A huge testimony to the fact that one voice can shake American listeners and skyrocket to the top of the charts, R&B queen and soulful film star Whitney Houston passed away this last weekend. Even though she wasn’t exactly a big part of the indie community, she worked to pave the way for female vocalists across the board and some chart-topping artists have opened up about her influencing them. Last year, Lady Gaga accepted her Grammy awards thanking Houston, and this year at the ceremony, host LL Cool J began the night with a teary-eyed prayer in her honor.
An article for the USA Today looked to twitter for artist reactions to the pop star’s untimely death. Rihanna wrote, “No words, just tears”; Celine Dion typed, “When I started my career, I wanted to be like her”; LeAnn Rimes professed Houston’s self-titled as “the first CD I ever bought”; and Mariah Carey simply said “one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth”. Even if it has become rather easy to be critical of Houston’s past decade battling drug abuse and her marriage to Bobby Brown in the public eye, it’s impossible to ignore her amazing accomplishments.
Houston was the only artist to chart seven consecutive Billboard Hot 100 Hits, the first black woman to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine, and one of the most awarded women in the whole industry with 2 Emmys, 6 Grammys, and 22 American Music Awards. Nominations considered, she was in the spotlight for a good portion of the late 80s and the 90s wouldn’t have been the same without her – bridged together by her heralded 1992 performance with Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. She released 6 albums over the course of her career with her freshman 1985 self-titled release having now sold over 25 million copies and gone platinum in five countries. Gone all too soon at 48, your contributions to music as a whole can now be seen across the board. Rest in peace, Whitney.