Monday, 13 February 2012


We're going to be hearing about the untimely passing of Whitney Houston for weeks. Months. Maybe the rest of the year. This is likely to be news to absolutely no one by now. We witnessed the aftermath of Amy Winehouse's death last year played out in the media for what seemed like forever. Sorry, seems like forever. People are still looking into every unexplored aspect of her life, no matter how mundane or make believe. Before that it was Michael Jackson and now the same will happen to Whitney Houston, as everyone throws in their two-cents as to what led to yesterday's events. The notion of 'rest in peace,' while bandied about by everyone after a celebrity dies is more an expected expression of feigned interest than an actual statement of what one believes. I suppose that comes with the territory.

We're going to read again and again about all of the darkest times in Whitney Houston's life, we'll celebrate her greatest hits and send her back to the top of the charts for a week of two and then Whitney will fade from the spotlight once more. Life goes on? More likely, someone will have taken her place. That's the sad reality of living in a celebrity obsessed culture; the heroes that we love, hate, love-to-hate, joke about, celebrate achievements with, watch fall from grace and climb their way back to the top... these icons come and go. Whitney Elizabeth Houston was as iconic a singer as there will ever be. She had a voice that resonated with millions of listeners around the world, inspired a generation of female vocalists (Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis) and left no one in denial of its tremendous power. Her beauty, attitude and talent saw her break down barriers to become the first great African-American female artist of the MTV generation.

All of the aspects of her personal life that you already know and will know more about soon - her addictions, her family dramas - we can leave them alone for a minute and focus on the best thing Whitney Houston gave the world; her voice. Listen to these five tremendous showcases of one of music's greatest talents and you won't have a choice. When Whitney Houston sings, her voice is the only thing you can focus on. Commanding, booming, beautiful... these are Whitney Houston's five greatest songs. Enjoy.

5. It's Not Right But It's Ok (1999)

4. Greatest Love of All (1986)

3. I Will Always Love You (1992)

2. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) (1987)

1. I Have Nothing (1993)

Whitney Houston, RIP. 

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