In Memoriam: Whitney Houston (1963-2012)
of the most-awarded female artist
On the 11th of February
2012, she was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills,
California, putting this year's Grammy Awards under a black ribbon. The causes
of her death are still unknown, but, given the artist's troubled history with
drugs, most of the thoughts go that way
By ROXANA CIUPARIU
The year has barely started, awards seem to be flooding and artists seems to be
rising, both on the musical and acting scene, and yet, still, a tribute has to
paid: Whitney Houston, the artist whose voice made the simple words "I
Will Always Love You", has passed away, at the age of 48.
On the 11th of February 2012, she was found dead in her room at the Beverly
Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California, putting this year's Grammy Awards
under a black ribbon. The causes of her death are still unknown, but, given the
artist's troubled history with drugs, most of the thoughts go that way.
Dolly Parton, who originally sang "I Will Always Love You",
along with Aretha Franklin, who was also Houston's godmother, were amongst the
first to express their sorrow, followed by a tearful Mariah Carey, also a friend,
not just a colleague, of the singer.
Reactions were expected from her
former husband, Bobby Brown, and their daughter, Bobbi Kristina. The first was
reported as being in tears for long after the news reached him, while Bobbi Kristina,
who always pointed out how close she was with her mother, was immediately hospitalized
due to the shock suffered, reported Yahoo! News.
Whitney Houston was definitely an accomplished artist: she was in the Guinness
World Records as the most awarded female artist of all time, achieved 415 awards
in her lifetimes, of which 6 Grammys and 30 Bilboard Music Awards, and was
considered one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time. She is also
known for being the only one in achieving certain musical accomplishments, such
as seven consecutive No.1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, two No.1 Billboard 200 Album
Awards, and, in 1985, her debut album, entitled after her name, became the best-selling
debut album by a female act at the time of its release. Quite a lot for that time,
especially being a coloured woman. Quite a lot of achievements for a lifetime,
to be correct.
She was not only the first female to achieve such performances
and awards that up until then were mostly awarded to men, but she raised a lot
of attention on female artists, especially coloured ones. Her first role, in
the 1992 film "The Bodyguard" was a huge success, and its lead single
"I Will Always Love You" became the best-selling single by a female
artist in the music history.
And, as successful as she got on her
professional path, her personal one was not the same. After some failed relationships,
including the one with actor Eddie Murphy, Houston met R&B singer Bobby Brown
in 1989. That would be the beginning of a love affair which materialised in a
happy marriage and a beautiful, talented girl, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown. But
that was not all. The happiness of Bobby and Houston's marriage lasted little,
as the singer was drawn into her husband's world made of drugs, which threw her
on the path of violence and decay and, eventually, ended her marriage to the man
she loved so much. Her behaviour started changing in the '90s, from being
late for interviews and rehearsals, to cancelling concerts and, ultimately, appearing
in no condition to perform at concerts and talk-shows. As this became widely clear,
police evidence proved her and Bobby's usage and handling of marijuana and cocaine,
which fuelled the arguments and, supposedly, even the violence between the "happy
In the end, after a lot of turmoil, controversy and a declining career, Houston
separated from Bobby Brown in 2007, gaining also sole custody of their daughter.
This separation prompted her desire to clean up her act and to trigger a comeback.
In September 2009 the singer appeared on Oprah's show, thins being her first interview
in seven years, shedding some light on her past life, including her usage of drugs.
Her new album, "I Look to You", released one month prior to her
appearance on Oprah, was well received and marked her first number one album since
the success of "The Bodyguard".
However, the damages
done after all these years of abuse, neglect of her own health, and, of course,
drug usage took a toll of her voice; her first world tour in over 10 years,
which was supposed to be a triumphant comeback, received poor reviews and negative
media coverage. People were complaining her voice was changed and it is rumoured
fans walked out of some of her performances, demanding their money back. The artist
never recovered totally after that.
Whatever her last years have been
like, Whitney Houston was, is and will always be, one of the greatest artist
that graced the Earth with her presence and, moreover, with her voice.