When I was teenager, I really wanted to sing. At the time, singing with lots of what I called musical frills (because I knew ever so much about technique) was big. This was at the height of Whitney Houston’s popularity and her songs were everywhere. One of my happier moments was when I managed to get my mom to buy I’m Your Baby Tonight on tape. I would sing along with her, trying to sound just as strong and hit the notes just as well as she did.
I absolutely loved her voice. I wanted to sound just as amazing as she did.
About a year or so into college, I decided I would rather spend more time writing than singing. I had become a prima donna about it, and a tad delusional about my ability. I realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. So, I switched majors, then got married, had kids, and found I really had to choose between the two. Writing won.
I heard rumblings through the haze of those early married years of her struggles. I cringed when I saw that YouTube clip of her trying to sing after her Oprah interview. I actually got ticked when I heard her give that lame excuse about talking too much in her interview the day before. Later clips from her concerts confirmed what I knew. Her voice was gone. Nothing to do now but try to rebuild. I was hoping she would because a voice that amazing is a terrible thing to lose. But she would adapt and once she became comfortable with the voice she now had, I knew I would start buying her albums again. Maybe even start singing along with them again.
And now she’s gone. I feel like part of my past has died with her. All I can do is write this lame excuse for a memorial.
One thought on “Whitney Houston’s death”
I did my share of cringing at Whitney’s singing in recent years, but her passing seems too soon for me nonetheless. What a wonderful talent she was. And although her voice had been, in a sense, already lost to the world for a while, there was something about her that still inspired awe and respect. I like to giggle at Randy Jackson’s overuse of the description “one of the greatest singers in the known world”–but in Whitney’s case, it was so true.