I remember her first album and its immediate and spectacular success. I was a young soldier in Berlin, Germany at the time. She was the same age as me. Without television, (in english) it was a time when I listened to/bought more music than any other time in my life. She appealed to so many demographics, young and old, Pop and R&B, black and white. She had a sweet and powerful voice.
Cousin to Dionne Warwick, her Mom a professional singer...and she, blessed with a beautiful voice that matured through her singing at church. She was a very attractive lady with a captivating smile, and actually modeled a bit. She quite literally "had it all".
Some years later she met Bobby Brown and everything started to unravel.
At the time, I remember thinking what this Christian raised, Gospel singing vocalist saw in Bobby Brown?! Perhaps it is the "bad boy" allure that I see young women falling for time and time again. Whatever it was, it appears to have been the beginning of the end for Whitney Houston. She started fading a bit.
Some years later, I would see her distorted pictures on the tabloids as I checked out at a grocery store. Stories of her tumultous marriage and drug use would be pasted on the National Enquirer. I thought it was sad.
About a year ago, I came across a song she did as part of a "comeback" album. I remember listening to the song and hearing just a bit of what I remember her sounding like. The voice was older, lower in tone and sounded tired. I really liked the song and I downloaded it and told my wife how much I liked it. It was as if I were hoping Whitney Houston would really "come back". The song was "I look to you". I half thought it was a reference to God or maybe her Mom. (Though she did not write it)
(photos courtesy of Bing Search)