Music lovers everywhere felt the pang of tragedy after Whitney Houston’s death on Saturday, February 11. Her death came as a tremendous shock, and to make it even more poignant, her death fell on the eve of music’s biggest night of the year: The Grammy Awards.
The singer was discovered dead by her bodyguard in a Beverly Hills hotel on Saturday, hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy celebration hosted by long-time friend and mentor, Clive Davis. She was only forty-eight years old.
Whitney Houston led a roller coaster of a life. With a career that bloomed with the help of celebrity-cousin Dionne Warwick, Houston’s popularity grew ten-fold through the eighties and nineties. She set record after record and blew audiences away with her incredible voice. Unfortunately, her career and lifestyle took a downward turn drug addiction and her marriage to Bobby Brown made her a tabloid star.
Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey on August 9, 1963. Her mother was the well-renowned gospel singer Cissy Houston. Her cousins we Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, and her Godmother was Aretha Franklin. She was born music royalty. Starting to sing at a young age, Houston sang with her church choir. Eventually she would sing back-up on a track for Chaka Khan, and go on to re-record that hit, a song called “I’m Every Woman.”
She would go on to record other hits like “How Will I Know,” “Saving All My Love for You,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “The Greatest Love of All,” and perhaps her most popular “I Will Always Love You,” (originally recorded by Dolly Parton) from her movie The Bodyguard.
However, by the time The Bodyguard opened in theaters, Houston’s wholesome pop star record had begun to acquire some stains. Whitney met R&B “bad boy” Bobby Brown in 1989. The pair married three years later. Brown had a record, and his partying stunts would land him in jail on several occasions. Although the pop diva upheld her career, multiple reports of erratic behavior and serious illicit drug use ran rampant. In the early 200s, her career tool a tailspin when her voice showed signs of fatigue and abuse, combined with nose-diving record sales. She continued with the controversial behavior and even a short lived reality show before she and Bobby Brown divorced in 2007. They had one daughter together.
Many sources are saying Ms. Houston was mixing drugs and alcohol, causing her too-soon tragic death. Whatever the cause of death may be, one thing is certain: musician or not, everyone is affected by the loss of this incredible woman and vocalist.