Pop diva Houston mourned around the world

By Jerome Stuart Nichols | Life Editor
Added February 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Associated Press reported that world-renowned pop singer Whitney Houston had died.

According to CNN.com, the singer was found unresponsive in the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California by one of Houston’s bodyguards. The entertainer was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. EST.

This news came as a shock to many people around the world. The beloved singer has had a long battle with various vices. But as recently as Feb. 9 Houston was seen smiling and dancing at a party to celebrate the 2012 Grammy Awards.

Born Whitney Elizabeth Houston in 1963, she is best known for her record breaking music career. According to Houston’s official website, during her 28-year career, she sold 170 million albums, singles and videos combined. Also according to her official website, she has won 415 awards, including 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards.

She was the only artist to earn seven consecutive number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. (“Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”).

Although highly accomplished in the music industry, Houston was also extremely successful as an actress. She starred in five films, including the yet to be released “Sparkle” (2012) and “The Bodyguard” (1992). She also had several television roles, including a guest spot as herself on “Silver Spoons” in 1985 and a co-starring role in a production of Roger & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” for The Wonderful World of Disney, which aired on ABC in 1997.

Minutes away from the official announcement, the outpouring of sadness from fans, friends and fellow celebrities had already permeated through the internet.

“Just heard the tragic news that Whitney Houston passed away,” Kim Kardashian said. “I pray for her daughter and loved ones. We will always love you Whitney.”

“At this time, the question is not how she went… It is how she will be remembered. I will always remember Whitney Houston as a true legend,” singer and DJ Solange Knowles said. “I will always remember Whitney Houston as a true, outstanding talent. A radiant beauty. A magical smile. A voice that made you shiver.”

Although Houston’s death has had an impact worldwide, many people locally have felt the sting of the loss.

“She epitomized the word ‘diva’ to a lot of people, and a lot of modern day female singers got their inspiration from her,” Eastern Michigan University student Sarah Noonchester said.
“I remember when I was little I would watch ‘The Bodyguard’ with my parents,” Noonchester continued. “I had the soundtrack on cassette so of course I would play ‘I Will Always Love You’ on repeat while I tried my best to sing along with it even though I was totally off key.”

“How beautiful was [I Will Always Love You],” Kathy Waltz health educator for Snow Health Center said. “She had such a beautiful voice.”

“I think it’s sad to hear that such an icon in the music industry has passed at such a young age,” Chad Snider, a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying music education, said. “She had so much left to give to the music community and it’s shame that she’ll never get to share it.”

Personal struggles aside, Houston was a remarkable entertainer who leaves behind a substantial legacy. She is survived by her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Jerome Stuart NicholsComment