Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Whitney Houston

She turned down "The Cosby Show" and other things you may not know.

February 15, 2012, 12:16 PM

Feb. 16, 2012— -- intro: Since Whitney Houston's death, stories of the final days of her life as well as the early days of her career have filled the media.

Still, it's possible, there are a few things about the pop superstar you may not have known.

Click through to see 10 of them.

Watch "One Moment in Time: The Life of Whitney Houston," a two-hour "20/20" special, Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

quicklist: 1url: title: Her Nickname Was Nippytext: Houston's nickname, given to her when she was a baby by her father John Houston, was Nippy. The story goes, Houston was a fussy baby who kept kicking off her winter blanket at night. Her father, who repeatedly covered her up, would affectionately say to her, "Nippy, seldom right." Nippy was also the name of a cartoon character who constantly got into trouble. When the singer formed her own management company, once run by her father, she named it Nippy 15603033

quicklist: 2url: title: Houston's First Aspiration Was Modelingtext: As a teenager, Houston had more interest in modeling than in making music. The 5'8'' naturally slender beauty with girl-next-door looks became one of the first African-Americans to grace the cover of Seventeen magazine. She also appeared in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Young Miss, and was featured in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial.

High school classmates were less aware of her stellar voice, which she reserved mainly for her church choir. "She wasn't even in the school chorus," Dr. Maria Pane, her high school classmate at Mount Saint Dominic Academy in Caldwell, N.J., and now a Baltimore neonatologist, told They had to settle for snatches. "She would sing ditties during lunch hour and hum a bit," Dr. Pane said. "She had a very sweet, angelic voice." media: 15600918

quicklist: 3url: title: How Whitney Met Bobbytext: Houston met ex-husband Bobby Brown, a former member of New Edition, backstage at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards. According to Ebony magazine, "romantic sparks ignited immediately" and Brown received an invitation to Houston's 26th birthday party at her New Jersey estate. At the time, the singer was seeing Eddie Murphy. But he would soon be forgotten as the two singers, seemingly opposites, began dating in earnest and were married July 18, 1992, before 800 guests at Houston's 15603248

quicklist: 4url: title: Houston Was a Homebodytext: Despite her mega-celebrity, Houston loved nothing more than hanging at home with her husband. A former employee told that Houston loved to vacuum -- because she like immediate results -- and Brown loved to cook. Left to themselves, they wanted to be a fully functioning family. "Whitney was someone who wanted to be normal and just go for a slice of pizza at a place she liked near her home in New Jersey, but she wound up eating it in her car. The eyes on her were too much," the former associate said. media: 15565952

quicklist: 5url: title: Houston Kept It All in the Familytext: Houston's family worked for her and with her. Her brother Gary Houston, also a singer, once sang the duet "My Endless Love" with her on the concert stage. Her other brother, Michael Houston, penned several songs with her for the "Waiting to Exhale" soundtrack. Gary's wife, Patricia Houston, was her manager. And her longtime bodyguard was Patricia's brother Ray 15639958

quicklist: 6url: title: Where Houston Thought She'd Be in 2012text: In her 2002 interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, Houston was asked to paint a picture of her perfect life 10 years in the future. The world famous singer envisioned a slower pace of life filled with family. "Retired. Sitting, looking at my daughter grow up, become a great woman of God, grandchildren," she 15574470

quicklist: 7url: title: Houston Appeared on a Soap Operatext: In August 1984, Houston appeared on "As the World Turns" with Jermaine Jackson. They sang two duets, "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" and "If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful," from his album.<>

Watch Whitney Houston and Jermaine Jackson on "As The World Turns"

Jackson was the bigger star at the time, as Houston was just getting her start in the music business. media: 15603260

quicklist: 8url: title: Michael Jackson Wanted Whitneytext: Another Jackson had his eye on Houston. None other than the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, wanted Houston to record his duet "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" in 1987. By then, Houston was burning up the Billboard chart with her first album, "Whitney" and her record label, Arista, declined Jackson's offer, fearing she'd be overexposed. Jackson was also unable to get his second choice, Barbra Streisand, and had to settle for Quincy Jones' protege Siedah 15637416

quicklist: 9url: title: Houston Turned Down 'Cosby Show'text: Houston auditioned for and got the role of Sondra Huxtable on "The Cosby Show." But she turned it down. According to the UK's Daily Mail, she told director Jay Sandrich that she couldn't sign the contract because she was going to be a singer and had to be free to tour, even though she didn't even have a record deal. "I said 'Well, who told you you can sing?'" recalled Sandrich, "and she said 'My mother, my aunt.'" "The Cosby Show" became the biggest hit of the 80s and Houston became an international pop star. media:

quicklist: 10url: title: Houston's Childhood Dreamtext: Houston's first career aspiration as a child was to be a teacher. "I wanted to be a teacher. I love children, so I wanted to deal with children. Then I wanted to be a veterinarian. But by the age of 10 or 11, when I opened my mouth and said, 'Oh, God, what's this?' I kind of knew teaching and being a veterinarian were gonna have to wait. What's in your soul is in your soul," she told Rolling Stone in 1993. Read more memorable quotes from Whitney Houston 15602879

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