Skip to main content

Disappointment: The Death And Career of Whitney Houston

DPWhitneyHouston

I was on the train heading home to Brooklyn when I first found out. As I checked my latest refreshed feed before I headed underground, twitter was buzzing with the breaking news – Whitney Houston Dead at age 48. As I continued to scroll through multiple sources such as the New York Daily News, the New York Times, and the Associated Press, the news was confirmed, and my heart sank.

With details being very vague right now and many questions still unanswered, especially, the cause of death, I find it very interesting to see how others are not only viewing her death, but are choosing to remember Houston. The overall public perception (minus media reaction) is that drugs were a cause, and from some social media responses, the overall theme was sadly, “just another crackhead died.”

Her troubled battle with alcohol and substance abuse is well documented. And while many blame Bobby Brown for the her downfall during their marriage, and yes, he was a major catalyst for her downfall, the truth is Houston still had free reign to make the decisions to participate. Any bad sentiments toward Bobby or blame for the fall of her career is completely unwarranted. In fact, following their separation, Brown has cleaned himself up, remarried, and fathered another child. Houston continued to struggle with abuse. And let’s not forget her recent (weird and skeptical) relationship with Ray-J.

While I understand the feeling and reaction, personally, the life of Whitney Houston is more than just a media/pop culture one of her controversial life. My father is a huge Whitney Houston fan. I grew up hearing that wonderful and powerful God-given voice of Houston blaring throughout our house. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, “How Will I know”, "Saving All My Love For You” and many of her hits from the 80’s and early 90’s are engrained with me from childhood, and are songs associated with various memories.

And c’mon, the power of her voice…that voice is incomparable.

I understand there are many who remember Houston for her tumultuous relationship and headline-stealing disappointments. And there is indeed a part of me that has very little sympathy for someone who wasted such a gift, such wealth, such talent, and such fame through drugs.

However, my initial feeling and response to Whitney Houston’s death is that of disappointment.

Seven years ago, I wrote a post titled, Think Reverse, Understand Today. A simple “What if” thought process of wondering pondering how life would have worked out for Houston if she never met or married Bobby Brown.

And such a thought process lies in the disappointment.

A disappointment that is grounded in knowing Houston will never, ever, reach the full potential everyone knew she was capable of. A hope that many held on to when she released her last (and comeback album) I Look To You. It’s the hope that is now gone.

And regardless of how she died, which is presumed to be drugs, or the toll that substance abuse had on her system over the years, the greatest lesson we can learn from the tale of Whitney Houston, besides the obvious of not doing drugs, is not wasting God-given talent or your life.

For upon your death, the feeling of disappointment is greater than the impact of any reputation or headline from your past.

Recently Read Posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/22/22

3 Up 1. NY Times Investigative Series on Haiti - The history of Haiti is such a complex (and unfortunate) one. Really, it's a story that goes untold, specifically for the context of how the country is viewed. From being forced to pay operations to enslavers (yeah, you read that right), to so many other historical setbacks - including American interventions - the nation's history is so well laid out in this latest NY Times piece. I urge you to give it a read.  2. Equal Pay for US Women's Soccer Team - Kudos to US Soccer on coming around to giving the USWNT their due - equal pay for prize money from the World Cup. It's a start, and more importantly, it's a push forward for women's sports that do in fact push the needle in comparison, or more so, to their male counterparts.  3. Kate McKinnon - Random "UP" here, but I'm doing it anyway...A few SNL usuals are rumored to be walking away, including Kate McKinnon. The show obviously doesn't carry the

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/15/22

3 Up 1. California Church Heroes - It's soooooooo weird that the top spot is a result of something so horrific as our ongoing domestic terrorism problem of mass shootings. Still, the courage shown by the five members who stopped the shooter deserves it. Those individuals tackled the shooter and tied him up with an electric cord, while wounded.  It's so tough to fathom that those possibilities are within the realm of your Sunday worship, within the sanctity of your church.  But such is America... 2. Olivia Rodrigo & Drake - Rodrigo continues to reap rewards on an excellent album in 2021 as she topped the Billboard Music Awards with seven awards. There was also Drake who I'm beginning to sense we won't really appreciate his body of work until he's near the end of his career. But yeah, Drake poured in a few more for the legacy debates and discussions.

Celebrating 37 with Gratitude

I sit here quite unsure how to celebrate a birthday this year - though, it's not something I've always done. I leave that to my wife and now, my son, to create that spectacle that I'm unable to drum up. However, I've always had some reflection on each year, and each new "age" or trip around the sun completed. Thirty-seven successful trips, and on this day, today, my birthday, I just can't seem to find the words that resonate with how I feel, or simply, to feel.  For starters, there is the idea that forever, my birthday, May 25th, will always be linked with the death of George Floyd. That's heavy enough. And then there is this year, just yesterday, the horrific events of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. That is the only thing really at the center of my thoughts, emotions, and concerns. It's challenging to pull myself out to be a focus under the current climate.  But if I tried to mesh the feelings of the current times as well as look inward,

Dome Pondering Movie Review: All the Bright Places

What is it about?  Two troubled teenagers meet and change each other's lives for the better - working through their past, and their demons, the two find meaning in the smallest and simplest of places.  Who is in it?  Elle Fanning - Violet Markey Justice Smith - Theodore Finch