Remembering Whitney Houston: 1963-2012
Whitney Houston, one of the greatest voices the world has ever known, died today at the age of 48. And, it goes without saying, a piece of our hearts went with her.
As was the case for many twentysomethings, the pop legend's powerful and effortless pipes—made sweeter by her training in the church—provided the soundtrack to my youth in the mid-'80s. From the happy mood-inducing dance track "How Will I Know" to the inspirational ballad "The Greatest Love of All," my mom blasted Whitney's vinyl records all throughout the house. After hearing those songs, "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" did not stand a chance.
The singer continued to rule the charts through the '90s. She was America's sweetheart with the golden voice. By the time The Bodyguard hit theaters, I was a bona fide Whitney Houston fan. It was also around that time that she began a tumultuous relationship with R&B bad boy Bobby Brown. Subsequent reports of drug use and erratic behavior tarnished her good-girl image. Even then, she still had me "shoop, shooping" along with the radio.
Like the rest of the world, I let out a big sigh of relief when she finally filed for divorce from Brown in 2006. And I gleamed with delight as a healthy and wiser Whitney gave a candid interview to Oprah Winfrey two years later in support of her comeback album, I Look to You. It seemed like the Whitney I first fell in love with was back for good.
Now, with the news of her death, I am left confused and heartbroken. My thoughts go out to her loved ones, especially 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina and mom Cissy, who spent over a decade trying to get her well.
She may be gone, but her music and influence on this generation of singers and those to come will forever live on.
We will always love you, Whitney Houston.
Click through the tribute gallery to Whitney below to relive the icon's memorable moments in the spotlight.