Why pay homage to drug addicts? This statement was so often made or implied when reading the comment section of the articles about Whitney Houston's death. I must say that I was so surprised by my woeful response. This is a woman--I don't know personally, however, she and other celebrities and talented folks of her caliber are introduced into our domiciles, social venues via t.v., Cd(s), tapes, live performances and albums which gives you a sense of connection. I can remember significant events in my life when a song by Ms. Houston provided some comfort and joy. Today--I can play those lilts and the memories come alive. I'm sure I'm not alone in this and whenever or wherever she sang pop tunes or gospel favorites there was a kinship formed with her fans and some of the viewing public. There is a quote by an unknown author who states "music is what feelings sound like" and she made us feel so much and we appreciated her for it. Why couldn't we feel all this as she was declining and trying to re-engage with the public? Why were we so hard in our assessments of her? Was it the news coverage, that reality show debacle and the public displays of her declining health and once talented voice? This accomplished and beautiful woman who made us proud for so many years had disappointed us and made us feel ashamed for her. Addiction is a devastating disease that turns beauty into ugliness, genius into mental instability and friends/family into foes.
My response to the lead comment of this post is that I'm not paying homage to an addict but a wonderfully talented woman who fell victim to drugs and the lifestyle that accompanies it. There was some hope that things were getting better for her. She had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, mother, extended family and close friends who loved her and were praying for her recovery and success in maintaining sobriety. My thoughts are with them for with all her peaks and valleys--she was Whitney, a daughter, mother, niece and she was family.
When I stated that they are leaving us too soon, I also had in mind Phyllis Hyman, Vesta Williams, Luther, the Levert brothers,Teena Marie, Lynn Collins, Luther Ingram, George Howard and the list goes on. The manner in which they transitioned either as a result of accidents, illness or drug related events is significant to a point. It becomes irrelevant as well for their genius and the good times we had as a result of their amazing talents overshadows how they left us. We will mourn and continue to enjoy their musical legacies for I personally have two playlists of Whitney's recordings and that is indeed a gift.
Peace and blessings to her family and close friends for their loss is more profound in many ways and for her fans...let's celebrate her life and the gift of song she left us. For those who believe in prayer--pray that there is peace for her now that she's crossed that 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters'.
I'm sad ya'll...it's like how I felt when Luther left us!
We now know the cause of Ms. Houston's death--drowning with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. This... in my mindset doesn't change the tribute to her. It only substantiates how devastating the disease of addiction is with the ongoing struggle of relapse ever looming in the background. I still hope she is at peace now and that her daughter will continue on; knowing that although her mother's struggles led to her eventual death--she was loved deeply. Given the fact that Whitney had many adversities; I'm sure that her hope for Bobbi Kristina is to do well in life without the crutch of drugs. The beauty and integrity of their close relationship will hold her in good stead. As a mother of adult daughters; I'm sure that is and was Ms. Houston's wish for her.