On February 11th 2012 the music world lost another one of its most prevalent and talented stars. The Music world was already dealing with the losses of the late Etta James and Don Cornelius but this one was the major shocker. It was the day where Whitney Houston was found and pronounced dead. She eerily died in a similar fashion among many women in her peak: Dorothy Dandrige, Marylin Monroe, Janis Joplin to name a few. Her death while some saw as no surprise was still a surprise among many considering it looked as if Whitney was making a comeback. Its looked upon as one of the most bizarre scenario’s I’ve ever seen because it opens up too many questions.
Many would say drugs,alcohol among Whitney’s bizarre and destructive lifestyle played a factor with her death. Theres many now really searching behind the surface and claiming foul play. They even went as far as to blame Bobby Brown which is pretty stupid considering Bobby and Whitney had separated for almost 3 years But all of that can be discussed for another topic as we gonna pay homage to Whitney for the bar she had set among music.
I’m not gonna sit here and act like I bought all of her albums because I didn’t. But I always acknowledged her tremendous aptitude and the fact that she brought her A game everywhere she went if it wasn’t releasing albums or performing live. Whenever you would hear Whitney’s beautiful voice, You couldn’t help but to feel goosebumps. Her debut album was a perfect combination of soul and dance songs. You Can Give Good Love showed Whitney was destined for superstardom and I wanna Dance with Somebody would still rock House parties to this day.
Her smash self titled debut album would open up all kind of doors for Whitney. Throughout 1986-87 She would be nominated for 3 Grammys mainly winning one for Best Pop Vocal Performance for the track Saving All My love for you and would dominate the American Music awards winning a record-breaking 7 awards within a year span. Whitney’s star continued to shine as she would not only be offered to sing the Star Spangled Banner for the Superbowl but would able to sit down and talk with powerful leaders such as Nelson Mandela and at the time George Bush the 1st to not only raise awareness with the Whitney Houston for Charity organization that she started. But to also show her admiration and support for Nelson Mandela and the anti apartheid movement. Whitney ranked 8th on the Forbes list for highest earned entertainer in the country but she was also a heavy contributor to the struggle and never forgot about her people.
Movie roles would soon come knocking on Whitney’s door. Even with a marriage with controversal bad boy Bobby Brown keeping her name heavily in the public, It did little to knock down Whitney’s stock. She had received offers from Spike Lee, Quincy Jones, and Robert Deniro to do movies but Whitney claimed she wasn’t ready at the time. She would make her acting debut alongside Kevin Costner in the hit movie The Bodyguard where she played a songstress stalked by an obsessed and crazed fan who hires a bodyguard(Costner) to protect her. Critics complained that Houston’s role lacked serious passion and at times looked as she was being her self but The Bodyguard grossed a record 121 million among ticket sales in the U.S. and a whopping 410 million worldwide.
Musically Whitney was on the verge of reaching her peak and showed no signs of slowing down. When she came out with the Bodyguard soundtracks lead single “I Will Always Love You” It was the smash hit that Whitney needed to cement her legacy as one of the best to ever do it. When she hit that high note, The listener couldn’t help but to receive chills, Dolly Parton would sure to be proud:
Although the media continued to focus more on Whitney and Bobby’s up and down erratic marriage. Her Good Girl image was banished not only with her marriage to Bobby but also her own true diva like behavior. Whitney never stopped working whenever it would be movies or new music which were either doing major numbers in the box office or going platinum. The Preachers Daughter and Waiting to exhale along with her own version of Cinderella kept her stock from steady declining throughout the late 90s but She would seemingly hit a downward spiral going into the new millenium due to her constant drug and alcohol abuse. The tabloids would have a field day with her if it wasn’t making up stories about her doing crack, being broke, or even going as far as to saying she was a lesbian. The once bright star seemed to have been fading before our very eye as she would also be a punchline among many rappers and comedians to boot.
Whitney’s comeback album titled I Look to You was her final album before her untimely death. I look at you has Whitney not following the latest trends or collabing with the hottest at the moment rappers but going back to the basics of singing ballads to reach to her core base. Whitney even referenced LL Cool J’s lyric claiming “Dont Call it a Comeback, I’ve been here for years
Despite efforts from the media to sabotage Whitney’s comeback by blowing her live performance on Good Morning America claiming Whitney have lost her voice. It did little to stall the album’s momentum as it would go double platinum which was very impressive being that she been out of the game for 7 years and coming back into a fickle market.
People should remember Whitney as someone what of an innovator. Someone who knocked down doors and influenced many of todays singers who are following her blueprint and trying to excel at it. Whereas many would want to remember Whitney’s darkest years, I wanted to take time to focus on her career highs and the impact she had left within the music business. R.I.P. Whitney.