Sunday, February 12, 2012


I was at a neighbourhood gathering when one of my colleagues called me. I was numb for a while when he told me about Whitney Houston's passing. It did not seem real and to me, it could have been another false report. As soon as I got home, I logged on to 'Classic Whitney' and there it was. The dreadful news. Another one of my favourite singers is gone. Whitney Houston died a few hours before the pre-Grammy party that she was supposed to attend. The whole thing came as a big shock to me since her pictures going out with friends and family members were all over the Internet a few days ago. She looked fine and there was nothing to indicate that she was sick or in need of serious medical attention. Life can be strange and full of mystery indeed. There are many things that we do not know and will never ever know. One thing for sure is when the time comes for us to leave this world, nobody can stop it. I also received a few phone calls and text messages from close friends to confirm the news since they knew that I was a huge fan of hers. It bugged me when they started talking about her 'negative' lifestyle. They also asked whether drugs were the cause of her death. I did not answer any questions and I told them to read or watch the news if they wanted to get more information since I did not want to get into any arguments. I have always believed that when someone dies, it is clearly in bad taste to talk about his or her 'mistakes' and wrong ways. Everyone deserves to be remembered with fondness and affection. If we can't remember any good thing about the person, the least that we can do is not to talk badly about him or her. I was still in college when Whitney Houston released her first album. At that time, there were not that many black singers especially female singers who could break into mainstream pop. Whitney did and she also paved the way for many other singers. Some of Whitney's songs may seem like bubble-gum pop but they were songs that I listened to on the radio at that time and you don't easily forget things that are part of your life. I am a fan of songs that have stories and underlying meanings behind them. Many of her songs are also the soundtrack to my own life. My ups and downs. Sadness and happiness. Hope and disappointment. Strangely, a few days ago I finally received my second copy of 'The Bodyguard' soundtrack that I had ordered online. I had already owned one copy of the CD but I simply felt that I had to have another copy. When the CD arrived, I took out every Whitney stuff that I owned (records, CDs, cassettes, DVDs, VCDs) and put them on the floor. I made a mental note of some of the stuff that I still did not own and wondered if I would ever have them in my collection. I'm quite sure some of her rarer stuff will increase in value now that she is no longer with us. There will also be a renewed interest in her music catalogue. Sadly, I can no longer look forward to any new releases from her except those that were recorded before her demise. Goodbye and thank you, Whitney Elizabeth Houston. You were much loved.