As I sit here to write this, I am still shocked and saddened by the tragedy that happened last weekend that compels me to write this. Since the untimely passing of Whitney Houston the media has delivered daily coverage of the days and events leading up to her death and details about her funeral. They have spoken to every celebrity, doctor and spokesperson that is willing and/or authorized to speak about her and the investigation into her death. They have discussed her meteoric rise to iconic status and are also just as quick to talk about her struggles in an effort to remain fair. But F.A.M.E NYC won’t spend any time on those topics.
Some stars have the ability to touch your heart and soul more than others, even if you have never met them. Whitney Houston was one of those stars that touched me. Anyone that follows F.A.M.E NYC knows that I am from New Jersey and like Whitney Houston I am a native of Newark. For many reasons I felt close to Whitney Houston. I was raised in a musical family like she was. I was raised in the Baptist faith as she was. I also sang in the youth choir at my church as she did. I had aspirations to model because I saw models like her and others gracing the covers of magazines breaking down barriers and becoming inspirations. I also have had to tussle with demons, though I was fortunate that I didn’t have the world weighing in on how I battled mine. I am born a day before for her and saw so much of my personality in her.
I am deeply hurt at her passing. Music provides an aural animation to our lives. It bears witness to our triumphs and trails. It sinks into our souls providing salve when we are aching, elation when our hearts palpitates with joy. It finds the words for feelings we sometimes can’t describe. Whitney Houston’s voice is the essence of what music is. With a turn of a phrase, a rise and fall in her voice, she could do all those things and more. But if you ask me, if you really wanted to know what Whitney Houston was all about, all you had to do was listen to her sing a gospel song. Whitney was a child of God and her love for the creator was evident when she sang for the lord, which I believe was every time she opened her mouth. I remember the first time I heard her rendition of “I Love the Lord,” from The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack. Tears flowed from my eyes before I was cognizant that I was crying. In that instant, she took me back to time of simplicity when the shadows of life were much farther away than they are now, when agape love was a tangible thing. She took me back to those times when I sang in the choir and my greatest joy was to lift my voice in service to God. There was a purity and power in her voice that was unparalleled and will never be duplicated. At her best, Whitney’s voice was God’s blessing; I wonder if Gabriel’s trumpet sounds any sweeter.
It has bothered me to see how much people, whether in the media or on social media sites, have focused so much on the darker days of her life rather than the light she gave to all of us. It is an ill of this society that negativity seems to be as easy to accept as the air we breathe. Opinions are a right of being human, but we are all familiar with the phrase, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” None of us are without our own crucible that we must contend with, but we don’t have the added burden by being crucified by the public. She was a public figure, yes this is very true, but she was also was a mother, daughter, sister, cousin, wife and friend. There are people that will have to deal with the process of grief long after we have moved on to the next story.
I will end this by saying FAMERS please try to remember Whitney Houston by the pleasure she gave you rather than pain she gave herself. I will always love Whitney Houston, not just the voice, but woman that she was…the human that she was. Whitney, my God keep you in his bosom until you are reunited with all those you loved again.
These are my favorite Whitney Houston songs:
Photo courtesy of Whitney Houston.com