Whitney Houston: An Editor’s Tribute

Published: Monday 11th Feb 2013 by Sam

The content of this tribute was conceived in the wake of Whitney Houston‘s passing, yet the plausibility of publishing withered with each keystroke. For, despite being days divided from the her tragic demise, there remained a distinct sense of the “unreal” about the very real silencing of The Voice.

Shocking on many a front, I ironically learned of Whitney’s death on That Grape Juice.

As with all award show windows, the lead-up to Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Gala 2012 saw all hands on deck amongst the TGJ team. Hence, already in place on the afternoon of February 11th 2012 was a “Hot Shots” draft for Houston’s grand arrival – as had been routine for years prior.

In London and resting up ahead of night-through-morning carpet coverage, I could not conceive the idea that my next waking moment would bring with it news that The Voice was no more. Nor could I ever fathom the fact that the said “Hot Shot” post would instead be published as “Whitney Houston Passes Away At 48”.

Never.

************

The actions and events leading up to Whitney’s death have been debated in earnest since – with many, including yours truly, forced to confront facts that were all-too-willingly swept under the rug in hope of her eventual recovery. Such a reality is a harsh and hard pill to swallow, but one now easier to digest with the water of time and reflection.

Like the demise of Michael Jackson, Houston’s passing remains a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. Yet, again like the King Of Pop, her tale  stands as one of the most pronounced and celebrated realizations of the American Dream.

For, though blessed with a voice that was both alien and otherworldly, the late star’s rise wasn’t without its challenges. Introduced in an era which saw few Black or female acts ride high on the charts, Houston – in shattering such ceilings – would still face backlash. Ironically, the mass of this critique stemmed from her “own people” – with many Afro-Americans christening her sound “white washed Pop”. Yet with steely resilience, the singer charged on creating a sound and success narrative that would open the doors for many of today’s megastars such as Beyonce.

************

Whitney was deemed a “diva” for many reasons; yet in more ways than one, her voice was more of a diva than she could ever be. Put simply, it demanded a brand and strand of respect that was almost ethereal. And that, for me, is what really makes her the legend she is and forever will be.

So it’s with much sincerity that I thank those who brought her music into my world, as well as those who made it possible to see her perform in person prior to her passing. For, as a true lover of music and showmanship, there is nothing that can substitute those experiences.

Greatness doesn’t die, it lives on and inspires. The contributions Whitney Houston made to music (and the millions of lives she touched with hers) are ever-enduring. It’s this fact, one year later, that helps raise the widest of smiles.

Whitney Elizabeth Houston

1963 – Forever

********

Your thoughts? 

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  1. JUELZ February 11, 2013

    *Plays ‘My Love is Your Love’, my ALL-TIME favourite song of hers”

    I was blessed to see you at the Hollywood Bowl, in 1993, in L.A at the age of 8. I’m 27 today and I still remember how incredible and exquisite you were.

    I do remember your voice tiring out by the time of your ‘I Will Always Love You’ encore, but it didn’t matter – You had given us your everything for, at least, an hour and a half prior. I remember Bobby coming out to hug you and I distinctly remember this old middle-aged White woman and her husband, sitting next to me and my Mom, watching you in absolute awe. That is how POWERFUL your ‘God-given gift’ was – you touched people of ALL races, colours and creeds.

    R.I.P WHITNEY!!!

  2. ADELE February 11, 2013

    SPAM:

    That Grape Juice encourages personal opinions. We do not, however, condone insensitive comments.

    • Queen Beautiful Rih February 11, 2013

      SHUT YOUR DUMBASS UP!! SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL ADELE LIVE BY THE PORCHOPS YOU DIE BY THE PORKCHOPS

      • Music Soul Harmony February 11, 2013

        She’s losing weight anyway and how do you know she eats porkchops? Stupid judgemental person…smh.

    • Beysus February 11, 2013

      LOL TRUE!!!!

  3. andy February 11, 2013

    Introduced in an era which saw few Black or female acts ride high on the charts, Houston – in shattering such ceilings – would still face backlash. Ironically, the mass of this critique stemmed from her “own people” – with many Afro-Americans christening her sound “white washed Pop”.

    ___

    I was reading about this. WHY ‘o’ WHY do we, as Black people, do this to eachother.

    We did the same thing to Jimi Hendrix because he was a BLACK “Rock Star”.
    We did the same thing to Ella Fitzgerald because she sounded TOO white in her day – even though she broke down f****** barriers for EVERY black artists after.

    And we still do it today… Ugh. Oh well! Music is music – white people don’t curse other whites for sounding too ‘soulful’ like Amy Winehouse etc… but all hell breaks loose if there is a BLACK ‘Barbra Streisand or Kurt Cobain’.

    R.I.P WHITNEY.

    • cocobutta February 11, 2013

      TRUTH. It’s ridiculous

    • Eye Candy February 11, 2013

      Whitney Houston was a POP star that made POP MUSIC. Nothing more & nothing less but there’s nothing wrong with that since she was talented and excelled as a music artist, while being one of the many few to open the doors for several other black females.

  4. speechless February 11, 2013

    And you have to bring up beyonce….smh can you write ANYTHING without bringing her into it???

    • Beysus February 11, 2013

      BEYONCE IS KING SHE WILL BE BROUGHT UP AT ALL TIMES BECAUSE SHES A LEGEND IF YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH IT THEN YOU CAN GO SLICE YOUR THROAT

  5. cocobutta February 11, 2013

    RIP the legend that is WHITNEY HOUSTON

  6. Beysus February 11, 2013

    SPAM:

    That Grape Juice encourages personal opinions. We do not, however, condone insensitive comments.

  7. La-Quisha. February 11, 2013

    Ya’all need to let this women rest in peace.

  8. QUEEN WHITNEY!!!! February 11, 2013

    A LIST OF MY FAVE WHITNEY SONGS

    SAVING ALL MY LOVE
    EMOTIONAL
    HOW WILL I KNOW
    ARE YOU READY
    ALL AT ONCE
    DIDN’T WE ALMOST HAVE IT ALL
    MY NAME IS NOT SUSAN
    MIRACLE
    I KNOW HIM SO WELL
    I HAVE NOTHING
    QUEEN OF THE NITE
    ALL THE MAN I NEED
    LOVE WILL SAVE THE DAY

    ALL OF HER SONGS ARE CLASSICS!!! SHE WILL LIVE ON FOREVER HER AND MICHAEL (KING AND QUEEN OF MUSIC)

    • mob: black romeo & juliet February 11, 2013

      I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

      …..enough said

      • Likica February 11, 2013

        that’s not her song and she made her career thanks to it, sad but true

      • Eye Candy February 11, 2013

        Yes, we all know the song belongs to Dolly Parton but Whitney was not the first person to “steal” a song.
        However, I do hate that people overrate that song so much. That is not the best Whitney Houston song imo.

      • JOHNVIDAL February 11, 2013

        @likica
        You´re so uneducated. How did IWALY make Whitney´s career (as if that were a problem anyway) when she was already 8 years slaying left and right when that album came out? She already had several legendary records by her name, like the ones I stated in my comment. True sales slayer, before the whole Bodyguard era. That was just the ice of the cake, the thing that made her a GLOBAL LEGEND for eternity. Sorry your faves won´t have the same status, never

      • QUEEN WHITNEY!!!! February 11, 2013

        Thank You!!!! ^^^^^^SCHOOL EM!!! WHITNEYS DEBUT ALBUM SOLD 25 MILLION COPIES WORLDWIDE!!! THE BIGGEST SELLING DEBUT ALBUM IN HISTORY IT WAS RELEASED FEB IN 1985 WAY BEFORE BODYGUARD OR THAT SONG!! AND HER SECOND ALBUM SOLD OVER 35 MILLION COPIES WORLDWIDE RELEASED IN 87 WHITNEY WAS A SUPERSTAR BEFORE DOLLY GAVE HER THAT SONG!!!

    • RoyalKev February 11, 2013

      @Likica

      Your comment is hilarious, especially when (with only 2 albums) Whitney sold over 45 million records worldwide and managed to obtain 7 consecutive #1’s well before IWALY. Most of Whitney’s era’s were huge!

  9. JJFan1814 February 11, 2013

    R.I.P. Whitney!

  10. Don’t_Start_No_Shit February 11, 2013

    LOVE YOU NIPPY!!!

  11. JOHNVIDAL February 11, 2013

    Amazing post. Thanks TGJ for this (Beyonce´s name was not needed at all)

    Legendary Whitney Houston will live forever, like only true greats do. The Voice, The Face. The first woman to do it the biggest way we´ve ever known along with Madonna (I´m talking about success now). Biggest debut album in history, first woman (black or white) to ever top the Billboard 200 with an album in its debut week (with her second), biggest era for a female in music history (black and white) with The Bodyguard and on and on. The othe two biggest ever (MC and CD) came after that.
    But what makes her legendary and the standard for best female live singer ever is her voice and delivery. Nobody man, nobody else

    • Beysus February 11, 2013

      BEYONCE NAME IS ALWAYS NEEDED BECAUSE SHE IS KING N GIVES WHITNEY DEAD ASS RELEVANCY

      • ck February 11, 2013

        O shut up it was Whitney houston that made beyonce want to sing in the first place. Yes beyonce is a great singer/ entertainer but this post is about Whitney Houston the woman who paved the way for people like Beyonce so lets keep it that way

      • Eye Candy February 11, 2013

        Beyonce herself said TINA TURNER is her biggest inspiration, NOT Whitney Houston.
        Her performances, costumes, & looks are all modeled after her. Of course Ms. Houston opened up the door for Beyonce but her greatest role model is Tina.

      • QUEEN WHITNEY!!!! February 11, 2013

        And thats why bey sounds like a cat drowning!!! Thats beys excuse for copying Tinas career!!

    • RoyalKev February 11, 2013

      Beyonce has stated that Whitney inspired her. Watching her made Bey want to start singing. No need for anyone to be disrespectful today, we’re remembering a legend that’s no longer with us. Have some decency.

  12. Nez007 February 11, 2013

    beautiful words for a beautiful woman.

  13. TGJ ARE HATERS February 11, 2013

    WHY Y’ALL HATIN ON ME THOUGH I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING INSENSITIVE! WHITNEY WAS A DRUGGIE AND THAT’S HOW SHE DIED!!! FACT!!!

    • Beysus February 11, 2013

      LOL THEY TOOK MY COMMENT DOWN TO WERE JUST TELLING THE TRUTH SHE WAS A DRUGGIE / CRACKHEAD SMH THESE PEOPLE ARE TO SENSITIVE ON HERE

  14. Beysus February 11, 2013

    WOW F*** TGJ ITS CALLED FREEDOM OF SPEECH SHE WAS A CRACKHEAD GET OVER IT

    • QUEEN WHITNEY!!!! February 11, 2013

      WHITNEY AND HER WHOLE CAREER>>>>>>>>>>>>BEYFAT AND HER TRANNY LOOKING ASS!!!

    • mob: black romeo & juliet February 11, 2013

      Crack is wack and Whitney never did that. So stand back before you get smacked! lol

  15. pat February 11, 2013

    RIP Whitney. Unfortunately this post will become shot to hell due to the rats that come here.

    • mob: black romeo & juliet February 11, 2013

      LOL, Lets hope not…..

  16. A Good day! February 11, 2013

    1963-Forever! Yes, only Jesus, thank you Jesus !

  17. SlayDeleAdkins February 11, 2013

    The ultimate “Beauty of song!” Her voice, her elegance dominated the world!! She was so rare and specia!! There will NEVER be another whitney!! EVER!!
    The true GIFT from God himself!!

  18. CICI SLAAAAAAAAAYS!!! February 11, 2013

    DONT DO DRUGS KIDDIES OR YOU’LL END UP LIKE HER!

  19. Music Soul Harmony February 11, 2013

    Omg. These comments! So disrespectful. Beysus and queen Rih, if u had nothing prevalent to say in this post, why don’t u take ur ignorant selves back to troll town til we say u can come out. Y do u need to f*** up the positive vibe? This is the death anniversary of an iconic singer that inspired both of ur faves! We dont need ur stanning and buffoonery ATM. This is why blogs are trash nowadays without censorship. Glad there’s that report button. Will be using it when necessary. Smfh.

  20. mob: black romeo & juliet February 11, 2013

    Whitney Elizabeth Houston
    1963 – Forever
    ———————————————————-

    THIS 🙂

    THE VOICE will forever reign and her legacy, grace, goodness and spirit will live on as an inspiration to all who follow in her ever looming shadow!

  21. Let’s Be Real February 11, 2013

    To this Beysus idiot..STFU.Whitney opened doors for all black female artist after her the same way Diana Ross opened doors for her and Beyoncé will open doors for the next generation and so on.Whitney is to be respect ed for her immense contribution to the music world. Whitney is not my favorite artist but she is my favorite voice! That says a lot. She had her demons just like the best and rest of us. I was just debating with a friend thebold “what if?” What if she hadn’t been introduced to drugs by her brother? Or what if instead of Bobby she married a “Kendu” type. REMEMBER Mary J Blige was on drugs heavy too but she met a man who was able to love, heal and rehabilitate her and she gave us “The Breakthrough ” .Instead Whitney who was already poisoned, fell in love with a more poisoned individual and the rest is history. Again, not blaming Bobby, but can you imagine if she met someone who helped and didn’t dig her deeper in turmoil? Smh…anyway Whitney will always be remembered as the greatest vocalist of our time.No one came close in my opinion

    • RoyalKev February 11, 2013

      One can only dream! I’ve wished this wish before. I thought Whitney would have been a different woman if only she received the support and loyalty she deserved!

  22. TGJ ARE HATERS February 11, 2013

    HATERS!!!!

  23. Phresh oF the runway!! February 11, 2013

    Met with sam yesterday @ da grammys outside near the dumpster cuz, you know we friends!! Told him I had two tickets, to go get a full meal and sit in the front row or go and kiss bey’s ass ,told him to choose one
    !!…lol we all know what he chose!!

  24. Suicide Blonde February 11, 2013

    I stopped reading at Beyonce.

  25. antertain February 11, 2013

    No matter what her flaws were, she was the beast vocalist.
    Soul, range, strength and beauty that allowed her to impose herself into the pop market.

    R.I.P to the girl we used to see. 🙁

  26. Ciara is QUEEN…..of the FLOPS February 11, 2013

    Jennifer bobbleheadson could NEVER!!!!!

    Whitney had it ALL!

    -Power
    -Agility
    -Clarity
    -Crystal Clear tone
    -Control
    -Runs
    -Melisma

    THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER. NO MATTER HOW HARD CLIVE EVILC DAVIS TRIES!!! NEVA!!!

  27. ƸӜƷ MC ƸӜƷ February 11, 2013

    Wonderful post, Sam and TGJ.

    You all by now know how I feel about Whitney and her voice. Words cannot describe her or her talent, she is one in a billion. A true star shinning in the sky (brighter than others). All Nippy needed was her mic and she would set the world on fire while offering it salvation at the same time. Very few people in the world can boast of such talent for male, female, white, black, Hispanic, middle-aged, young, or whatever the case may be.

    Whitney built the house that Mariah, Celine, Jennifer Hudson, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, and many more artists live in today, She BUILT THE FOUNDATION for them the way Aretha built the foundation for her.

    A TRUE ICON and LEGEND whose influence in undeniable. Say what you will, write what you will, think what you will Whitney will remain a constant factor long after my death and yours.

    The End.

    • JOHNVIDAL February 11, 2013

      Outstanding!

  28. DIGGER BEY February 11, 2013

    That is not the real Beyus. That’s a R****** trying to start a stan war. Anyway I always knew Whitney had the greatest voice I have ever heard. I was pretty young when Whitney debuted and I know a lot of her songs. But I’ve never really studied her voice that much till I started buying her greatest hits about 2 years ago. When I listened to her sing TSSB, GOOD LORD! It was the best singing I ever heard! I listented to it over and over and cried, because this woman voice was unbelieveable! It was heaven like! GOD bestowed a great gift upon her and it was her voice! Just like her remaking IWALY, her voice was heaven like! When she would sing, it would b like GOD spoke! What a voice she had! Don’t know if there will ever another like her because GOD is the only won that can answer that but till this day. She has had the greatest voice I have ever heard n music history. And I have heard Aretha, Patti, Celine, Mariah, Donna, Barbara, and most of the great voices of the 60s, 70s and 80s and by far Whitney is The Vocal Queen! #R.I.P WHITNEY ELIZABETH HOUSTON

  29. GSH February 11, 2013

    Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to the greatest songstress of our time! I love the way you ended the this article, her music will live forever therefore she lives within the hearts of the people who love her forever! We will Always Love you Whitney!

  30. Christopher February 12, 2013

    That was beautiful ! God needed that voice up there for all the other Angels.

    xxx

    R.I.P Whitney

    We will always love you Nippy!

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