"There's a lady in heaven making God Himself wonder how He created something so perfect." --- Kevin Costner sharing his thoughts on friend of 20+ years Whitney Houston
Last weekend, I was overcome with emotions when I heard the news that Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48. Her talent was obvious to the average observer, she had a voice like no one ever had before, and most likely, never will again. Many have tried, mimicked, and been inspired, but none have come close. Those who listened to her sing as a teenager at The New Hope Baptist Church said that Whitney Houston had the voice of an angel, her voice was a gift from God, and I think that's the best way to describe it.
But in addition to that untouchable talent, her voice, Whitney was beautiful, faith filled, inspiring, driven, and her soul was good. She was a daughter, mother, friend, and a legend. It is so difficult to think about that life and that voice, so alive, and yet now they're gone. She's gone.
One could say Whitney's path was destiny; she came from a musical family. Her mom, Cissy Houston was a gospel sessions singer and her cousin Dionne Warwick was also a noted R&B legend. Whitney's voice though was different, and it was one night in a club when record producer Clive Davis heard a 19 year old Whitney Houston sing that her life changed forever. Davis would become a lifelong mentor of Houston's and signed her to a record deal immediately; he would oversee her entire career. Houston says she considered Davis a father figure.
Whitney became a superstar when I was only a toddler but yet, I remember her music so fully, like it's a part of who I am and what I became. When her songs came on the radio, I listened so intently and I sang along because her presence was so real and so comforting that she made it was okay to sing along. Her face, her smile, her complete presence just drew you in, and even if you weren't initially a fan, you were in love with this woman by the end of the performance. Everything about her was inviting and kind.
I've been thinking about all her music over the years, her movies, the people she has influenced, and all the friends and family she had in and out of the business. She was so loved. I Listened to her co-star in The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner, give such a heartfelt speech at her funeral service today, he made so many important points, not just about Whitney about about the life she lived. He talked about how Whitney was continually unsure of her abilities throughout her career, he said it was, "the burden that made her great and the part that caused her to stumble".
He also said,
“Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you, you weren’t just good enough, you were great. You sang the whole damn song without a band. You made the picture what it was. A lot of leading men could’ve played my part … but you, Whitney, I truly believe you were the only one who could’ve played Rachel Marron at that time. You weren’t just pretty, you were as beautiful as a woman could be. And people didn’t just like you Whitney, they loved you.”
He offered advice on behalf of Houston to her daughter and millions of other aspiring singers.
“To you, Bobbi Kristina, and to all those young girls who are dreaming that dream, thinking that maybe they aren’t good enough, I think Whitney would tell you, guard your bodies. And guard the precious miracle of your own life. Then sing your hearts out. ”
He choked up towards the end. “Off you go Whitney, off you go,” he said. “Escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly father. When you sing before him, don’t you worry. You’ll be good enough.”
Essential Whitney Songs:
"You Give Good Love" (1985) · "Saving All My Love for You" (1985) · "Thinking About You" (1985) · "How Will I Know" (1986) · "All at Once" (1986) · "Greatest Love of All" (1986)
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (1987) · "Didn't We Almost Have It All" (1987) · "So Emotional" (1987) · "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" (1988) · "Love Will Save the Day" (1988) · "I Know Him So Well" (1989)
I'm Your Baby Tonight
"I'm Your Baby Tonight" (1990) · "All the Man That I Need" (1990) · "Miracle" (1991) · "My Name Is Not Susan" (1991) · "I Belong to You" (1991) · "We Didn't Know" (1991)
"I Will Always Love You" (1992) · "I'm Every Woman" (1993) · "I Have Nothing" (1993) · "Run to You" (1993) · "Queen of the Night" (1993)
Waiting to Exhale
"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (1995) · "Count on Me" (1996) with Cece Winans · "Why Does It Hurt So Bad" (1996)
The Preacher's Wife
"I Believe in You and Me" (1996) · "Step by Step" (1997) · "My Heart Is Calling" (1997)
My Love Is Your Love
"When You Believe" (1998) with Mariah Carey · "Heartbreak Hotel" (1999) with Kelly Price and Faith Evans · "It's Not Right but It's Okay" (1999) · "My Love Is Your Love" (1999) · "I Learned from the Best" (2000)
Whitney: The Greatest Hits
"Could I Have This Kiss Forever" (2000) with Enrique Iglesias · "If I Told You That" (2000) · "Fine" (2000) · "Same Script, Different Cast" (2000)
"Whatchulookinat" (2002) · "One of Those Days" (2003) · "Try It on My Own" (2003) · "Love That Man" (2003)
One Wish: The Holiday Album
"One Wish (for Christmas)" (2004)
I Look to You
"I Look to You" (2009) · "Million Dollar Bill" (2009)
Don't Forget if you love gospel music the whole soundtrack to The Preacher's Wife is like going to church!
Essential Whitney Movies:
The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner (1992)
Waiting to Exhale with Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon (1995)
The Preacher's Wife with Denzel Washington and Courtney B. Vance (1996)
Cinderella with Brandy in (1997)
Sparkle with Jordin Sparks (2012, will be released in August)
"Yes, Jesus loves me, for the bible tells me so"
Whitney, we will always Love you