Whitney Houston (1963 – 2012)
Can’t say I was ever a true fan of hers, Whitney Houston was undoubtedly one of the original divas of the modern pop era. Her short 48 year life was fraught with the level of drama that will ensure she is remembered for many year to come.
Caught in an abusive marriage, trapped in the spiral of drug addiction and rehab centres, her talent waning as she struggled to re-establish herself as a performer, Houston will perhaps be best remembered as she was at the height of her talents and success in the decade from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.
Her self-titled 1985 debut produced multiple chart-topping singles (including “How Will I Know?”, “Saving All My Love For You” and “Greatest Love Of All”). After releasing a number of further albums and touring extensively, Houston began to focus on her acting career and starred alongside Kevin Costner in the 1992 film The Bodyguard and later in Waiting to Exhale with Angela Basset. (She did keep her musical pedigree alive by performing on many of the accompanying soundtrack albums).
After an eight year absence from the recording studio – barring her film music work – Houston returned in 1998 to record what was originally planned to be a greatest hits compilation with a few new songs. After six short, but extremely productive weeks in studio it became obvious that she had enough material to release a completely original album. The critically acclaimed My Love Is Your Love, was released in November 1998 and showcased a much funkier and edgier sound than her past releases. The album also saw Houston handling a wide range of styles including urban dance, hip hop, mid-tempo R&B, reggae, torch songs, and ballads all with great dexterity.
It also produced the one Houston song that I personally like. The Wyclef Jean written and produced title track “My Love is Your Love”. Here is how I will remember the lady.