When I heard Whitney Houston was dead, like many other people I was stunned. Even now after the announcement of her death, I find it hard to believe such a vibrant woman is gone. But on Saturday, February 18, 2012, Houston’s family will lay the singer to rest.

Interestingly, although Houston touched many with her amazing voice, she also affected the lives of countless people because of the work she did to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness.

Houston’s HIV/AIDS advocacy reportedly stemmed from the death of one of her gay male friends. In 1990, she sang at Arista Records’ 15th anniversary “That’s What Friends Are For!” concert and helped raise $2 million to benefit the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and other AIDS-battling organizations.

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