Andrew Burgess writes: The Associated Press reported Saturday evening that legendary singer Whitney Houston has died in her fourth-floor room at the Beverly Hilton on the eve of the Grammys. The cause of death is as yet unknown, but there are no signs of criminal intent. She was 48 years old.
She was to have attended, and possibly performed at, a pre-Grammy concert hosted by her longtime mentor, Clive Davis. On Thursday, she coached singers Brandy and Monica at a Grammy rehearsal. It’s hard to shake that tarnishing quote from an unnamed person associated with the event who said, “Houston looked disheveled, was sweating profusely and liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on her breath”.
The last few years have not been kind to Houston, with a tumultuous marriage to (and divorce from) Bobby Brown, drug use and bizarre public appearances. By the end, her voice was diminished and the hits had stopped coming.
But that’s not the Whitney we remember today. She was a legend and an inspiration to a new generation of singers from Mariah Carey to Christina Aguilera. She earned her first Grammy with the hit song, Saving All My Love For You, from her 1985 self-titled debut. 1987’s Whitney would continue her chart dominance with hits like Where Do Broken Hearts Go, and I Wanna Dance With Somebody. She would continue to sell 55 million albums in the U.S. alone over the course of her career.
One would be hard pressed to find anyone of a certain age who hasn’t at some point been driven to tears at her stirring rendition of Dolly Parton‘s I Will Always Love You. Her acting debut in 1992’s The Bodyguard (alongside Kevin Costner) led to roles in Waiting To Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife.
She had the perfect mix of poise and talent, emotion and restraint; she had the kind of voice that comes along once in a generation.
Watch the video of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You: