Saturday, February 11, 2012

RIP, Whitney Houston: We will always love you...

While perhaps not completely surprising, I was still shocked by the news of Whitney Houston's death this evening at age 48. Even though her life of late was marked far more by her struggles with substance abuse, her rocky marriage to Bobby Brown, and the damage to her incredible voice, there was no forgetting her impact on the music world.

This is one of the first images I remember of Whitney Houston, the cover of her first album. It seemed almost magical that a voice so powerful, so amazingly rich, could come from a woman so beautiful.

Whitney Houston's music featured prominently on the soundtrack of my last few years of high school, through college and beyond, everything from You Give Good Love, Saving All My Love for You, The Greatest Love of All, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, All At Once to the unforgettable soundtrack from The Bodyguard, from which spawned not only I Have Nothing and Run to You, but of course, probably her signature hit, I Will Always Love You. She performed an indelible rendition of One Moment in Time at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, and raised the bar for future performances of the National Anthem with her version during Super Bowl XXV in 1991.

Of course, the pop culture savant in me won't forget her 1985 appearance on the hit show Silver Spoons, where she performed a version of Saving All My Love for You with the words "holding each other" substituted for "making love" (this is what you notice at age 15). God bless YouTube for this!

However tragic and untimely this loss is, we should all be grateful to have had the opportunity to experience Whitney Houston's exceptional talent in our lifetimes. And just think, with the recent deaths of Amy Winehouse, Etta James, and Whitney Houston, heaven has one heck of a trio, with accompaniment by Clarence Clemons, and commentary from Don Cornelius.

RIP, Whitney. Thank you for your music.

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