Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer and actress. She was certified as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with sales of over 200 million records worldwide. Houston released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She is regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time. Her crossover appeal on the popular music charts as well as her prominence on MTV influenced several African-American female artists.