Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston RIP

In the midst of my first dinner party last night, a friend blurts out "Oh my God! Whitney Houston is DEAD!" We weren't talking about Whitney Houston or anything related to her, so I thought maybe he'd suddenly been afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome. He's been fighting a head cold all week and had just popped two Advil, so you never know. Immediately, the other three of us grabbed our iPhones, began scouring the interwebs for details. I flipped on the tv, but CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, Fox News, and even E! were all focussed on other "more important" things. Fortunately, we finally received confirmation from Scott Kleinberg on Twitter.

And then the inappropriateness began. Tim, walked into the kitchen for a refill on wine, saw Betsey and Ross's medicine shelf and started snapping pictures. A few moments later, thanks to Instagram, the world was treated to this:

Yes, I know. Horribly inappropriate. The comments on Facebook ranged from "never too soon for a drug addict joke! LOL!" to "You are so not right." That was my favorite. Betsey and Ross refused to speak to Tim for the rest of the evening because they believe he violated their HIPAA rights, but the legal expert in the room claimed HIPAA laws don't apply to cats. Whatever. Clearly I was outnumbered.

As a teen, I loved Whitney Houston. I had all her albums on cassette tape and played them on an endless loop. In 1987, my mom, my friend Tiffany and I saw her in concert at Poplar Creek. Tiffany and I were in the cheap seats in the back, while my mom sat practically stage-side right next to Whitney's mom and famous singer in her own right, Cissy Houston.
Tiff and me in 1987 at the Whitney Houston concert at Poplar Creek. If you look closely, you'll see my Swatch on my wrist.

Even though it's been years since Whitney Houston was truly popular, there are a number of songs, that for me, transcend time and never fail to stop me in my tracks. In no particular order, they include her rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" at the 1991 Superbowl, her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" from The Bodyguard, "One Moment in Time" from the 1984 Olympics, and the a cappella version of "How Will I Know."

There may never be another singer who can handle this song the way Whitney did. It was the perfect way to unite the country with pride as we entered the first Iraqi war.

Another great love song. I'm sure we've all felt this way more than once. I love this song because you've got to have real vocal chops to sing a capella. No auto tuner. Just you.

Is it possible to listen to "One Moment in Time" without being completely inspired to be your best?

Here's Whitney singing "I Will Always Love You" from VH1's Divas Live Save the Music in 1999. It's the perfect way to remember her.

I imagine tonight's Grammy Awards will be quite moving. Whitney Houston will be missed. Voices like hers are a rare gift to the world. RIP Whitney Houston.

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