Friday, May 3, 2013
Whitney Houston Died Too Soon, Her Music Lives On
By Jeremy. St. Clair
Singer Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel as she prepared to attend the Grammy Awards. Houston, 48, was born in New Jersey on August 9, 1963 and died February 11, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.
In Whitney Houston’s family her mother, Cissy Houston, was a famous gospel singer and one of her brothers, Gary Garland, also was a singer. Dionne Warrick was her cousin, a popular singer doing soul music, her godmother was singer Darlene Love, and a family friend was soul singer Aretha Franklin. This is probably part of the reason she decided to become a singer, since members of her family are singers. When she was eleven she got into music when she sang in a choir at her church. It was also there she started to play the piano.
Whitney Houston was taught music and how to sing by her mother. She started her singing career when she was a teenager singing at nightclubs. This began her interest in music and becoming a professional singer. She is survived by her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. When she was only 15, Whitney sang backup for Chaka Kahn’s solo “I’m Every Woman.” Before she became a singer she was a fashion model during the early 80’s. She was the first woman of color to be on the cover of the teen magazine, Seventeen.
In the beginning, she was approached by two record companies but her mother wanted to wait till she finished high school. Whitney Houston’s first album was Whitney Houston in 1985. After coming out with several songs in just a year she topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and stay there for 14 nonconsecutive weeks. It was throughout the late 80’s she came out with several good songs and in 1991 she sang at the Super Bowl.
Also, in the late 80’s she met men such as Randall Cunningham and Eddie Murphy and in 1989 at the Soul Train Music Awards she met singer Bobby Brown. They got married in 1992 and had a daughter. She had a good career throughout the 80’s but that changed starting in the 2000s. She began missing concerts and there were rumors of her using drugs. Whitney and her husband were caught possessing drugs. The charges were dropped but rumors of her drug use continued. In 2006, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown filed for divorce and Houston got custody of her daughter. Bobby Brown sued for custody but didn’t get it.
In 2009 she was a guest mentor on the UK show X factor and sang Million Dollar Bill. Critics did not like the performance, referring to it as weird, ungracious and a flop. In February 2012, Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathtub in a hotel in Beverly Hills. The cause was due to an accidental drowning and later Houston was revealed to have taken drugs such as Benadryl, Xanax and Marijuana. The funeral arrangements were open only to Whitney’s friends and family. The funeral was held in Newark, New Jersey. Whitney Houston’s mother was in charge of the service. Whitney Houston was buried in Fairview Cemetery.
Whitney Houston had unique traits and characteristics. She was described as a person filled with passion and life. She enjoyed being in situations with energy, excitement and action. She also had an urge to express herself creatively in her own way. She really enjoyed life and it can be shown through her singing.
Houston said of her life. “Nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do, it’s my decision.” However, while her professional life was good she had personal issues. At first everyone thought of her as a good girl during the 80’s and 90’s. In the end, she was a good singer who encountered problems in her life and had trouble combating them. She lived in a middle income area in New Jersey with her parents.
She will be missed a lot. She died too early, yet we still have her music to listen to.
Jeremy St. Clair is a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas College majoring in Communication Arts. He hopes to pursue a career in television production.