Sunday, February 12, 2012

RIP Whitney Houston: Losing a Music Icon

If you've been on the internet for more than 30 seconds, then you likely now know that Whitney Houston passed away yesterday.

It is one of those sad situations that I'm surprised, but not really that surprised. She was only 48 years old, which is far too young. But she has also had a several decades long battle with drug and alcohol addiction. It is an incredibly tragic story, and an ending that many likely saw coming but never wanted to believe. Now of course, the cause of death isn't actually in, and so I'd rather not harp too long on what are the believed causes (a body battered by years of abuse). It is sad that such an incredibly talented singer was so plagued by addictions and personal demons. Whitney Houston was definitely one of the singers that defined an era in music, and her legacy will remain forever. It may be a tragic story, but she has left behind many positive memories.

I had a huge crush on Whitney Houston in the late 80s/early 90s. I knew she was over a decade older than me, and about a million miles out of my dating range, but you don't worry about such things when you have a celebrity crush. I never loyally listened to her music or owned any of her albums, but I always recognized she was a talented singer. I knew she had a hell of a voice. People talk about how Christina Aguilera has an amazing natural singing voice with a powerful set of lungs, but she was never in the same league (or even sport) as Whitney. You wanted someone to belt out a powerful ballad or sustain a high note than she would be the person to turn to every time. Her addictions did hurt her voice, but it just made it pretty good rather than miraculous.

So, why did I have a crush on Whitney Houston? Well, she was hot. Especially in the early 90s. She just had this aura about her. I didn't listen to her style of music very often, but I'd always stop what I was doing if I heard her sing. She was a diva, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. She carried herself as a superstar. She stood out in the early 90s when compared to all the little "pop tarts" wishing they could be divas that were clogging up the air waves. Her competition was girls, and she was a woman. The moment you saw her, you knew she was defining an entire genre.

I can't really say I was a fan of Whitney Houston, because like I said, I never even owned a single album. I also don't know a good part of her musical library. I know all her hits, but then again, almost everyone who pays a small attention to pop culture would know them. She sort of reminds of Michael Jackson, as someone that I wasn't a diehard fan and started to care less about due to their struggles, but when they pass, it hits like a cannonball to the gut. I suddenly realize their epic contribution to the music industry, and just always assumed they would be around for years and years. As an aside, I can't believe I never even made one mention of Michael Jackson's passing on this blog -- though in my pathetic defense, I wasn't blogging in 2009. In both cases, there were far bigger fans than me, but I enjoyed their music when I heard it and I know their significance to music history is monumental.

I am sad to hear one of my first ever celebrity crushes has passed away. I hope she gets one hell of a tribute this evening at the Grammys (I realize it was short notice, but damn, it is Whitney Houston, man). It sucks she died so young. It is unfortunate she struggled with addiction for so long. I am going to keep my happy memories of her. I will never forget that marvelous singing voice.

Whitney Houston was a true music legend, and one of the greatest divas of all time. And yes Whitney, I will always love you.



And just because this was likely the song that started my crush. . .

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