I was in the middle of a Fashion Week party just now, getting ready to come home to file photos and stories on what I had seen today when people walked in and almost started to weep. When all of us asked what had happened, they simply said: “Whitney Houston died.”
I’ve been processing this for a couple of hours and I decided that since the music and style of Whitney Houston had such an impact on my life, I could not let her pass without honoring her.
When I was in junior high school, Whitney’s first album was released and from the minute that record made its way into my house, my life was never the same. I remember hearing her singing on the radio when the single “Greatest Love of All” was released and racing out that evening to get the record. When the video followed, it was a moment of my own personal history that I will never forget. I got goosebumps. Not only did she have the voice of an angel, she looked like one. I went out and bought earrings similar to those she wore in that video and spent the next few years looking to her. Here was someone who kind of looked like me who had made it. I was inspired to see what I could do.
I will not comment on her struggles with personal issues here, but having conquered some of my own afflictions, I will tell you that none of us can judge the circumstances that caused her to pass on. Whatever darkness may come via news and official reports over the next day cannot dim the light her voice and talent shed on this world. We have to remember that nothing can diminish what she left behind.
We must remember this always: even those with gifts from heaven struggle with demons.
What I care to remember was the music that she left behind, those life-changing ballads and the ability to simply open her throat and let a ray of light come through that could bring a tear to the eye of the harshest critic. She was, quite simply, an original. The mold was broken when it came to that voice, the ability to hear her very soul in a song. I had always hoped to feel the warmth of that ability again. Tonight feels very cold in comparison.
Whitney, wherever you are, I hope your soul is at rest. I will remember you always through your songs. You were one of the greatest voices of all.
In this video, which is my personal all-time favorite song from Whitney, she says, “I was lost, but now I’m free.” Tonight, I truly hope that line is true.
Goodnight, dear sister. Goodnight.