Because of Whitney Houston’s generous donations to UMDNJ’s University Hospital (now the Rutgers University Medical School) in Newark, the school named its Pediatric Special Care Unit after her. And the singer’s elementary school in East Orange, New Jersey, was renamed the Whitney Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts.

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was born on August 9, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in East Orange, New Jersey. She is most famous for Billboard hits like “Saving All My Love for You,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” and “I Will Always LoveYou.” Her most famous movie roles include Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard and Savannah Jackson in Waiting to Exhale.

During Houston’s early life, she was immersed in music. Her background in gospel helped lead her down the path to stardom. She sang in the choir of the New Hope Baptist Church, which was led by her mother, Cissy Houston, a renowned soul and gospel singer herself.