Goodbye, Whitney

A great voice takes leave of us. m4s0n501

I can only claim to know Whitney from the outside: The daughter of famed gospel singer Cissy Houston. Niece to Dionne Warwick.  The way she pretty much owned the 80s and early 90s.  She was Michael Jackson-huge and, for a time, was the voice of AT&T.  She went on to sell 170 million albums over the course of her career.

We also remember Bobby Brown and her drug addiction, and the toll it must’ve taken on her body and her voice.  If there’s any lesson here, it’s to value your gifts.  Always.

Just so you’re clear about what I’m talking about, here is the voice that set the bar for pretty much every female pop and R&B singer after her: Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce.

Here’s a look back by servicemen and Frank Gifford during the Persian Gulf War reflecting on what it meant to hear Whitney sing the National Anthem at the Superbowl 25 in 1991

Finally, here’s the biggest hit from her debut album. Back in the day when a label would go four singles into an album:

Rest in peace, Whitney.

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.