Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Greatest Love Of All

By now we’ve all heard about the tragic death of Whitney Houston. Dead at 48. She was 5 years older than me; the first celebrity death in a long time that I really am sad about. Not that I didn’t feel for the other families, but Whitney was the cool of the cool in the 80’s. Her explosive voice and beauty was captivating, yet I can’t recall her flaunting or using her sex appeal in a demeaning or obnoxious way like some celebrities do.

There are younger generations that have no idea who Whitney Houston is, and probably can’t understand what the fuss is all about. Well the fuss is that she was a pop icon. A model with far more beauty than the waifs out there now with their skeleton faces…and a singing voice that drew you in, lightly squeezed your heart and left you releasing the breath you had been holding in.

I remember wanting hair like Whitney; big, thick, curly hair that just exploded on top of my head. And when it came to her singing, it stopped me in my tracks. Many singers tend to scream the high, loud notes, but not Whitney. She had full control of her vocals, and what came out of her mouth, seemed effortless. Of course, I’m speaking about her in the days before her destructive behavior damaged her voice.

It was the summer after high school (1986) that I lived in Virginia for the summer to work at Busch Gardens. Halfway through the summer, I started working at a place in the theme park called “Sing-a-Song”. People would come in, pick a song they wanted to sing, and we recorded them singing their favorite tune(s). Those of us working there wished we had earplugs for many of the so-called “people who thought they could sing”. Do you know what the number one song most people picked to sing? You guessed it! “The Greatest Love of All”. How many people do you know can belt out that song?

It’s the last four lines of the lyrics that I find sad.

“And if by chance, that special place
That you've been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love”

I believe Whitney’s decline all stems from her marriage to Bobby Brown. It’s a perfect example that even though you love someone, if they don’t bring out the positive in you or lift you up, let them go and run like hell. Whitney was too good for him, and as I can recall, many people were surprised she picked him as a partner. But she did, and that decision lead her down a dark road. She didn’t find strength in love—only destruction.

Whitney might not have found the strength in love in her marriage, but I hope she found it now. Rest In Peace, Whitney. You will remain a pop icon for those of us who danced to your songs and cried from the beauty of your voice.

Legends and casualties,


  1. I still can't believe it! What a loss!!
    Whitney is my all-time favourite female artist... she is "The Voice" and there will never be another voice like hers (not in our lifetime, anyway...)

  2. This is so sad. I watched Lady Sings the Blues years ago. It made me think of Whitney. I hoped she wouldn't have that same fate. Such a waste. I used to love Bobby Brown & loved when they hooked up. So sad they took the drug path. *sniff*

  3. MISH, It's a great loss...and you're right, she is "The Voice".

    June, It can only end badly when drugs are involved. :(

  4. I just think it's sad that she had such an immense talent, literally one of the greatest voices of all time, and she squandered it on drugs until she could barely sing without her voice cracking. It's such a shame. And the pictures they took of her before her death, while she did look tired and unhealthy, she still looked beautiful at the core, which is sad. If she had taken care of herself I bet she'd still be a knockout, even now.