44 thoughts on “R.I.P. Whitney Houston

  1. I think she was also a victim of domestic abuse, too, poor thing. Very, very sad. Shocked to hear of her passing, and yet, shocked that she was strong enough to hold on this long.

  2. Too many singers are called great these days. Ms. Houston is on a par with Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington & Aretha Franklin, imho.

  3. Sorry to be a wet blanket on the Whitney Pity Party, but I no longer have any empathy, sympathy or grief for those who abuse drugs and alcohol and waste their lives and talent. Yeah, like George sang, Isn’t It a Pity. As a late middle aged, educated white guy (the worst of all possible humans) I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve seen who have already died of alcohol and drug abuse and who “had so much potential”. Ain’t it just a shame? Well, so what? Frankly, I’m sick of hearing about them. Forget the prolonged suicide of drinking, smoking and drugging. Just put a gun to your head and get it over with. M’k?

    1. As another a middle aged, educated white guy let me agree with only one thing you’ve vomited up here – you are indeed one of the worst of all possible humans.

    2. Many people with bipolar disorder tend to self medicate with various substances, even cigarettes tend to relieve their symptoms. It can be a devastating disorder that affects your entire life. I can understand how someone would try anything to feel better. Prescription drugs help, but don’t always help enough. I’m just glad that I’m not afflicted with this illness and refuse to condemn people who might be. Your solution that they just “get it over with” is repulsive to me.

      Whitney Houston was a talented person who seemed to be a good person too. She made some bad choices in her life, many people do. Some survive those choices, some don’t.

      1. I wouldn’t have expected any other sense but empathy from you mordacious:-)

        I have seen young people self medicate and, of course, you are right, prescription drugs often don’t help for any length of time. So many of them have died either intentionally or by accident.

        I too am glad I don’t have an affliction that can devastate my life. I could never condemn. I have yet to meet anyone who has never made a poor choice in his/her life because there is no such person.

        I feel immensely sad for the life that eluded Whitney Houston at the end and the one she had to live through and didn’t manage terrifically well. She gave what she had – a wonderful voice.

    3. Well, how nice it must be to never have had a friend or loved one deal with a substance abuse problem, or commit suicide.

      As someone whose best friend hanged himself after years of fighting the one-two punch of alcoholism and depression, I don’t even have words for your lack of empathy. Suffice it to say, I consider myself fortunate that I do not have to spend time around you.

    4. What exactly was the point of your comment? You actually seem to be telling people to commit suicide. If this reading is correct, I strongly recommend you get professional help.

  4. It is premature to say that. In fact the reports I’ve read say that no illegal drugs were found in her room. There is a suggestion however that Houston may have been taking prescription medication that may have contributed to her falling asleep in a bath tub full of water.

  5. Latest report is that all they found in her room was some prescription Xanax. Pretty hard to kill yourself with that; it’s hardly a party drug unless you’re very easily entertained. Let’s not jump to conclusions. The tox report will leak out soon enough.

    1. She was found with her head under water in the bathtub. Having taken Xanex, I know better than to operate a car, get in a tub full of water, drink alcohol or do anything where my falling asleep could up leading to a fatal accident. And it was further made clear to me by the doctor and the pharamcist and the warning labels that it could cause drowsiness.

      Only guessing, but I’m suspecting she drowned in the tub because she violated that rule.

      1. The news is filled today with what are supposed to be the last photos taken of Ms. Huston at the Grammeys party. She is clearly intoxicated. A great talent, yes. But junkies don’t live long. I am sorry but not surprised.

  6. A few thoughts to chip in. Is there any reason to pity Whitney Houston? Even apart from mere decency, I should think there is.
    Beyond all reasonable doubt, a genetic propensity to addiction exists more strongly in some than in others. We don’t know if that was true for Ms. Houston, but it should give moralizers some pause.
    There is equally little doubt that the history of brutal maltreatment of African Americans has left them far more vulnerable, on average, to drug and alcohol addiction than white Americans.
    Finally, there can be little doubt that the entertainment business, which is among the most insecure and unstable of all career paths, can easily draw a vulnerable person down the path to ruin through drugs and alcohol. Performers work irregular hours, often in places that serve alcohol (and who knows what else under the table), suffer daily bouts of anxiety, and soar to periodic heights followed by crashing lows between gigs, albums, films or bookings.
    Having a daughter in the business, I am continually amazed and thankful that she is able to hang onto her sense of self through all those challenges without resort to heavy drinking or drugs. But I would hardly sit in condemnation of those who are not so fortunate. So, RIP, Whitney, indeed!



    1. I’m not sure we should take it OT and in that direction, but there could be a “free will” discussion out of that.

      And, everything else alike, clearly there are some “free willies” hanging loose in this thread. 🙁

  7. I was no particular fan of Whitney Houston, but Jerry is right to point out the perfection of her rendition of the US National Anthem. It is a snapshot of a rare talent, which managed to move this Scot, to transient American patriotism. It’s just a pity that young woman didn’t have a better future.

  8. Being a big guitar fan, Jimi’s anthem performance is my personal favorite. But Whitney Houston nailed it too. She had an incredible voice and unfortunately had some serious personal issues. It’s too bad.

    1. That’s a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison. Leaving aside the differences between a guitar and a human voice, the Hendrix rendition was never meant “to honor America” as the Superbowl announcer put it, nor to inspire listeners to “proudly hail” the flag as a symbol of their country. On the contrary, Hendrix meant it as an ironic critique of US foreign policy, a sort of musical equivalent of flying the flag upside-down to signal distress. None of that subtext is present in the Houston rendition, nor in any game-opening anthem I’ve ever heard.

      On a side note, what’s the deal with playing the national anthem at sporting events anyway? Seems like a massive non-sequitur to me, rather like starting a kid’s birthday party with a reading from MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech — or opening a high-school graduation with a prayer to Jesus.

      1. How do you know Hendrix meant it that way?

        I agree about playing the national anthem at sporting events. Having a singer do “God Bless America” is becoming more common too, just to make sure those of us who dont wave flags and pound bibles are adequately nauseated.

        1. Just watched the video. I had forgotten about the F-16 fly-overs. To me, it seems comically childish that they do that. “Look at these weapons we have! Hooray for us!”

          Most of the time the world seems so absurd that I feel like Im living in some sort of Alice in Wonderland world. That video makes a great example.

    1. And it made Dolly Parton a LOT of money.

      Good cover, but I think Dolly’s bittersweet versions are more in accord with the lyrics. And Dolly never had the truck gear shift

  9. Everybody’s probably a bit tired of this song, but it’s a good rendition and her voice sweet and clear as a bell:

    1. Yes, it’s the most emotional rendition by her that I’ve seen. It’s always been a favourite of mine. She manages fragility / vulnerability, on the one hand and an in your face, this is me, like me or leave me attitude, on the other. The emotions change rapidly, within seconds.

  10. I had taken my daughter grocery shopping with me Saturday morning. In the checkout lane was a tabloid with yet another “Whitney Houston doing drugs and has a fight with someone” headline.

    So I explained to my daughter what an incredible singer she was and all that. Then how she threw it all away to drug-addiction.

    That evening, we got the news. She was dead.

  11. I love Whitney’s “Star Spangled Banner”.

    I hate that nowadays they play “America the Beautiful” as a setup. I hate that song with pure hate. You think that’s extreme? Just do this: Count how many words into the lyrics until you get to the first verb. You can’t do it sing all your fingers and toes. And then the first verb comes. And what is it? Not a good one. I won’t tell you.

    Seriously, try it yourself. Count the words to the first verb and feel the poetry FAIL.

  12. Ms Housten grew up in a very religious family. Her Aunt Dionne Warwick once ran a scam called “The Psychic Friends Network”. I wonder if her religious background may have played a role in her death. Maybe she never got professional help, but chose to rely or faith, prayer and psychics instead.

  13. I have been unable to find a TV channel or radio station over the past few days that hasn’t had tributes to Whitney Houston and then her funeral was an outpouring.

    I wonder whether anyone will mourn June Anderson in any similar fashion. I will – she is one of the best living coloratura soprano – another Grammy Award winner. Magnificent voice and, I have to admit, more to my taste than Whitney Houston’s voice, different and stunning in its own way. Some said that Houston is like Holliday. Good comparison.

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