I’M SORRY to be posting three blogs (with one repost) within 48 hours, that’s quite chatty even for me, but I was feeling like not all was right with the day even before the depressing news. I usually jump out of bed on a day off, with so many non-chorelike things to do like a leisurely breakfast or browsing through library books. But I wallowed in bed till nine, coffee, cereal and last night’s leftovers tasted like blah, and even the sunshine didn’t agree with me. How wrong is that?
I found out why later when the depressing news filtered over FM and talk radio, when Whitney Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hills Hilton, dead at 48. No other details were given (at the time) by internet.
I know Whitney’s been an influence in my/our cultural life. I can name five songs off the top of my head without flinching, The Greatest Love of All, I Have Nothing, I Will Always Love You, All At Once, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (or something like that, those are the lyrics that jump out of the chorus), and given my short- and long-term memory diarrhea, my ADHD and premature dementia, that is quite a feat for me. I can probably name a few more if you gave me a few more minutes.
With Pinoys, she’s a beloved favorite, combining her unerring talent with beautiful arrangements and made-for-karaoke standards, influencing a generation of supersingers both at home and internationally. Name the top three idols of any belter of our current crop of singers and likelier than not they’ll tell you Whitney’s in their top three.
Impromptu karaoke get-togethers, inuman, reunions, sing-along contests, Whitney was always part of the occasion, either in a sing-along CD or as a perennial request in your MagicSing, Mediacom or whatever videoke contraption you favored.
She made the beautiful ordinary, the sublime commonplace. It was a common joke among professional singers that Whitney always had to sing an octave higher than everyone else, the high note over the simple note, she always had to set the bar higher everytime she sang. She made everyone else look bad, just by being her super self.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of her life is also the greatest lesson she can impart : I won’t dwell on the messy details of the later part of her biography, the bio-films and the tell-all unauthorized stories can do that. I do know that with all her great, great talent and born-for greatness gifts, it went to naught because of substance abuse and too much devotion to pleasure.
Still, the irony of her existence is that it was cut short, and yet her music will live on after all of us have passed away into dust as well. Because of the magic of technology and eternal music, her voice will fill discoes, dance halls, stereos, iPods and CD players hundreds of years from now.
Of no little significance as well for your crazy blogger is the fact that Whitney met her Maker at 48, an age I will reach a year from now. If anyone represented my generation, with all its joys and follies, triumphs and tragedies, talents and blunders, that person, better than most people, would be Whitney Houston.
Thanks for the 170 million albums, CDs and videos Whitney. Your music will live on forever.
Thanks for reading !
- Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You (majordilemma.wordpress.com)
- Whitney Houston Dies at 48 (popsugar.com)
- Whitney Houston Dead At 48 (wycd.radio.com)
- Celebrities Remember Whitney Houston on Twitter (justjared.buzznet.com)
- Remembering Whitney Houston With a Look Back at Her Life in Pictures (popsugar.com)
- Whitney Houston, 1963-2012 (theawl.com)
- Superstar Whitney Houston Dead at 48 (wcbsfm.radio.com)
- Whitney Houston has passed away (20poorandfabulous.com)
- Whitney Houston Last Ever Performance!! (lukewilliamss.wordpress.com)
- R.I.P. Whitney Houston (1963-2012) (timotheusgordon.com)
- WHITNEY HOUSTON, dead at 48 years old (bonjupatten.com)
- Whitney Houston, Dead at 48 (collegecandy.com)
- Whitney Houston Is Dead (buzzfeed.com)