Tuesday, February 14, 2012


February 11, 2012 we lost a legend in the music industry, Ms. Whitney Houston.  No matter race, nationality, gender, age, or music preference, all knew Whitney Houston and her music.  Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Ms. Houston became an international star.  People could not believe such a huge, beautiful voice came out of such a small woman.  Whitney could hit notes very few vocalists could.  I have many memories of listening to my Whitney Houston tapes (yes, I am a child of the 90’s) in my room and trying my best to hit the notes (and failing terribly) the way she did.  Over and over again, I would sing How Will I Know, Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love, and You Give Good Love.  I had both Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack on tape and listened and learned all of Whitney’s songs.  As a child, I wished I had just a 1/4 of what Whitney had. 

Like me, many artists also looked up to Whitney Houston.  Jennifer Hudson and Brandy are artists that have said that Houston was one of their early influences. No one in the industry can deny that Whitney Houston was one of the greatest voices of our time.  Houston made it possible for Beyonce and Rihanna to crossover from R&B to Pop.  Along with her music, she has starred in classics like Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife and The Bodyguard.  And we cannot forget her signature hit I Will Always Love You, which very few vocalists are able to cover. 

But along with her success she also had her struggles.  Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, once said in an interview that she did not want her daughter to get involved in the music industry because of the dangers of it.  We were given a front row seat to those dangers.  Whitney would admit in interviews with Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey about her drug use.  Magazines and blog sites showed us pictures of Whitney being at a frightening small size and sweating profusely.  She had started to cancel shows and when she would do a show her voice was not the same big, beautiful voice that we remembered.  Some blamed her now ex-husband Bobby Brown for her behavior.  Regardless, we saw a singer we all know and love be broken down by something that was bigger than her.

Since her passing, some would prefer that her past with drug abuse not be brought up in conversation.  I also agree that we should remember more of her successes than her struggles but her struggles should at some point be discussed.  And not to taint her memory but so anyone struggling with addictions can see what could happen to them if they do not get their life in control.  I know that the autopsy reports have not come back so we do not know the cause of her death.  But let her struggles be a reference of how a substance that can fit in the palm of your hand can take down even the biggest stars.

I Will Always Love Whitney Houston

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