There was a time that Whitney Houston's voice was widely regarded as being in a class untouchable by mere mortals. It was thus almost from the beginning.
Sure she had fun and poppy hits like How Will I Know and I Wanna Dance with Somebody... but they were nicely balanced by stunning R&B tracks like Saving All My Love for You and I Will Always Love You. The woman had pipes. The woman could sing.
And never was this more apparent than when she belted out The Star Spangled Banner at the 2001 Super Bowl with an unforgettable performance. The rumor that it was lip-synced did nothing to detract from the magic because Whitney nailed it. Our National Anthem is not an easy song to sing. On the contrary, it practically begs to be screwed up by anyone attempting it... live or otherwise. And even when singers get it right, it doesn't always sound that great. With Ms. Houston's talent, it was a different story entirely...
And today, at the age of 48, she's gone.
Whitney admitted to using drugs (but not crack, which she felt was "whack" because it was beneath her income level)... and odds are it was her drug use which contributed to her death. This is all kinds of tragic because a part of me always expected that she'd make some kind of come-back one of these days.
Alas it was not to be.
Perhaps not meant to be. All that's left now is a legacy. And a lesson.
Her voice may have been beyond the grasp of mere mortals but, in the end, it was wrapped in a body that was all too human. Hopefully her fellow humans will remember that at a time it would be all too easy to forget.