|Young vibrant Whitney Houston|
I remember being in University, back in 1987. I was driving home from school and my friend Eric was in the car. Every second song on the radio was a song by her. We both noticed that. She was sweet, innocent and completely on top of her game. We both noticed that as well. 25 years later, she died a jagged former shell of what she was and became for a while. Everybody had noticed that by the time she passed away. This song will always remind me of her now.
That will always be my connection to her. My memory of that time and where I was then. And how she was then. And what she sadly became.
I can't think of anyone in my generation who had more natural talent than Whitney Houston.
But I can think of many examples of stars just like her who had great talent and let the hype that surrounds that destroy them over time.
Andy Gibb, Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe, River Phoenix and so many more.
Andy Gibb, another with so much talent, who had everything and lost it all to drugs and hype.
"He helped a lot of people, he just couldn't help himself"----Maurice Gibb.
Whitney Houston was a fantastic singer with a fantastic voice. I don't know of anyone who would deny that.
She also had what all the great ones had. She didn't just have an unreal voice (which she did) but she could move you with a song. And she could pick songs that allowed her to do that.
She took that Dolly Parton song, a great song that had sat for years, and made it her own. Made it great. The great ones can do that. They bring something to it. They take it and enrich it. But there is a price for having that ability. More about that later.
Another singer who has that ability is Anne Murray. She took a great song that nobody even knew about, Danny's Song, and transformed it into a super hit. She is another who brings something to a song that most others cannot.
But Anne Murray never succumbed to the hype machine, the drugs, the parties, the intense fame that can consume an artist.
"People see me as the girl next door. And that wasn't the case. It was hard, hard work and a lot of bumps along the way....those early days were tough on the road. Some of my band members in those days were incorrigable. They were bad boys. I had guys in my band who abused drugs and alcohol and it made my life miserable...I was living on the edge all of the time...I was doing it all in those days. And how I ever managed to get through it those first few years is beyond me...I was on the road, on a tear all the time."
Peter Mansbridge: How did you resist the drug culture?
"No, (I didn't get caught up in it), but I saw what it was doing, and it was counterproductive and I had a job to do...in hindsite it's still awful. It was horrible then and it's horrible now"
Just after she died, and in the days that followed, many people posted that they were very sad that she died. I was not.
|An older, less vibrant Whitney|