Poor Whitney. What a waste. What must it have felt like to be her? Just imagine being able to sing like that. You open your mouth and this comes out:
It’s a kind of super-power. Watch this from five minutes in – the vocal hurricane that ends the song. Cue inevitable standing ovation. For the best part of two decades, that happened wherever Whitney performed. It’s worth pondering the effect that kind of endless adulation has on a person’s psyche.
When every day is a celebration of you and your freakish talent, it’s no wonder drugs begin to appeal. Certainly there seems to be a super level of pop fame, an Elvis/Jacko-type threshold beyond which it’s almost impossible to stay sane. Even so, the fact Whitney Houston took drugs for so long she could no longer even sing her own songs seems a particularly bleak tragedy.
Here she is labouring through ‘I Will Always Love You’ at the 02 in 2010, a performance that reminds me of this heartbreaking Elvis clip from one of his final concerts.
But let’s not remember her that way. I’ve made a playlist of some of Whitney Houston’s best songs, by way of tribute to what Mariah Carey called “one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.”