Who hasn’t bopped side-to-side when “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” came on that oldies station on the radio? Whenever Whitney sang, it sounded like she was singing straight to you. Her heavenly voice made her a pop queen of the 1980s, a winner of 8 Grammies (alongside King of Pop Michael Jackson), and a black queen who was readying a comeback in upcoming film Sparkle. Her darkest times where displayed for all of public to see as a mind-blowingly, gifted woman fell into an abusive relationship and struggled with drug addiction over the years. And even through these tough times, many remained supportive, noting her ability to transcend industry prejudices as motivation for Houston to rise from a concerning and ruinous past.
In light of her unexpected passing at age 48, which is speculated to have been caused by a mixture of alcohol and sedative drugs, we take this time to celebrate Whitney for what she did best: saaaaaang.
“Ms. Houston’s voice was the worldview. She was someone more to be admired, like a museum piece, than to be emulated,” Jon Caramanica wrote in The New York Times.
We love her because her outstanding talent inspired so many black girls to get up and sing. We love her because she reminded us through lyric how important it is to be positive role models for future generations. And we are so grateful for her time on Earth to prove amazing black women are.
We will always love you, Whitney.