Remembering Whitney Houston

The untimely passing of recording artist Whitney Houston on February 11, 2012, left many young professionals shocked and, to an extent, grieving the loss of the multi-talented icon of music. The emptiness many of us felt was not necessarily one of sadness about the circumstances of her death, but stemmed rather from the fact that someone so inspirational during our generation’s upbringing would be no longer with us. Whitney was not in the prime of her career and her tragic death not some unpreventable accident; but the fact that “The Voice” was now gone was a traumatic realization for anyone who can relate to having once sung along to any one of her countless hits. 

Who could forget her rousing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner in 1991, which was commercially released and eventually reached the Top 20 on the US Hot 100? With two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards, Whitney is recognized as the most awarded female artist ever. She was a sensational influence on the R&B and Pop world and, despite a somewhat turbulent personal life that cast her into the spotlight for the wrong reasons following her breakout success, she served as an inspiration for young vocalists during her golden years. 

We can all remember singing along to I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” or applying the lyrics of “I Will Always Love You” to any number of situations in our personal lives. If you ask any pop star about their influences – from Celine Dion to Lady Gaga – they will place Whitney Houston at the top of their list. Her talent was held in the highest regard by the biggest and most influential names in the music industry for almost two decades and her success even translated into the film industry when she co-starred in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. 

Though her troubled personal life with R&B singer Bobby Brown and a spiralling drug addiction cast a shadow over the later years of her career, Whitney Houston’s influence and appeal will be remembered for the golden years in which she served as the most recognizable voice in the industry.