Stars come and go in this world, but unfortunately some burn out too soon. Whitney Houston was such a star. She was catapulted to fame at an early age because of her amazing voice; a distinct instrument whose sound is now instantly recognizable to millions of people around the globe. A lot can be said about her personal life, however, we’d like to focus more on her musical abilities and accomplishments.
From an early age, Whitney was heavily involved in music, performing with her church choir. Her talents soon became known and before long she was singing backing vocals on Chaka Khan’s single “I’m Every Woman.” Even though she was now performing with the likes of Lou Rawls and receiving rave reviews by the Village Voice, her big breakthrough didn’t come until 1985 when she released her debut album Whitney Houston. Rolling Stone had said she was “one of the most exciting new voices in years.” Little did they, or everyone else know how big a star she was to become, and how much her voice would come to mean to us all.
Over the course of the next 25 years she would sell over 170 million combined records, singles and videos, win 6 Grammy awards, 1 Emmy and earn 11 #1 singles. Whitney went on to become the top-selling R&B female artist of the 20th century, and the fourth best solo female artist in the U.S.
Unfortunately, personal problems began to take their toll on her career and her voice. Album sales begun to slide as well as erratic performances that started to bring public awareness to her domestic and substance issues. While it appeared in the past few years that a comeback was possible, all her positive steps were just not enough. On February 11th, the night before the 54th annual Grammy awards, Whitney passed away in her hotel room leaving behind a music career that spanned more than 20 years.
Although she is no longer with us, we are fortunate to still have her music, as well as our fondest memories of her, forever trapped in celluloid to share with future generations. Rest in peace Whitney, we will miss you one and all.