A never-before-heard Whitney Houston song has been sold for nearly $1 million at an NFT auction. Houston recorded the demo song when she was 17 years old, according to Pat Houston, president and CEO of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston.
Rolling Stone reports that the unreleased song was part of a set of digital tokens that received more than US$1.1mil (RM4.6mil) in sales, adding that the total price included images and videos.
The rare recording by Houston was auctioned on December 14 for $999,999, setting a record for the highest-selling NFT on the Tezos blockchain. The winning bidder got not only access to the late singer’s demo song but also got access to artwork by 17-year-old artist Diana Sinclair.
“Whitney was 17 years old when she recorded the song. Both come from Newark, both have the same middle name. Whitney had the desire to always help others help themselves, especially young people,” Houston, executor of Houston’s estate, said in a press release.
“She established the Whitney Houston Foundation in 1989 and she had events each year centered around young people, so it was a no brainer when we were introduced to Diana.”
Billboard reports that money realized from the sale of the collection will be channeled through the Whitney E. Houston Foundation, a non-profit organization, to inspire and empower the youth and create opportunities for success.
“This initial NFT drop is one of many Whitney Houston collections as we continue to tell her story, going behind the scenes and using never-before-seen content from the estate’s archives to celebrate her career, music, and talent in new and creative ways” Rob Dippold, partner and president of digital strategy for Primary Wave Music, said in the release.
Before her death in 2012, Houston enjoyed a very successful career spanning several decades, selling over 200 million records, including albums, singles and videos worldwide. With seven albums to her name, Houston broke several records and, undoubtedly, was an inspiration to up-and-coming female and colored musicians during her prime.
Some of her notable feats include being the first musician to receive the most Billboard awards in one night when she took home 11 in 1993, as well as, being the first female artist to have two certified 10× platinum albums with her debut eponymous album and The Bodyguard Soundtrack.
Houston made her acting debut in 1992 when she was cast alongside Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. A box office success, the album for the movie also “launched her to a new level of superstardom.”
The first single of the album spent 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, which was a record at the time. It earned Record Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female at the 36th Grammy Awards. The Bodyguard, which is the best-selling soundtrack of all time with over 45 million copies sold worldwide, was also named Album of the Year.