Last Saturday America lost a singing icon. Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48.
By JON PARELES and ADAM NAGOURNEY
Whitney Houston, the multimillion-selling singer who emerged in the 1980s as one of her generation’s greatest R & B voices, only to deteriorate through years of cocaine use and an abusive marriage, died on Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 48.
Her death came as the music industry descended on Los Angeles for the annual celebration of the Grammy Awards, and Ms. Houston was — for all her difficulties over the years — one of its queens. She was staying at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Saturday to attend a pre-Grammy party being hosted by Clive Davis, the founder of Arista Records, who had been her pop mentor.
Ms. Houston was found in her room at 3:55 p.m., and paramedics spent close to 20 minutes trying to revive her, the authorities said. There was no immediate word on the cause of her death, but the authorities said there were no signs of foul play.
From the start of her career more than two decades ago, Ms. Houston had the talent, looks and pedigree of a pop superstar. She was the daughter of Cissy Houston, a gospel and pop singer who had backed up Aretha Franklin, and the cousin of Dionne Warwick. (Ms. Franklin is Ms. Houston’s godmother.)
Ms. Houston’s range spanned three octaves, and her voice was plush, vibrant and often spectacular. She could pour on the exuberant flourishes of gospel or peal a simple pop chorus; she could sing sweetly or unleash a sultry rasp.
Dressed in everything from formal gowns to T-shirts, she cultivated the image of a fun-loving but ardent good girl, the voice behind songs as perky as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and as torchy as what became her signature song, a version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”
I was stunned when I read about Whitney’s death. It reminded me of when Michael Jackson passed away in 2009. Both were still young. Just like Michael, I have been a long time fan of Whitney’s. I still own her first album Whitney Houston.
I’ve been playing the cd along with her 2 disc greatest hits cd since she passed away. All the songs on her debut cd are excellent but my favorite songs are How Will I Know, Take Good Care of My Heart, Saving All My Love For You and You Give Good Love.
Check out another favorite of mine. Queen of the Night is from Whitney’s blockbuster movie The Bodyguard.
RIP Whitney Houston.