinkard, who was a respected minister and musician. His wife, Delia Drinkard, also played a significant role in their musical journey. Together, they laid the foundation for the family’s musical prowess.

Key Figures: Lee Drinkard and Delia Drinkard

Lee Drinkard’s influence as a gospel musician and minister had a profound impact on his daughters and the future generations. His wife, Delia, was known for her exceptional vocal abilities and served as an inspiration to many aspiring singers.

Delia passed down her musical talents to her daughters, Dionne and Cissy. Dionne Warwick, born Marie Dionne Warrick, is the sister of Cissy Houston, making them siblings. Dionne’s impressive career as a singer, songwriter, and actress has earned her numerous accolades and worldwide recognition.

Cissy Houston, on the other hand, made a name for herself as a renowned gospel and soul singer. She also had a successful career as a background vocalist for various artists before launching her solo career.

How Their Daughters Dionne and Cissy are Connected to Whitney

Now, let’s dive into the connection between Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston. Whitney Houston, the daughter of Cissy Houston, is therefore Dionne Warwick’s niece. This familial bond undoubtedly played a role in Whitney’s early exposure to music and contributed to her rise as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

The influence of Dionne Warwick and Cissy Houston on Whitney’s musical journey cannot be understated. Their guidance and support helped shape her into the iconic artist we know and love. This familial connection also strengthened the bond between the two musical powerhouses.

It is worth noting that Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston collaborated on several occasions, creating beautiful music together. Their duet on the song “Love Will Save the Day” is a testament to their incredible talent and the profound connection they shared.

Warwick and Houston’s Early Relationship and Upbringing

Before we dive into the family connection between Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston, let’s take a look at their early relationship and upbringing. Both Warwick and Houston grew up in Newark, New Jersey, creating a strong bond as cousins from an early age.

Their families were close-knit, and they often spent time together, sharing experiences and creating lasting memories.

Growing Up as Cousins in Newark, New Jersey

Newark, New Jersey, played a significant role in shaping Warwick and Houston’s lives. The city’s vibrant music scene provided them with a rich cultural backdrop to explore their musical talents. They were able to draw inspiration from the diverse range of artists and genres that Newark had to offer, which undoubtedly influenced their musical journeys.

Following in the Footsteps of Family Music Legends

Both Warwick and Houston come from a family of music legends, which undoubtedly played a crucial role in their own musical aspirations. Dionne Warwick’s mother, Lee Drinkard, was a member of the gospel group The Drinkard Singers, and her aunt, Cissy Houston, was a renowned gospel and R&B singer.

Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, was a member of The Sweet Inspirations, a well-known vocal group, and her cousin, Dionne Warwick, had already established herself as a successful singer.

This rich musical lineage provided Warwick and Houston with the foundation and inspiration to pursue their own musical careers. They understood the significance of their family’s musical legacy and were determined to carry it forward with their unique talents and contributions to the music industry.

Early Signs of Their Exceptional Musical Gifts

From a young age, both Warwick and Houston displayed exceptional musical gifts. They possessed powerful and soulful voices that captivated audiences and showcased their immense talent. Their family recognized their potential and encouraged them to pursue their passion for music.

Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, played a significant role in nurturing her daughter’s talent. She provided vocal coaching and guidance, helping Whitney to hone her skills and develop her unique sound.

Dionne Warwick, who had already made a name for herself in the music industry, also served as a mentor and inspiration for her younger cousin.

These early signs of musical excellence were clear indicators of the incredible success that both Warwick and Houston would achieve in their respective careers. Their shared journey from Newark, New Jersey, to becoming iconic figures in the music industry is a testament to their undeniable talent and the impact of their familial connection.

Dionne Warwick’s Rise to Fame and Impact on Houston

Dionne Warwick, the legendary American singer, actress, and television show host, is known for her soulful voice, captivating stage presence, and impressive vocal range. Born on December 12, 1940, in East Orange, New Jersey, Warwick’s journey to stardom began at a young age.

Her remarkable talent and hard work have not only solidified her status as one of the greatest female vocalists of all time but also influenced and paved the way for her niece, the iconic Whitney Houston.

Warwick’s Breakthrough with Songwriting Trio Bacharach and David

One of the defining moments in Dionne Warwick’s career was her collaboration with the songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Together, they created some of the most memorable and timeless songs in the history of popular music.

Warwick’s crystal-clear voice and emotional delivery breathed life into classics like “Walk On By,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.” These songs not only showcased Warwick’s incredible vocal abilities but also solidified her place in the music industry as a force to be reckoned with.

Warwick’s partnership with Bacharach and David was a match made in musical heaven. Their unique blend of pop, soul, and jazz elements, combined with Warwick’s distinct vocal style, created a sound that was fresh, innovative, and instantly recognizable.

This collaboration not only propelled Warwick to stardom but also revolutionized the popular music landscape of the 1960s and 1970s.

Her Trailblazing Pop Soul Sound and Chart Success

As Warwick’s career soared, she embraced a trailblazing pop soul sound that set her apart from her contemporaries. Her ability to effortlessly blend genres and infuse her songs with raw emotion captivated audiences worldwide.

Warwick’s chart success during the 1960s and 1970s was nothing short of phenomenal. With numerous Top 10 hits and several Grammy Awards under her belt, she quickly became a household name and an inspiration to aspiring musicians.

Warwick’s impact on the music industry cannot be overstated. Her unique sound and style opened doors for future female artists, including her niece Whitney Houston, who would go on to become one of the most successful and influential singers of all time.

Mentoring Whitney and Cissy Throughout Houston’s Upbringing

As Whitney Houston’s aunt, Dionne Warwick played a significant role in shaping the budding superstar’s career. Warwick, along with Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, provided guidance, mentorship, and support to the young singer as she navigated the complexities of the music industry.

Warwick’s influence on Houston can be seen in the similarities between their vocal styles and stage presence. Both artists possessed a rare ability to connect with their audience, conveying deep emotions through their powerful voices.

Warwick’s mentorship undoubtedly played a crucial role in developing Houston’s exceptional talent and preparing her for the superstardom that awaited her.

Whitney Houston’s Record-Breaking Career

Whitney Houston was undeniably one of the most talented and successful artists of her time. Her remarkable career spanned several decades, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. From her self-titled debut album to her iconic songs and numerous achievements, Houston’s legacy continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

Houston’s Self-Titled Debut Album and Iconic Songs

In 1985, Whitney Houston released her self-titled debut album, which catapulted her to superstardom. The album showcased her incredible vocal range and included chart-topping hits such as “Greatest Love of All” and “How Will I Know.”

It was an instant success, achieving diamond certification and setting the stage for Houston’s future accomplishments.

Whitney Houston’s career was defined by her ability to deliver powerful and emotionally charged performances. Her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” became one of the best-selling singles of all time and remains an iconic song that resonates with listeners to this day.

With her unique blend of pop, R&B, and soul, Houston created a musical legacy that is unparalleled.

Achieving Crossover Pop Appeal

One of the factors that contributed to Houston’s record-breaking career was her ability to appeal to a wide range of audiences. Her music transcended genres and connected with people from all walks of life.

She seamlessly crossed over from the R&B charts to the pop charts, gaining recognition and admiration from fans around the world.

Houston’s captivating performances and undeniable talent allowed her to break down barriers and become a global superstar. Her ability to fuse different musical styles and create a sound that was uniquely her own set her apart from other artists of her time.

Houston’s crossover appeal not only solidified her status as an icon but also opened doors for future generations of artists.

Becoming the Best-Selling Female Artist of the 20th Century

Whitney Houston’s unparalleled success is evident in her record-breaking achievements. With over 200 million records sold worldwide, she became the best-selling female artist of the 20th century. Her impressive catalog of hits, including eleven number-one singles, cemented her status as a music legend.

Throughout her career, Houston amassed numerous accolades, including six Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and thirty Billboard Music Awards. Her impact on the music industry cannot be overstated, as she paved the way for future generations of female artists to thrive and succeed.

For more information on Whitney Houston’s remarkable career and family connections, you can visit

Collaborations and Public Appearances Between the Two Stars

Televised Duets and Live Performances

Throughout their careers, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston shared a deep musical connection that often translated into stunning live performances. One of their most memorable collaborations was during the 1987 Soul Train Music Awards, where they performed a captivating duet of their hit song “That’s What Friends Are For.”

This performance showcased their remarkable vocal talents and the undeniable chemistry they had on stage.

In addition to awards shows, Warwick and Houston also performed together on various television specials, such as “The Arsenio Hall Show” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” These televised duets allowed fans to witness the magic that happened when two generations of musical powerhouses joined forces.

Appearing on Talk Shows Together

Not only did Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston perform together, but they also made several joint appearances on talk shows. One notable example is their appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1990. During this interview, they discussed their family connection and their shared love for music.

It was a heartwarming moment for both the artists and the audience as they opened up about their bond and the impact they had on each other’s lives.

These talk show appearances not only showcased their talent but also provided a glimpse into their personal relationship. The genuine affection and admiration they had for one another were evident in their conversations, leaving viewers in awe of their special bond.

Attending Industry Events and Family Functions as Kin

As family members, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston often attended industry events and family functions together. From award ceremonies to charity galas, they were frequently seen side by side, supporting each other’s endeavors and celebrating each other’s successes.

One significant event that highlighted their kinship was the 1999 Grammy Awards, where both artists were nominated. They walked the red carpet together, radiating elegance and grace. Their presence at such prestigious events not only showcased their shared talent but also emphasized their familial connection.

Furthermore, Warwick and Houston were known to attend family functions together, often capturing the attention of photographers. Whether it was a birthday celebration or a holiday gathering, they cherished these moments as family and made sure to show their love and support for one another.

For more information on Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston’s collaborations and public appearances, you can visit Dionne Warwick’s official website and Whitney Houston’s official website.


Though not directly aunt and niece, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston shared an undeniable familial bond and musical lineage as cousins. Their mothers were sisters who came from a long line of New Jersey music talents. Warwick embraced her role as a mentor in Houston’s life. And Houston achieved unprecedented global success over her storied career. Their connection as kinswomen and artists runs deep.

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