RIP Whitney Houston

American singer, actress & producer model Whitney Houston passed away last night.  She was 48. The announcement was made by her publicist to the press. The Beverly Hills Police Department responded to an emergency call at the Beverly Hills Hotel Saturday, Lt. Mark Rosen, of the Bevery Hills Police Department said. Members of hotel staff and fire department officials attempted to revive a person on the fourth floor, who has since been confirmed to be Houston, Rosen said. Officials did not see obvious signs of criminal intent, and are currently investigating to determine the cause of death, he said.

At her peak she was considered the Queen of Pop but her voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown. Her¬†list of awards¬†includes 2¬†Emmy Awards, 6¬†Grammy Awards, 30¬†Billboard Music Awards, 22¬†American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. She also acted in 4 movies including The Bodyguard in 1992 & 1995’s Waiting To Exhale. By the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.

Back in 1986-90 Whitney’s songs were the one of the pop songs that filtered through in the video tapes that me & my cousins watched, recorded from various Grammy specials, Top of the Pops & other such chart shows. I first heard about her when her Saving All My Love hit the Grammy awards. Since then a few of her songs have been in our list of regulars that we played over & over. I have never been her fan but it seems that she is a part of those memories of summers spent listening & watching to lots of songs with my relatives. And it feels like I am obligated to write this post as a tribute.

PS. – at one time her name was so well know in my extended family that even my aunts & my mom, who never listen to English music, kept saying ‘Chutney Houston’ for fun as they kept hearing her name!

Whitney Elizabeth Houston¬†(August 9, 1963 ‚Äď February 11, 2012)