How many times have we lost someone close to us and thought that the bright side to them leaving this Earthly plane is they “aren’t suffering anymore?”
That was my instant thought as I got word that the legendary Whitney Houston died in California yesterday at the way too soon age of 48. One of the greatest singers regardless of race/genre/gender to ever stand in front of a mic, Whitney Elizabeth Houston had her struggles, but who hasn’t? It’ll be critics’ job to observe whatever demons Whitney were battling and how it may have affected her career and that’s fine.
For the rest of us, we’re left to mourn a woman who was simply put the realization of an angelic daydream, a beautiful woman who carried so much power in such a lithe frame and gave us 25 plus years of songs to turn on feelings and emotions across a broad spectrum.
Born into song as the daughter of gospel legend Cissy Houston, Whitney had the good fortune of a talented mother as well the privilege to call Dionne Warwick “Cousin”” and Aretha Franklin her godmother.
However, “Nippy,” as she was known to close family friends, began to shine on her own as a singer and model, eventually earning a contract with Clive Davis’ budding Arista Records label in 1983. Two years later, her self-titled debut album took the world by the storm and one thing was for sure – Pop, Soul, R&B? They would never be the same.
The hits started with “You give good love” in the winter of 1985 and continued all the way into the 21st century with “I learned from the best.”
Whitney’s range was astonishing,in her ability to hit notes of all kinds and hold them with little exertion and NO studio magic needed or wanted.
Whitney eventually conquered acting as well,making her debut in the Bodyguard, and with the Soundtrack going platinum instantly, the movie was a wild success in 1993. She also starred in the popular sister-girl flick “Waiting to exhale,” based on the Terry McMillian novel as well as playing the Fairy Godmother to Brandy’s Cinderella in a Disney movie that brought idol and talented young newcomer together for another smash.
Whitney was much like Michael Jackson in the sense that they were the chosen ones for their families and their generation, youthful people with matured and revered abilities and not necessarily fond of the spotlight. Much was made of her marriage to R&B wild man Bobby Brown and alleged drug use,none of which can be confirmed at this point and it certainly doesn’t matter now.
What matters most is that while Whitney Houston left her physical life entirely too soon, her spiritual journey has just begun and she’s at peace. The closest thing to a vocal angel on Earth is now flying free.