A Tribute to Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

Whitney Houston performed “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” at the 2009 American Music Awards. Photo property of Getty Images.

February 11, 2012 will be known as one of the saddest days in music history.

Six-time Grammy and Emmy winner Whitney Houston has passed away at 48-years-old.   The world has lost a powerful voice.  For four decades, she has entertained millions of people across the world through her memorable performances from her hit movie the Bodyguard and her multiple hit CDs including her self-titled debut album, The Bodyguard, My Love is Your Love and her comeback album I Look to You.

Whitney Houston would not have been the superstar she was without encouragement from her famous family and mentors.  Her mother was gospel singer Cissy Houston, cousin Dionne Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin served as musical guides as she began her singing career.    But it was the nurturing of legendary record producer Clive Davis, that helped her become a superstar.

“How Will I Know,”  “The Greatest Love of All,”  “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “So Emotional” were her first big hits but Whitney had another ace up her sleeve.  Whitney recorded the 1988 Summer Olympics anthem: “One Moment in Time” that placed in the Top Five in several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden and Germany.

Fast forward three years later; Whitney gave the performance of a lifetime at the 1991 Super Bowl when she sang her iconic cover of “The Star Spangled Banner” in front of millions of people.  Her rendition of the anthem was placed in the Top Two of USA Today Sports Weekly’s “The Best National Anthem in 40 Years of Super Bowl History.”  (Click here to watch her iconic performance: http://youtu.be/YHmdu_I_0zI )

The next year, Whitney made her mark in the film world as the star of the 1992 romantic drama The Bodyguard where she co-starred with Kevin Costner.     In addition to acting in The Bodyguard, she sang six of the 13 songs on the highly successful soundtrack album that included “Queen of the Night,” “I Have Nothing” and her signature song “I Will Always Love You.”   That album received three Grammys, eight American Music Awards and 14 Billboard Music Awards.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Whitney continued to make her mark on pop culture with incredible duets with Missy Elliot, George Michael, Enrique Iglesias and fellow R&B diva Mariah Carey.   However, she also began to unravel right before the world’s eyes as fans voiced their concerns after both her anorexic appearance at Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration and the 2002 infamous interview with Diane Sawyer.

Seven years after that interview and four years after the notorious reality television show Being Bobby Brown, Whitney returned to the world’s stage and performed the moving “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” at the 2009 American Music Awards.    (Click here to watch the entire performance: http://youtu.be/0BgeUfgyy-U)  and released her last studio album I Look to You that featured songs from Alicia Keys, Akon, Diane Warren and Leon Russell.

Jake’s Take sends its thoughts and prayers out to Ms. Houston’s family, friends and fans during this difficult time.   We will never forget her tremendous voice and her incomparable personality.




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  2. Another hero is gone. Rest in peace W Houston you will be appreciated and forever missed

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