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Singer Whitney Houston Dies....Aged 48
February 12, 2012
2:25 am
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SWRanger
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OS ANGELES (AP) – Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.

Publicist Kristen Foster said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.

At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale.

She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.

She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.

But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.

"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 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.

She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.

Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.

"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club … it was such a stunning impact," Davis told Good Morning America.

"To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine," he added.

Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with "Whitney Houston," which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. Saving All My Love for You brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. How Will I Know, You Give Good Love and The Greatest Love of All also became hit singles.

Another multiplatinum album, "Whitney," came out in 1987 and included hits like Where Do Broken Hearts Go and I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

The New York Times wrote that Houston "possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity."

Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the Soul Train Awards" in 1989.

"Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?" she told Katie Couric in 1996. "You're not black enough for them. I don't know. You're not R&B enough. You're very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them."

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February 12, 2012
3:16 am
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greeney2
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Another tragic story, she was one of the greatest voices of this era, and should have continued for many more. 48 years old is too young for anyone to pass, so much talent lost. So sad everyone could see it coming but her.

February 12, 2012
8:31 am
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frrostedman
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Ultimately it's her own fault but I hold Bobby Brown directly responsible for this. He knowingly destroyed her career and her life.

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

February 12, 2012
3:15 pm
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Cocaine is one helluva drug.

February 13, 2012
12:22 am
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Believe it or not I used to deliver Certified Letters to her home in Mendham, NJ as a Rural Carrier between 1995-97. Her bodyguards all former Navy Seals used to tote Uzi's and sign for them....Quite nice guys.

Also used to hand over her Box Mail from Fans to her P.A. from time to time and once caught sight of her in her Rolls from time to time...

I'll miss her ! :ugeek:

We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm

February 13, 2012
4:17 am
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Kyprian
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February 12, 2012
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Sad. No word yet, it seems, on the cause of death, although the general consensus seems to be a likelihood of od. Tragic, really. Still, she will be missed.

February 13, 2012
8:18 pm
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"Kyprian" wrote: Sad. No word yet, it seems, on the cause of death, although the general consensus seems to be a likelihood of od. Tragic, really. Still, she will be missed.

I hope the lesson will be learned by up and coming young women. There is a dark side to fame and fortune and this is the tragic result.

February 15, 2012
3:50 am
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bionic
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I am very sad over her death. As she is one I grew up watching. I had always hoped she would bring it back around.
I, like Frosty, believe meeting and falling in love with Bobby Brown was one of the most tragic things that ever happened to her. Her downward spiral began there. I feel she kind of, died of a broken heart, to be honest. In her pain ,she became incredibly self destructive.
God bless her family. She is at peace now. It's is ironic that one of her most famous songs was, 'The Greatest Love of All', as it feels like she did not have that for herself.

Willie Wonka quotes..
What is this Wonka, some kind of funhouse?
Why? Are you having fun?
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams

February 15, 2012
3:59 am
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ricardo
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I think the availability of dangerous additive drugs available by doctors
whom are all too willing to prescribe them for an panacea
of ailments w/ often vague and asymptomatic conditions.

what we need is an national prescription data base that tracks all
legally written drugs.

than it will be incumbent for drs to drug test their own patients with an wide net multi drug screen . to catch for illicit use. actually cheap. this will save lives.

drug companies will fight this because their profits would drop aprox
75%

February 15, 2012
4:03 am
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bionic
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I think that's a really good idea..some pharmacies kind of do this..they track what you are taking, so they can warn you of any possible, dangerous drug interactions..of course addicts tend to have several doctors and several pharmacies

Willie Wonka quotes..
What is this Wonka, some kind of funhouse?
Why? Are you having fun?
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams

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