Shows like the “X Factor” and “American Idol” try to discover young talent, and often they are measured by one of the greatest singers of our generation, Whitney Houston. Performances of her songs are often considered dire moves by contestants because of the stigma of being compared to this legendary singer. But stardom wasn’t always what it’s cracked up to be for Whitney, who died today at the young age of 48 years.
Whitney rose to fame and quickly became an American sweetheart in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Her booming voice was a mezzo-soprano. Her impressive vocal range went from G below middle C to a high B-flat. She could belt out a treble F when the song required it. In 2008, Rolling Stone listed her as the thirty-fourth best vocalist of all time. She heavily influenced Mariah Carey, and has the distinction of being the only artist to chart seven consecutive Billboard 100 #1 hits. Her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” for the soundtrack to the movie she also starred in, The Bodyguard, is already considered a classic.
The cause of Whitney Houston’s death is unknown at this time. Apparently, paramedics were summoned to a hotel room in Houston, Texas where she was staying, this afternoon. CPR attempts failed, and Houston was declared dead at 3:55 P.M. There have been no signs of foul play, as reported by responders to the scene.
Whitney famously battled drug and alcohol addiction, and her ex-husband Bobby Brown was often implicated as the reason for her vices. She entered a rehabilitation program for drug and alcohol dependence as recently as 2009. She once told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that marijuana laced with cocaine was her drug of choice during her marriage to Bobby Brown, which spanned from 1992 to 2006. Whitney staged a massive comeback tour to support her final album, “I Look to You,” which was released in 2009. Despite bad criticisms of her voice throughout the campaign, Whitney completed the tour, visiting many nations.
It’s hard to imagine that any other outcome from this will arise but that Whitney Houston passed away as a result of drug or alcohol abuse. Her long battle with these demons is now over, and history will judge her on her accomplishments. Unfortunately, one of her quotes will probably be forever attached to her name. When asked by Diane Sawyer about her drug use, she admitted using marijuana, cocaine, and pills, but she adamantly denied ever doing crack. Her reason?
“First, let’s get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that straight, okay? We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is whack.”
Rest in peace, Whitney. Drugs will bother you no more.