I cried last night thinking about Whitney Houston.
She personified musical pre-determination. No amount of vocal coaching, note studying or octave meditation can give one who was not chosen by a higher power, a voice like that. It just doesn’t happen.
Whitney Houston was beautiful. Part of her beauty was the depth of her struggle. Her battle for existence was highly public, and no one wants to watch self-destruction. (If you do, get help.) But, she brought a real sense of human frailty and heavenly genius to her craft.
I read different takes on the Grammys tribute to the 48 year old superstar. In Jennifer Hudson’s defense, it was not about her recreating Whitney’s impossible sound. It was about doing her justice. It was about giving a classic beauty, a tasteful presentation of appreciation for her cultural contributions.
Jennifer’s voice did not crack. She did not fall apart onstage while offering a tribute to a woman who helped pave the pathway for the American Idol reject turned Dreamgirl’s current success.
I thought it was lovely. And while I was saddened by the deaths of many artists, none but larger-than-life, profoundly misunderstood, Whitney Houston, triggered tears.
From what I watched of the Grammys, appreciating life was a focal point. Whether it was Adele winning award after award for serenading audiences about “a rubbish relationship”, the Beach Boys bringing American cool to the stage, or Nicki Minaj vying for scripts with a hip-hop alter ego exorcism, one ought to be reminded that life can stop at any moment for any of us.
Yeezy said people never get the roses while they can still smell them. Here’s to appreciating the present.