The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Mourning Whitney Houston

2 min read

Lovers of music received another blow to an already bleeding heart with the death of Whitney Houston.

In this year alone, the world has lost the famous singer Etta James and long time “Soul Train” host Don Cornelius but so far the loss of Houston has hit the hardest.

The singer was only 48-years-old and died in her hotel on Saturday February 11, 2011 on the eve of the Grammys. The true cause of death is yet unknown. Even though her death is uncertain the legacy of the dynamic singer will endure the test of time. Her accomplishments are truly beyond measure.

Countless music artists can attribute their beginnings starting with Houston and the influence of her robust, soulful voice. Even beyond the thousands of artists, there are millions of fans who heard and appreciated the splendor of her legendary pipes. Her influence reached across every fan base worldwide. As an African-American, her crossover appeal paved the way for other artists to expand their fan base beyond the R&B crowd.

Houston was a double threat with both singing and acting talents. One of the singer’s most famous hits “I Will Always Love You” was a recorded on the soundtrack for the movie “The Bodyguard.”

While the hit song was already recorded by singer Dolly Parton, the song reached a new level with Houston’s rendition. This was the singer’s first movie debut but certainly not her last. The singer continued to rise to fame starring in movies such as “Waiting to Exhale,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” and “Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”

Some of her most famous costars include Kevin Costner, Angela Basset, Loretta Divine, Denzel Washington, Whoopi Goldberg and Brandy.

Houston’s career seemed unstoppable with a voice like an angel and authentic acting skills that earned her roles with some of the movie industry’s heavy hitters. But in the eyes of the media and on looking fans, her career did hit a stumbling block with her marriage to singer Bobby Brown and her highly publicized drug problems. The documentary show “Being Bobby Brown” showed fans a new side of Houston and the devastating affect the drugs had wrought on the singer.

For a period of time, her image and name changed from being one of respect to being of ridicule. It was a sobering and cautionary sight to see the once powerful voice and beauty reduced all because drugs.

She later divorced Bobby Brown and sought to get her career back on track but her voice forever changed.

Even with this low point in the singer’s career and image, her legacy as one of the greatest singers remains intact. Nothing can taint the smooth resonance of Houston’s songs to the ear. In her passing, we recognize her greatness, respect her contribution to the world, and mourn the loss of an irreplaceable icon. It is safe to say that there will never be another Whitney Houston.