Gospel legend Cissy Houston honored with a street named after her in Newark, New Jersey

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Gospel legend Cissy Houston was honored with a street re-named after her at Newark, New Jersey.

Celebrated as 'Cissy Houston Day' in Newark, Saturday marked the unveiling of, 'Dr. Emily Houston Plz' at 106 Sussex Avenue - right outside the New Hope Baptist Church, where the iconic vocalist sang for a major part in her life.

The event was co-sponsored by Newark City Council representative Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins.

Before the inauguration of the street banner, the 84 year old also stepped up to sing a gospel tune at the New Hope Baptist Church, assisted by her son - Gary Houston.

Mother to the legendary late Whitney Houston, Cissy has been known for contributing as a background vocalist for the likes of Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin.

She is also one of the most prominent gospel artists, having formed her own gospel group back in 1938, entitled 'Drinkard Four' - which consisted of her own siblings. The group was later renamed to 'The Drinkard Singers' - who regularly performed at the New Hope Baptist church and also recorded an album with RCA records.

Later in 1963 - Cissy not only embarked on her solo career with her first solo album, 'This is my Vow', but also formed another gospel singing group called 'The Sweet Inspirations' with Dee Dee Warwick and Doris Troy.

The group provided backups for several mainstream artists like Dusty Springfield , Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix while Houston was more notably featured performing the operating soprano on Aretha Franklin's 'Ain't No Way.'

Newark mayor Ras Baraka spoke of Cissy in a statement:

"Cissy Houston is one of Newark's greatest native daughters. Her singing talent expresses our highest values, inspires and empowers audiences both around the world and here in our neighborhoods. She is a pioneer, an advocate for the arts, and one of the greatest legends in musical and Newark history."

Congratulations Dr. Emily Cissy Houston.

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