Posted Feb 12th, 2012 (5:49 pm) by Ross Condit
Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston

Sad news to report today. As some of you may have heard, pop icon, Whitney Houston’s life came to untimely end yesterday afternoon.

Whitney reigned as the queen of pop from the mid-1980’s through the 1990’s. Houston is the “most awarded female artist of all time, having won 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, 16 NAACP Image Awards, six Grammy Awards, six People’s Choice Awards, and two Emmy Awards. Altogether, Whitney raked in a total of 415 career awards, and had 562 nominations as of 2010. She also sold over 170 million albums (including 7 back-to-back, multi-platinum records), singles and videos around the globe, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

Like her or not, Whitney Houston changed the face and direction of pop music from 1985 on, making hits, and shattering color barriers. A number of artists have acknowledged Houston as an influence, including: Anita Baker, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Nelly Furtado, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, P!nk, Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga, and many more.

For those who didn’t know, Whitney comes from a family of gospel and soul megastars her mother, Cissy Houston is a famous gospel singer in her own right, as well as a highly sought after rock/pop back-up singer. Her cousin is Dionne Warwick, her godmother is the “queen of soul” herself, Aretha Franklin. Perhaps, her destiny of greatness was pre-ordained with a pedigree like that, but Whitney made it on her own merits. From her start at her mother’s side singing gospel as a child, to her world-wide mega-stardom, Whitney shared a special part of herself with the world.

Sadly, like with so many artists, the fame and pressures of it all, along with a struggling marriage to Bobby Brown, took their toll. We began hearing about her drug and alcohol addition in the 2000’s and Whitney’s once shining star as both a tremendous talent, and a stable, well adjusted artist, became tarnished. We all felt her pain. As the tabloid’s lust for the salacious grew, her marriage disintegrated, the drug use seemed to get worse (or at least more regularly covered), and Whitney became the source of late-night comedy, and fell from grace. There were the inevitable stints in rehab, the failures of the rehab stints, and then, just as things seemed to be getting better for her, the tragic ending of a sad, and too public life.

Whitney passed away at the Beverly Hilton yesterday, reportedly having spent the past couple of days attending, and performing at, various pre-Grammy Award parties. According to multiple sources, Whitney had been partying, and was acting erratic. However, her cause of death at the age of 48 is still undetermined. Houston’s body was found at 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. She was scheduled to perform at a pre-Grammy event later that night that was hosted by her longtime mentor, and friend, music legend, Clive Davis.

Houston’s string of hits included: “How Will I Know," "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)," “Savin’ All My Love for You,” “You Give Good Love,” "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional,” “Greatest Love of All,” “When You Believe,” and the mega-hit, “I Will Always Love You.” “I Will Always Love You” is perhaps one of Whitney’s most famous and enduring songs. Originally written and performed by Dolly Parton for 1974’s album “Jolene,” Whitney covered and restyled it into the hit we all know, that emerged from her 1992 film with Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard. It seemed to be a fitting farewell in the wake of yesterday’s news. There will be a special tribute to Whitney at tonight's Grammy Awards performed by Jennifer Hudson. It's likely that the entire ceremony will be an unofficial tribute to her. Goodbye, Whitney.

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