Whitney Houston passed away today. The cause of death is unknown at this time. She reigned as one of the top popular acts of the 80’s and 90’s until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown. She was 48.
She hit superstardom in the 80’s and was the only artist to have 7 consecutive #1 hits. This propelled her to the top of the most popular acts of the decade. She had a voice some say came from an angel.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
She had the the perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise. She influenced the likes and talents of Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera.
The New York Times wrote that Houston “possesses one of her generation’s most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity.”
Her demise into drugs and reckless lifestyle was a shock to many as she never appeared to be the type that would ever swim in that world. It’s unfortunate that the recording industry lost a great talent, but she will forever be remembered for the work she did before then.