I Will Always Love You
February 12, 2012 by staff
I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston, pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and royal image were destroyed by drug use, volatile behavior and a rocky marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.
Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.
News of Houston’s death came on the eve of music’s biggest night – the Grammy Awards, where she once reigned supreme. Her death is sure to leave a line of heavy hearts on the red carpet of Sunday’s ceremony.
Houston’s long-time manager and mentor, Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday; it is unclear if it’s going forward.
At her peak, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. Her effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that combined her gospel roots with modern pop music wowed audiences everywhere. Beautiful, poised, and never over the top sxy, her musings on self-love and falling in love, brought to life by stellar pipes made her a role model and a highly coveted commodity.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
She influenced future pop princesses Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey, among others. In fact, Carey sounded so much like Houston when she landed on the scene that many confused the two singers.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a cautionary tale of the ravages of substance abuse. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side. She also declared, “Crack is whack.”
It was a tragic fall both personally and professionally for a history-making superstar with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.
She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.
Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.
“The time that I first saw her singing in her mother’s act in a club it was such a stunning impact,” Davis told “Good Morning America.”
“To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine,” he added.
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