Whitney Houston – soul singer, actress, diva, pop princess, druggie, waster. Call her what you will but you cannot deny the phenomenal talent, voice and musicianship she had nor the strength of feeling by those around her who loved her no matter what she became.
To me, Whitney Houston represented a very special time in my life, the time when I was finding myself and realising that there was a big wide world out there. She was hitting her mark publicly at just about the same sort of time and whenever I hear her songs from that time I am immediately transported back to my awkward and geeky, yet fun filled and cheeky adolescence.
Like the rest of the world I was extremely sad to hear that she died last weekend. But unlike a lot of people I am more saddened by the fact that her heydey in the 1980s and 90s was so short and that the time since then she didn’t do very much. I don’t want to find myself on the end of a court order or anything by saying what we are all thinking, but there was a significant relationship in her life that ultimately destroyed her, which is the saddest thing of all.
She could have kept her music going; she could have been bigger than anybody else on earth – including Michael Jackson (I’m not a fan…) – and she could have been still writing, producing music, singing, performing and entertaining millions of her fans worldwide had she not gone down the path she was led to all that time ago. It is incredibly sad that she turned her back on all of that and instead concentrated on getting high and getting wasted, “wasted” being the operative word.
She had such potential go on giving and growing, yet her singing career was cruelly cut short by her interest and preoccupation with drink and drugs. Even more cruel was to try and revive her career recently when she was quite clearly too long out of the game and too far gone down the drugged route to ever make some sort of a comeback.
I wasn’t going to jump in and give my thoughts about Whitney Houston – many other, better, bloggers have been doing that all week – but what has moved me to write today is Kevin Costner’s eulogy at her funeral. I didn’t realise they were such good friends, but his speech could only have come from the heart and as one of her greatest buddies.
Here is a report of his eulogy in the Daily Mail if you haven’t already heard or read what he said.
All respect to KC for his moving and kind words, especially his ending. Referring to her self-doubt and her worry that she wasn’t good enough for the world, he said: “Off you go Whitney, off you go. Escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly father. When you sing before him. Don’t you worry. You will be good enough.”
This is my favourite Whitney song. She’s not racing destiny anymore. I do hope she has found some peace at last.