Sunday, February 12, 2012

RIP: Whitney Houston

Honestly, never would I have ever thought when I woke up this morning that I would be sitting here typing these words.

Earlier this morning, while folding laundry and listening to the radio (which to be fair, I don't do so often anymore - I just felt compelled), I found it strange they would play three Whitney Houston songs back to back. It was only once I turned on my laptop and saw the news of her death at just 48 years young that things started to register.

It's almost impossible to put into words what Whitney Houston's influence has meant to me, as a ardent fan of music and of vocal talent. The love affair began with the 1992 soundtrack album The Bodyguard. I wouldn't see the film until years later -- remember, I was just five-six years old -- but the power, the strength, the intensity behind her voice was striking to me, even at such a young age.

When describing what vocal talent is to my ears, what bowls me over, what makes my skin raise up in goosebumps -- that X-Factor is usually related to one person. She is the woman who not only was a huge part of my musical history, but she's tended to be the common denominator in terms of influences for the majority of the female (and some male) artists I would gravitate to. And now, she's no longer with us.

It goes without saying her power will go on, will never be forgotten and will be memorialized through song -- especially with this generation and with future generations who will have grown up listening to her music and the music of other's she's influenced. She was a vocal role model who set a benchmark for pop music.

It is truly, truly difficult to choose the right words in this kind of situation, but vocally, Whitney Houston always was and always will be a hero of mine. Without her, I most certainly would not be who I am -- there'd be no Melismatic itself, as she was part of the reason why I named this blog what I did to begin with.

Rest in Peace, Whitney. I hope you are in a happier, safer place now. Know that your influence will remain, and for now, that will have to be enough. Without further ado, presenting to you -- the greatest rendition of a love song of all time.


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