The life and death of whitney houston
The Life and Death of Whitney Houston by Kim HudsonKnown simply as The Voice, Whitney Houston enchanted the entire world with her epic vocal gift. Her exuberant performances, beauty, and acting talent quickly catapulted her to the highest echelons of fame and fortune, and during her lifetime she won more awards than any other female vocalist. Tony Bennett put it best on his twitter feed: “Whitney Houston was the greatest singer Ive ever heard, and she will be truly missed.”
“Certain voices stand like monuments upon the landscape of twentieth century pop, defining the architecture of their times, sheltering the dreams of millions, and inspiring the climbing careers of countless imitators. Whitney Houston owns one of those voices,” wrote Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times.
What was it about her voice that created such an international sensation? Listen to the excellent montage of Houstons greatest moments at People.com and youll immediately understand.
Her enormously wide range, gorgeous timber, and strong resonance made her voice sound almost supernatural. She could trill to treble F, extend down to G, and drop below middle C. One of the most celebrated songs of Houstons career, her famous remake of Dolly Partons “I Will Always Love You,” showcased her powerful gift. Houston popularized the song at the height of her fame in the music video she recorded for the 1992 movie The Bodyguard.
Houston also broke racial barriers when she rose to the top of the mainstream entertainment business. From her young modeling days to her later incredibly successful movie career, she always did it better and made more money than almost everyone else in Hollywood. As Jimmy Jam noted, “To me, Whitney was the next person, after Diana Ross, who for a lot of little girls was sort of that bright light called positive African-American beauty and talent . . . When you look at someone like Beyonce, you know the influence someone like Whitney had on that.”
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Cocaine addiction, of course, is an insidious monster, but Houston, even after rehab, kept returning to it, as if she wanted to destroy herself. To see her life story is always, on some level, to be buzzing with a single question: Why? Why did the most astonishingly gifted singer of her generation go down a road of darkness and self-sabotage when the very essence of her presence is that she filled the world with light? A lot of people are sure that they know the answer; the most knee-jerk one, of course, is that she should never have gotten involved with the smarmy lightweight B-boy Bobby Brown. The film captures the quality that made Whitney Houston magical, but more than that it puts together the warring sides of her soul. It was romance made religious, a song that struck such a mythological chord of uplift that Saddam Hussein used a version of it during one of his re-election campaigns.
A new documentary by Kevin Macdonald uncovers how the singer was abused by a relative as a child.
Born on Aug. Unsurprisingly, young Whitney also proved to have a vocal gift, performing her first solo at age 11 at the New Hope Baptist Church. It was during one particular singing gig in that she caught the ear of Arista music exec Clive Davis, who signed her to a record deal on the spot. Houston was up for three awards at the Grammys, including album of the year, and ultimately took home the honor for best female pop vocal performance. With the June release of her second album, Whitney , Houston made history again, becoming the first female artist to enter the Billboard album charts at No. Despite being busy with performing and touring, Houston managed to find time for romance, mainly with Eddie Murphy. On March 4, , Houston gave birth to daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, whom she called her greatest inspiration.
Video: Dogwoof. On February 11th, , as musical royalty descended on Los Angeles for the Grammys, Whitney Houston checked in to the Beverly Hilton hotel with an entourage of family and friends. CPR was administered and paramedics were called to no avail. What exactly killed Houston? Why did she drown? How did she drown? Was she simply overwhelmed by the controlling demands of her formidable mother, Cissy Houston , Svengali Clive Davis, and her record company, Arista?