Whitney Houston was an immense talent. Like so many I was blown away when I first saw this beautiful young talent tearing down the stage and singing ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody.’ A gorgeous smile and a voice so perfect, she was definitely going somewhere. ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ was the perfect pop song, if you didn’t dance it got you up on the floor. Whitney Houston provided that moment and the rest, as they say is history. And with history comes battles.
She reigned supreme throughout the 80’s and into the mid 90’s. Whitney Houston’s record sales of close on 200 million are quite staggering when you think she released only seven albums in those twenty two years.She was a true superstar but after achieving that staggering success things began to change and a gradual decline went in to free fall. Most will blame her marriage to Bobby Brown in 1992 as the beginning of the end but who knows where it all began. Personally I think it came from within, Bobby might not have been the right person but they certainly loved one another. Love hurts, love scars.
Whitney Houston had demons, she could never handle not being a superstar. The Queen had lost her crown and the decline was public and painful. Even the industry power that is Clive Davis and all the talent and money he threw at her was to prove to no avail. Whitney Houston’s final decade was a never ending dance with the devil. Her death is as tragic as that of Michael Jackson. Too many similarities of fame, fortune and then the slow slide down where people just aren’t as interested in you. No one is there when you are no longer making them money, they have moved on to their new star. The music industry is no safe haven when this happens. I’ve written less than complimentary blogs about Whitney Houston over the years, emotional outbursts first and foremost as a music fan. They were spawned from Clive Davis’ obsession with her and the vast amount of money he was investing in an artist who had clearly passed her sell by date. Not a personal vendetta just me saying the million dollars he’d spent trying to kickstart her career could have been better spent nurturing new talent and have done more to save an industry in decline. He clearly knew there was more to it than that and was doing what he could to save an artist sliding rapidly into self destruction. He was giving her some purpose as she had lost ability to deal with what was happening to herself. The drugs and erratic behavior were becoming more the norm and Whitney Houston was being forced to wash her dirty laundry in public. She had become a shadow of her former self. She didn’t even look like herself anymore. The person everyone had loved had gone. I cannot imagine what Clive Davis is going through right now. Whitney Houston was like a daughter to him, probably the closest he has been to any one artist in his long and illustrious career.
Another tragic, sad and lonely tale of a superstar falling from grace. No one teaches you how to handle fame in the music business which means not a soul is there to save you from the slide to ‘relative’ commercial obscurity. You crash and burn and it isn’t pretty. Whitney Houston fell from a very high place, the biggest female artist we’re ever likely to see, it just wont happen again. She slid off her throne and was forced to watch Beyonce, Rhianna etc leapfrog over her in the popularity stakes. She wasn’t ever really able to handle that and her only way of dealing with it was her path to self destruction. And finally when the voice could no longer handle the damage that had been inflicted upon it I suppose the will to live went with it.
I’m writing this while there is still no cause of death or no official statement other than she was found dead. I wonder if anyone was there when Whitney Houston died?
Think Marilyn Monroe, think Michael Jackson and now think Whitney Houston, gone but never forgotten. All in that safe haven no one could give them here. And tragically there will be more.