It’s always a sad day in the music world when a legend who influenced generations of artists passes away. Whitney Elizabeth Houston, the iconic singer with the monumental voice, died this past week on February 11, in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Houston’s death hit close to home for many, including godmother Aretha Franklin, friend Mariah Carey and even ex-husband Bobby Brown, while the death of such a musical icon inspired numerous tributes including Jennifer Hudson’s emotional rendition of “I Will Always Love You” at the Grammys.
Houston suffered late-life issues with drug abuse, which triggered health problems and a lack of professionalism, including the utterance of her notorious quote concerning crack cocaine during her 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer.
Still, there is no denying Houston’s significance to not just the music world, but to the entire entertainment industry. Houston helped break down the color barrier for black female artists during the 1980s when it was difficult for black artists to get air-time on major networks, most notably MTV. She paved the way for other artists like Anita Baker and Janet Jackson and went on to influence numbers of pop-flavored artists such as Mariah Carey, Destiny’s Child, Robin Thicke, Alicia Keys and Celine Dion.
Houston amazed the nation in 1991 with her powerful, stunning rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV. She charmed and thrilled the music world with hits through the decades like “How Will I Know,” “The Greatest Love of All,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” and the unforgettable “I Will Always Love You,” which was the hit song of The Bodyguard soundtrack, the successful film in which Houston starred alongside Kevin Costner in 1992.
Houston’s popularity, talent and influence are reflected in her achievements.
She received the most amount of awards for a female artist of all time, having a total of 415 career awards by 2010, including her astonishing eight wins at the 21st American Music Awards of 1994, tying with Michael Jackson.
There has been a resurgence in Houston’s catalogue sales since her death, comprised of the sales of over one million albums and singles, the majority being the nearly 900,000 digital singles purchased.
Clearly, despite her tragic passing, Whitney Houston’s music lives on in the hearts of old fans as well a new generation of listeners.
Houston’s funeral is scheduled for this Saturday.