New York Academy of Music & Dance graduates in top positions at top schools
NEW YORK (AP) With her music and dance credits at a high point, Whitney Houston is a big winner at her New York-based arts school.
She was named the academy’s commencement speaker and made a surprise appearance on campus at the Academy of Fine Arts to deliver the commencement address.
Houston, 77, won a Grammy for best country album and became the first black woman to win a Grammy.
She is now a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Music.
She’s also a co-founder of the Whitney Houston Foundation, an organization focused on music education.
Houston was honored with a diploma of honor on Tuesday for her contributions to the arts at the New York academy of music & dance.
She has been a member of the Academy since its founding in 1932 and has taught and written about music for more than 50 years.
The school’s alumni include Elvis Presley, Elvis Prescodile, Stevie Wonder and The Who.
Houston said she’s looking forward to graduating from the school with a degree in classical composition.
She’ll study at the Whitney School of Dance in New York.
The graduation ceremony was held at the academy and included an address from president Donald A. Smith.
Smith, a former member of President Ronald Reagan’s administration, said Houston has done an extraordinary job with the academy.
Houston’s music career started in New Orleans in 1959.
She became a regular on the TV show “The Byrds.”
She went on to record a number of albums and to play in her own band.
Houston and her husband, Billie Holiday, have five children.