February 11th, 2012 was a simple day in the world I call my own, it was a lazy, very cold day and was really an inconsequential type of day. As I read a headline on Yahoo! the day interestingly enough became one of shock I suppose. The headline announced the death of Whitney Houston and although I was never a fan of hers I realized that it was a substantial loss.
The passing of Whitney Houston triggered thought upon thought and not for the most obvious reasons. As the radio stations in my area incessantly played her music over and over and over and (you get the point), Houston was merely a blip on the landscape of my world. I knew that despite what were her hits that she would fade away just like so many of the other performers did in that arena of music. Despite the fact that she came from excellent lineage (Cissy Houston, her mother) and despite all of the connections that Houston had I thought she would be another blip. Obviously I was incorrect.
Houston became America's sweetheart, everything she seemed to touch became gold. The world of Houston was filled with "bubblegum" pop music but she sold records by the bazillions and isn't that what her chosen path is about? At a time where those blips fade away, she made a jump into movies with Kevin Costner in the 1992 film "The Bodyguard". Within this foray was an interesting addition with Houston performing "I Will Always Love You" (a song penned by Dolly Parton), oh and did I mention it was the title song of the movie?
Parton had previously recorded the song in 1974 (it was #1 twice for Parton) and her version was for lack of a better term "country-fide" but it stayed a country success. When Houston performed the song as the title track of the movie, she made the song her own. I always thought it was interesting that Parton's version was immediately cast to the side when Houston's version made it to the scene.
Within the year of 1992 Houston also married her boyfriend of three years, Bobby Brown who himself was an R&B legend and "bad boy" because of that fact many of her fans were concerned. Brown had a few run-ins with the authorities previously to the marriage (and after) which did include some jail time and despite that Houston remained married to Brown and together they had one child. The life that she and Brown seemed to share with Brown was uhm, tumultuous and rumors flew about aimlessly (whether they were true or not). It almost became a circus like atmosphere for Houston and Brown so in 2005 when the Browns became the subject of the reality show "Being Bobby Brown" that circus seemed to have come to town. The show lasted one year and wasn't renewed and in October 2006 she filed for divorce.
Houston passed away on February 11th, 2012 and the circus began to prop up its tents once again. As speculation of the cause of Houston's death rings through the world of the internet and the music world. Despite the tragedy that became her life and her early demise Houston became an important part of pop music in the '80's and '90's. At 48 years old her legacy will become not only one of success but one of tragedy.
Within the realm of music Houston is not one that would appear on my radar (or at least for very long) and nor was I a fan but the fact of the matter is that Houston leaves behind a daughter, her parents, her aunts (Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick) and fans worldwide. Its difficult to understand the death of anyone let alone a death of someone this young (I can say that, I'm 43). Whether you like her music, her lifestyle or not Houston should always remember her as a talent.