Today we look back on a woman who needs no introduction – Whitney Houston – a talented singer and actress, a wife, a mother and – most important – a beautiful person who had an incredible soul inside!
She was born in 1969 and raised in one of the poorest areas in America and became one of the richest singers, contributing to our life the joy of listening to her voice.
Whitney came from a musical family, her early performances with her mother at the Baptist Church in Newark show the unique talent that would flourish within the next years.
She was 15 when Whitney had a first chance to sing background vocals in Chaka Khan’s single “I’m every woman”.
1985 her first album “Whitney Houston” and her first Grammy in 1986. Since then Whitney became an international star. Everyone knew her songs and admired her talent. According to the Guinness World Records she is the most-awarded female act of all-time!
Every year Whitney received numerous awards for her performances which established her in the music business further and further. She also opened the door for many female African-American artists that had not had the chance before.
1989 at the Soul Train Music Awards she met a man who would be her husband in three years and would change her life forever – Bobby Brown. He was an aspiring singer, who was also famous for his more than extravagant behaviour and numerous relationships with women. Whitney and Bobby became a couple to the astonishment of everyone who knew them. A bad boy and a good girl… Well, what can you do.
In 2009 Whitney told Oprah in an interview “Marrying Bobby has allowed me to be me”, when she was asked why she chose him to be her husband. “My life became the world’s” said she about her fame. She didn’t belong to herself, she was a public figure and was constantly under pressure. Bobby was the escape from all that. Whitney could be just a woman, a wife. Just be. That is the luxury, which is often missing in lives of many celebrities.
life treats you kind
And I hope
you have all you've dreamed of
And I wish you joy
But above all this
I wish you love
("I Will Always Love You")
The year 1992 was the most successful one in her professional and personal life. Whitney starred in “Bodyguard” and… married Bobby Brown. The reception of the film and Houston as an actress was overwhelming and everything she could possibly dream of was a happy marriage. But this wasn’t meant to happen.
Bobby had been trying to find his own place on the stage for some years by that time. Not that he wasn’t successful, but it was nothing in comparison to Whitney’s success. Jealousy and anger were common coming from Bobby. But Whitney was patient. In an interview to Oprah she admitted: “I was trying to be Mrs. Brown”. She considered her role as a wife more important than the one of a singer.
The birth oh their daughter, Bobby Kristina in 1993 didn’t change much. Whitney was passionately in love with Bobby but his behaviour changed according to his mood swings. Bobby was often arrested for various violations of the law and Whitney always stood by his side. They made headlines because of drug abuse and scandals. Everyone knew that Brown was also cheating on Whitney…
At the end of 1990s Whitney’s songs become more sad and ironic. She often sings about lies and cheating that were common in her personal life.
You said that you'd be here by nine
And said you took your time
You didn't think to call me boy
Here I sit trying not to cry
Asking myself why you do this to me
The time came for them to split up in 2007. Whitney filed for divorce after the situation got out of hand completely. Her career was suffering a great deal from her drug abuse, unstable behaviour and frequent absence on scheduled shows and even concerts. This could not go on for too long.
Did you think that I'd still care
That there'd be more feeling there
Did you think you could walk back in my life.
So you found you miss the love you threw away.
Baby but you found it out too late. Too Late.
("I Learned From The Best")
Her daughter helped her to recover and to find the strength to continue her career.
In 2009 Whitney released her new album “I look to you” and started a tour a year later. Unfortunately her performances were rescheduled too often and her attitude was difficult to work with. The end of this on February, 11th, we all know.
These facts of her biography tell too little about Whitney, though. You cannot describe this woman by telling about her. You should watch her concerts. I watched one of them (from 1997) where she performed in Washington D.C. Whitney could have been a really good public speaker, you know. Between the songs at that concert she was telling to the audience some interesting stories of her life: how she became a singer, what means to be a woman, what singers had an impact on her talent. It was so funny at times. She could make sound serious things very unimportant. Her whole attitude was like – it is a concert, let’s have fun. Who cares what happens next. One of my favourite things was when she said something about death: “…when we all go to a better place. I hope it’s a better place. There has to be somewhere better than this…”
Her songs and voice and the whole performance were so inspiring and cheerful. She loved what she did on the stage. Not everyone is like that. No matter what impact Bobby Brown had on her, it was definitely true that she was more creative and emotional while singing those songs. Because if you feel nothing or little you won’t be able to sing like that!
Some people even when they go, don’t actually go away. A person who touched so many lives is still alive. Can you feel that Whitney is dead? No, you won’t ever be able to. Such extraordinary people can never die. They’ll always be here with us!