NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cinergistik™ announced today its acquisition of world rights to Young Whitney: Stories and Photographs by acclaimed photographer Bette Marshall. The book is scheduled for release in hardcover, digital and audio editions in February 2022, which marks the ten-year anniversary of Whitney Houston’s untimely death.
After meeting Whitney as an eighteen-year-old unknown and witnessing her jaw-dropping voice, Marshall was given unprecedented access by the Houston family to document the young singer’s rise to fame at home, in church and behind the scenes at her first record label auditions. Marshall is now sharing for the first time her personal stories and rare photos of Whitney’s early years—pre-fame and in the first blush of stardom—revealing a side of the late icon that is often overshadowed by the more tragic aspects of her life.
“This is a project literally decades in the making, and now that I am finally ready to share it with the world, I am so happy to have partnered with Cinergistik,” said Marshall. “I think revealing this side of Whitney—so young and really quite innocent—is such a fitting tribute to her.”
Clive Davis, the recording industry titan whose discovery and mentorship of Whitney Houston became legend, offered this praise of the title in advance of publication: “Young Whitney captures all the beauty, promise and love of life that was indeed Whitney when I first met her.”
The book is also the subject of the upcoming documentary, Whitney Houston in Focus, executive produced by Emmy, Grammy and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. “Whitney Houston is an artist I worshipped from the moment I first heard her sing. Her voice was simply miraculous and her artistry was perfection,” said McDonald. “We all witnessed her superstardom, and I’m honored to help tell this part of Whitney’s story, before it all began.” McDonald is also narrating the audiobook edition of the title.
Upon release, the Young Whitney hardcover will be available for purchase exclusively from the GRAMMY Museum store. Houston won a total of six Grammy awards during her storied career. “This book is truly impactful and powerful, just like the iconic Whitney Houston, which is why the GRAMMY Museum is honored to be its initial exclusive retailer,” said Michael Sticka, president and CEO of the GRAMMY Museum.
Cinergistik, formerly Metabook Entertainment, acquired world literary and screen rights to Young Whitney in a preemptive deal.
“This is exactly the kind of property, one with strong appeal across multiple publishing and entertainment channels, that Cinergistik is proud to produce,” said the company’s co-founders Benjamin Alfonsi, Christian Alfonsi and Ken Siman in a joint statement. “We cannot wait for this singular tribute to Whitney Houston to be experienced by those who loved her and still love her all around the world.”
About Bette Marshall
Bette Marshall is a photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Elle, Vogue, People and Rolling Stone. She has captured some of the most famous faces on the world stage: Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Richard Branson, Willem Dafoe, Clive Davis, Robert Downey Jr., Jodie Foster, James Earl Jones, Nelson Mandela, Sarah Jessica Parker, Itzhak Perlman—and Whitney Houston.
Cinergistik, formerly Metabook Entertainment, produces premier content in a variety of mediums and an array of genres. Since its inception in 2015, the company has established itself as “a serious player” (The New York Times) that “authors and Hollywood types love” (Adweek). Uniquely positioned at the intersection of multiple creative channels, Cinergistik remains rooted in the transformative power of great storytelling. www.cinergistik.com