I know it is being spoken about, written about, cried over everywhere this last weekend but she was one of those most blessed but tragedy-kissed women who have both brightened up our lives and reminded us of its very frailty. It is therefore no surprize that we are all moved in some way by her sad, unnecessary but all too inevitable passing at the age of 48.
Yes, Whitney Houston, whether you liked her brand of soulful pop or not, was a truly great singer with one of the most perfect voices in the music industry that could soar to notes like no other but who could also sing beyond the notes proving that she was Aretha Franklin’s god daughter and Dionne Warwick’s cousin. She was from a supreme soul aristocracy and, sadly long before her death, she was a major loss to music.
I have always had an on-off relationship with soul music particularly when it crossed over into mainstream pop so when I first heard her sing “that” song, I resisted it for a moment, well a few seconds actually, but then it joined a hundred other songs that once inside my head, was never going to leave it again.
So enough has been said about this great singer and enough has been written by greater experts than me so, if you want to remember her at her best, try to forget her later days and watch this a live version of “that” song where you can hear that she was brought up with a solid apprenticeship in gospel before progressing through blues and soul with more than a touch of jazz to become one of pop music’s great classics whilst reinventing country music diva Dolly Parton’s greatest song: