Do you remember where you were when you first heard the soaring but tender vocals of Whitney Houston ?

I do.

I was programming and doing a morning show, with my then wife Barb, at a radio station in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sunny 106. It was your atypical Adult Contemporary (soft hits) radio station in the early to mid-eighties.

I'll never forget hearing "You give good love" for the first time. There was something magical in this woman's voice. A tenderness, but also a power and the phrasing and clarity she brought to a song took my breath away. I can remember Barb and I wearing that record (yes vinyl) to a nub, we had to go buy a new copy. That was her first top 5 hit in the US reaching #3. Though she'd already has success in Europe with "All at Once" which was a hit in such European countries as the Netherlands and Belgium, where the song reached the top 5 on the singles charts, respectively.

This woman was a powerhouse at such a young age. She performed on Chaka Khan's "I'm every woman', with Al Jabar, Lou Rawls, and many others.

She was also featured in layouts in the pages of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Young Miss, and appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial. Her striking looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models of that time. While modeling, she continued her burgeoning recording career.

When she hooked up with legendary producer Clive Davis at Arista Records is when things really took off.

She made more Television and commercials (too numerous to mention here) Plus she made film appearances in "Waiting to exhale" and "The Bodyguard" and received rave reviews.

Of course her very public decline to drugs and alcohol were the first signs that there was trouble brewing and in a BIG way. That reality came all too clear 2/11/12, when she died in that Beverly Hilton Hotel.

While this is speculation on my part, I'm fairly certain that we'll find it was a seizure from withdrawal or liver failure brought on by that abuse. Please don't try to be judgmental, unless you've tried to kick your own addiction.

Here's how addiction is defined : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.

Ever tried to quit cigarettes or caffeine? Take that to the 10th degree and you define addiction for a person hooked on drugs or alcohol.

I lost two friends, ironically only in their late 40's to the exact same ailments in the past six months. It is not a pretty thing, but there is no blame to cast Whitney's way. God wanted her voice to sing with the angels and now she will bless heaven with her angelic voice.

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Below are some quotes from and then some videos of her performing I found.


The irony of all this is that it was on the eve of the Grammys. She won 6 Grammy's along with 2 Emmy's, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. She held the all-time record for the most American Music Awards of any single artist and shared the record with Michael Jackson for the most AMAs ever won in a single year with 8 wins in 1994.

"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Bobby Brown by her side.

It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.

Her longtime mentor, Clive Davis, went ahead with his annual concert Saturday at the same hotel where her body was found. He dedicated the evening to her and asked for a moment of silence. Houston was supposed to appear at the gala.

Aretha Franklin, her godmother, said she was stunned.

"I just can't talk about it now," Franklin said in a short statement. "It's so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen."

Houston seemed to be born into greatness. In addition to being Franklin's goddaughter, she was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick.

On Thursday, she appeared with fellow singer Kelly Price on stage at a Hollywood club, where she sang the hymn "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" to loud cheers. She recalled her last night with Houston, the words they shared before Houston delivered what would be her final performance.

"I never ever imagined I'd be talking about her because she's not here," Price said.



While it greatly saddens me to lose such an incredible talent at such a young age, we MUST celebrate that God gave us such an enormous talent, perhaps in a way for you and I to learn that we can do so much in our lives, and hopefully do it it in as unselfishness way as we can.

I'm, hopefully, learning that lesson with the passing of these unreal talents, before their time. Or perhaps God has that plan for each of us, so that others may learn.

~Love ~ Peace ~ Out ~ Michael ~