Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)

When I think of Whitney Houston I always think of her first big hit video "Saving All My Love For You."  In that video Houston seems like such a sweet innocent woman with a beautiful voice and that's the image that I have carried with me for almost 30 years of Houston no matter what news reports said of her life. 

Because Houston took such a dramatic fall from the top it is hard now to even remember what a huge star she was, but in my lifetime she would have to be right there with Michael Jackson and Madonna when talking about biggest pop stars.   She produced 11 number one singles over a ten year period and then she simply fell off the face of the Earth. 

It would appear that like so many she fell into a life of drug addiction and no matter who you are drug addiction can be a path to destruction.  Back in 2009 Houston tried to make a bit of a comeback, but it all went for not as it became apparent from her performances that she no longer had a voice.  At 45 she was done.  After that she seemed to simply disappear. 

Hard to imagine that at 48, less that 30 years since she first burst onto the scene Whitney Houston is dead and has been out of the public's eye for so long that for an entire generation she never existed. 

Even now I still think of Houston and her first number 1 hit.


  1. I'm really glad you posted this. I am so, so sad that this has happened. When I think of Whitney Houston, I remember her singing the national anthem before Super Bowl XXV and her charming performance in "The Preacher's Wife." I think it's really sad that so many people mocked and ridiculed her for her problems, when it was clear she was suffering through a tragedy of immense proportions. For years, I wanted her to make a comeback -- or at least find some peace and stability in her life. And now that will never happen.

    Drugs stink.

  2. Yeah, this one's especially rough.

    Matthew and I are on the phone one day--it must've been the summer of 1987--and we're both watching MTV. That's what you did if you were 19 or 20 years old and didn't have a boyfriend or girlfriend in 1987; you got on the phone and watched MTV simultaneously and talked about the videos in between whatever dramas you were wrapped up in that week.

    So Whitney Houston's new giant hit, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody," comes on. Now here are these two boys, both of them just totally eaten up with driving fast and intense sports loyalties and brooding, loud music by men, and they are confronted with this perfectly light confection of vivid pastels, bubbly keyboards and hot hairstyles. Of course, we made fun of it. And, then, of course, that led to making fun of each other.

    "You like it."

    "Yeah, right. You do."

    Something really witty like that.

    Anyway, it turned out that we both liked it. Everyone liked "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." How could anyone not like it or Whitney Houston?

    And how could anyone not be just wrecked by last night's news, even if there had been every sign in the last few years of it coming?