(Courtesy of gigsport.com)
I couldn’t believe what my sister said when she called me Saturday night. She told me they announced on of all places, ESPN, that Whitney Houston had died. I immediately felt sick and guilty. The night before, my knee-jerk reaction to a tweet from The Hollywood Reporter was totally innocent and I thought funny. Who knew less than 24 hours later Houston would be gone. It’s sad any talk about one of the greatest voices of my generation had become convoluted into soundbites and punchlines. “Crack is whack” wasn’t just a soundbite, it was the beginning of the end.
The girl from New Jersey had talent from the start and Arista’s Clive Davis opened up the world to Whitney Houston and he opened her voice and her world up for all of us to listen. I’ll remember seeing all of Whitney’s videos on MTV, oh don’t get me started again on the network’s identity crisis, and they were fun, she was fun!
Hit after hit, Whitney Houston reigned the charts and she was a incredible live performer.
Then she met and married Bobby Brown. Did things change? Yes. Did she change? Sadly, yes. During this time, Houston starred in The Bodyguard and she made Dolly Parton a very happy lady when her cover of “I Will Always Love You”, which was included on the soundtrack, was a number-one hit for 14 straight weeks. The soundtrack did hold the record for consecutive weeks at number one until, ironically, Adele took over. One question that will be asked time and again during this painful process will be, is Brown the reason she’s not with us anymore? It’s a question that will never be answered. However, after watching (and enjoying) Being Bobby Brown, something was going on there that wasn’t right, and when Houston refused to appear on the show after season one, a second season would not happen. Mainly because Houston was probably really embarrassed, so embarrassed she never gave her approval for the series to be released on DVD which was good move. But it didn’t stop Houston’s spiral into troubled celebrity notoriety to rage on.
Just in the last year, there were reports Houston had fleetingly succeeded at another rehab stint, and her last big project, a remake of the 1976 film Sparkle, was off and running. The film, which also stars Jordin Sparks in the title role, wrapped production in November of last year and it is still on schedule to be released this August.
I’m still in shock and I leave you with two personal favorites…