Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Amazing Whitney Houston, 1963-2012


I like the above tribute to Whitney Houston. I thought it's perfectly set to her last great song "I Didn't Know My Own Strength".

As anyone that has ever read my blog knows, I'm an unabashed lover of anything 80's music. There were very few stars bigger than Whitney Houston during the 8os. She really broke out in the mid-80s and didn't let go for several more years. I still remember when she burst on the scene. Here's this amazingly gorgeous young woman who had one of the greatest voices I've ever heard. This was the era before auto-tune so all the notes Whitney hit, she really hit. And not only could she sing, but she was also gorgeous. Then later she showed that she could act. She was a multi faceted, multi talented artist.

Although she hasn't worked much lately, Whitney will truly be missed. Thankfully her talent has been recorded and we'll be able to enjoy her performances for ever and ever. I've been enjoying her music most of today. The Grammy's are tonight and Jennifer Hudson is preparing a tribute to do in her honor. She's one of the few performers that could pull this off. Could you imagine Britney Spears or Ke$ha performing a tribute that would be worthy of the amazing Ms. Houston? I still probably am not going to watch the Grammy's but I definitely will catch Hudson's performance on

There's grainy video circulating of Whitney Houston singing "Jesus Loves Me" from a couple of nights ago. This allegedly is her last performance. I'm not going to have it on my blog, but it's easily found on To me this final performance is very sad. She clearly had lost so much of that amazing voice of hers. So much promise that she had and she did hit a pretty high peak. But the fall from grace was so very sad, a cautionary tale to anyone who wants to pursue pop stardom.

At the end of Houston's career she broke away from many of the traditional arrangements of her songs. She started singing these weird funky versions that stripped these amazing songs of so much of their power. I know very little about vocal technique, but it seems these arrangements were a way to help her reach her previous glory. Unfortunately it didn't really work.

I did see Whitney Houston live during the early or mid-90s. And honestly her performance was very disappointing. She sounded good, but there were too many costume changes. Also this began the era of wanting to ruin a great pop song by having a rapper on the song. A rapper actually performed at this concert. That didn't improve the concert any. But honestly I remember so very little about the concert.

Now just a few of the highlights of the amazing Whitney Houston. This is the ultimate highlight for most Whitney Houston fans:

It was revealed later that she sang to a backing track, but the above moment is still amazing. Whitney Houston at her peak.

One of her amazing songs at the beginning of her career. Although I don't like the lyrical content this is just an amazing song. I love the sax flourishes and the way Whitney sings this song is so amazing. This is a combination of an amazing song sung by amazing singer. Something that truly is greater than the sum of it's parts.

Whitney Houston grew up singing in a choir and she sang some amazing spiritual related songs. Her version of this all time Christmas classic is probably the best I have ever heard. Let the goosebumps begin:

If you like an amazing voice singing great gospel music, I'd urge to pick up the soundtrack to "The Preacher's Wife". This is just one of the many amazing gospel related songs on that CD. A shout out to the amazing Georgia Mass Choir.

"Hold On, Help Is On The Way":


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