Remembering Whitney Houston (1963 - 2012)

Posted by Billyjam, February 11, 2012 05:18pm | Post a Comment

Iconic pop singer/actress Whitney Houston died today around 4:00pm PST in a hotel room at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. She was 48. According to a statement from Houston's publicist Kristen Foster who reported the singer's passing at a press conference, the cause of her death is, as yet, unknown. Afterwards it was reported that she was found submerged in the bath tub of her hotel room and that a variety of prescription drugs were found in her room. She was scheduled to perform Saturday evening at a pre-Grammy party for Arista's Clive Davis - her lifelong mentor. The death came as a major shock to everyone since Houston had been making a strong comeback of late after years of reported drug abuse (that famously affected her voice and derailed her career for several years). She was seemingly in good health and spirits right up to hours before her death, according to those who saw her in another pre-Grammys performance with Kelly Price (see fan video here) in which they sang a duet of  "Jesus Loves Me."

It is now likely that Sunday's big Grammys event, which was scheduled to have tributes to other recently deceased music industry figures such as Etta James (on the Amoeblog) and Don Cornelius (on the Amoeblog), will now have a last minute tribute to Houston - one of the biggest pop stars of recent decades. Houston will be remembered for the string of non-stop pop hits she put out in the 1980s and 1990s, including "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and for her acting roles in such films as The Bodyguard (featuring the hit song "I Will Always Love You." See  video below.) and Waiting to Exhale, as well as for her family's rich musical background. Her mother, legend Cissy Houston, had her own successful gospel singing career and was a backup singer for Elvis Presley. Whitney's cousin was Dionne Warwick, her aunt was Thelma Houston, and her godmother was Aretha Franklin

Below, to remember her by, are a series of Whitney Houston videos that span her iconic career, including the 1991 Super Bowl when, her version of the "Star Spangled Banner" was so moving that it became a number one pop hit.  Rest in peace Whitney Houston.

Whitney Houston "I'm Every Woman" (1992) - A very visibly pregnant Whitney Houston in one of
many popular singles culled from The Bodyguard soundtrack - her version of "I'm Every Woman."
This song was originally done by Chaka Khan on which, coincidentally, a young Houston did back up vocals for Chaka Khan. Hence Khan returns the favor here as being among the countless other greats making cameosin this video. Others include her mom, Cissy Houston, Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson),  Martha Wash, and TLC featuring Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes - another artist to have passed on. The double 12" version of this song had about ten different remixes on it.

Only Whitney Houston could transform the Star Spangled Banner into a number one pop hit
as she did with her Super Bowl XXV (1991) performance of the National Anthem.

Whitney Houston "I Have Nothing" from the soundtrack to 1992's The Bodyguard in which she
starred with Kevin Costner. Not only was the film a hugely successful but the soundtrack
won a Grammy Award for Album
of the Year and became the best-selling soundtrack
album of all time selling 44 million copies.

Whitney Houston "Greatest Love of All"  - one of three number one hit singles off her
1985 self-titled Arista debut album

Whitney Houston "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"  -  Opening track off her
second album, 1987's Whitney on Arista, with production by Narada Michael Walden
one of
seven number one hits he would help score for Houston.

       Whitney Houston "It's Not Right, But It's Okay" (1998) was from Houston's fourth studio album
My Love Is Your Love which was a little less pop than her previous albums and was more of hit
overseas than in the States. This song, in many remixes, was a big dance hit round the globe.

Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You" (1992) was another hit from the hugely popular The Bodyguard soundtrack and another example of Houston taking an established song and
totally making it her own. In this case it was Dolly Parton's earlier decade hit. Note that
Houston was pregnant with her daughter, Bobbi Kristina - hers and Bobby Brown's
only child together, during the shooting of this video.

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Black History Month (134), Whitney Houston (9)