Whitney Houston – A Real Woman and Friend

English: American singer Whitney Houston perfo...
Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina

I can’t tell you how much I hate doing these “tributes”.  In my mind they set a tone of regret, like I’m missing my water because I allowed my well to run dry.  I will cry for a minute then later go on to other things, which strikes me as not having paid true homage.  It’s a difficult and twisted thing in my mind.  I always look at what people put up on their blogs and FB pages after they have done a tribute to someone who passed.  Within a day or two, many are on to the next thing, because, well, that’s life.  It strikes me the wrong way for some reason.

Can I say that I wasn’t a big fan of all of Whitney’s music?  Yet I truly loved her from the beginning of her career.  How is that possible, especially since I didn’t know her?  I dont know.  There was something magical and beautiful about the woman that went even beyond her singing voice.  I know we love our “stars”, but our stars are more than stars.  They are human beings with lives beyond the love we have for their gifts.

She was a real woman, and she fought to continue to be real in a make believe setting.  People wanted her to sing on command, and mostly she did.  When she tried to live her life, people weren’t too pleased that she was a regular sistergirl.  They didn’t like her being a black woman with a black woman’s sensibilities and perspective.  I loved how she spoke her mind, whether you liked it or not.  They tried to villainize her for the friends she had, for the man she chose.  She didnt allow them to.  When things got hard for her, many said “I told you so”, then self righteously blamed her for her mistakes.  That’s OK, because she remained true to herself.  She fought her battle, and won.  Then the Lord took her home.

Even though I wasnt a fan of some of Whitney’s songs, the ones I did like,  I truly loved.   I will Always Love You, Exhale Shoop Shoop, and I’m Every Woman.  These songs allowed me to see in her something that I imagined was there anyway.  The video to I’m Every Woman was done while she was pregnant with Bobbi Kristina and she was all aglow with the beauty of her pregnancy – her face was rounder and softer and even more beautiful than ever, if that’s possible.  She was obviously very happy to be carrying her baby, Bobbi K.  If Bobby Brown didn’t give her anything as some like to think, then he did give her Bobbi Kristina.

She was surrounded by other beautiful, strong black women in the video – including Valerie Simpson, TLC, her momma Cissy and Chaka herself as well as others.  Now that she has passed on, many will claim to love her and do all kinds of music tributes.  Some will be sincere in their love, and some won’t.  It’s not right, but its OK.

The heart of the woman was love.  She loved her friends and family, Bobby Brown and she loved Jesus too.  She was just real, and that’s why I love her.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Unfortunately we’ve had to do too many tributes one behind the other. Heavy D, Etta James, Don Cornelius, now Whitney. It’s like our Black entertainment icons are dropping like flies. It’s very unnerving, especially when the people dying are so young. I can truly say I loved Whitney Houston music and that her death was so a total shock to me. I was so hurt and upset I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Grammys. Way too depressing.

    I can relate to Whitney’s struggles with drugs, alcohol, depression etc.. because I’ve seen family members go through or its been me having drama. Believe me mental illness and addictions are battles fought on a daily basis. You’re like a boxer in the ring who keeps slugging away until the 10 count is called. That’s when God calls you home because He knows you’re suffering.

    I think that the media especially CNN tried to crucify her instead of honoring the music she produced. As a friend of mine said Marilyn Monroe and Elvis both were addicted to drugs and alcohol and died of drug overdoses yet they are both worshiped like gods. Two of the most troubled entertainers ever are honored 40 and 50 years after they died.

    Right now my prayers go out to Whitney’s mother Cissy, her daughter Bobbi and her other family members. Mercy, compassion, forgiveness are the way to be.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      We should listen to those who have mercy and compassion, and ignore those like CNN who have none as it concerns Whitney. I haven’t listened to the media at all, except FB and Twitter, and that’s the way I’ll keep it. I may listen to TVOne, if I feel like it at some point. Right now I don’t feel like it.

      1. I agree. I first saw the news on FB but sometimes people spread rumors via social media. At the time I just wanted to see if the reports were true. But after a while I couldn’t take it anymore. Of course I do read the newspapers but I just read a few stories then put the paper down. Way too depressing. I identify with Whitney but some things hit too close to home so I can’t listen. I can’t look. I just put on Netflix or some movie channel on TV so I don’t have to think about what happened.

  2. Coco Rivers says:

    Hi Anna,

    You speak truth. I wrote my tribute in an attempt to forestall sadness which didn’t work. I’m still struggling to get back in step which seems wrong but necessary. People often act the fool when others die, elevating them to sainthood. Although, I did not connect with Whitney like I did with Michael, I acknowledge that she owned an awesome talent. But still, what I admire about her most is her REALNESS, as you so eloquently stated. She lived her life at 100 tilt and was true to herself, passions, mistakes and glory, therein lies her humanness. In an industry that makes mannequins for sale and encourages idolatry for all the things we should disregard, she stood out as authentic, refusing to fit the mold.

    I am sorry that she lost her way but that too is a part of life.

    Thank you for this heartfelt post.

  3. Lin says:

    *sighs* Beautiful tribute. Prayers for the family.

    One.

  4. Reggie says:

    She was so very talented.

    I think that The Grammy’s put Jennifer Hudson in a bad position by asking her to sing the tribute. While she can sing, she doesn’t have and never has had Whitney’s range. She wasn’t equipped to sing that song. Her singing that song was like a man showing up at a gunfight with a knife.

    She wasn’t ready for it.

  5. Anna Renee says:

    @Coco Rivers – there will be those who focus on the negative and try to put her down for it. But there are always those who are ready to condemn others. We look to those who would honor Whitney for all she accomplished.

    @Lin – The entire Houston family and extended family and friends. But especially Bobbi Kristina.

    @Reggie – I saw a clip of that tribute and Jennifer seemed confused throughout – should she belt it out or sing it subdued? She seemed subdued. Should she take a bow when everyone cheered her singing? She did, but she looked like a deer in the headlights. She shouldnt have done it. Especially since she had just lost her own family not too long ago. It was a bad position for her in more ways than one.

  6. SpeakGossip says:

    Reblogged this on SpeakGossip.

  7. James/Big Mac says:

    I said what I have had say on my spot,because that’s how I see things at this moment,I believe there’s something to learn from Whitney’s life.
    I thank you and others for putting her life from another angle to see.

  8. Lin says:

    Yeah, Bobbi Kris is most definitely prayer-worthy. I can’t even imagine what this loss is doing to her. By many accounts, she assumed to the role of her mother’s CARETAKER, instead of the other way around. Sad, on some many levels.

    Oh & thanks for your insightful comment. It made me think, & then to leave a rather contemplative reply.

    One.

  9. kekemichel says:

    It is nice of you to admire Whitney Houston because she was a human/spirit being and because of her talent, even though you were not a fan. It is okay that you like only some of her music, yet give your opinion/reflection.

    Also, your discourse about bloggers moving on to a whole other topic right after posting a tribute about a deceased person has to do with the “pop culture” we live. I feel that our society is moving so fast relative to news and information that many people “gloss over” things like death, wars, murders,etc., because how society is conditioned.

    One thing for sure, within all the blog articles, news reports, television specials, etc. about Whitney Houston, her talent is mentioned because it can not be denied that she was “The Voice.” Interestingly, while I was a fan from day one because of her phenomenal singing, I did not like, or buy, all of her music. There is a song that she sang with her then husband, Bobby Brown, “We Have Something In Common;” that was the song! It was written by:
    Teddy Riley (Producer & Writer)
    Whitney Houston
    Bobby Brown
    Bernard Belle
    Pure genius collaboration. Check it out.

    Also, read and leave commentary on my latest blog post, ” Whitney Houston: The Voice,” at http://www.blacknouveauwoman.wordpress.com

    ~KeKeMichel

  10. Anna Renee says:

    @Big Mac – I know that your perspective is an important one. In this evil world, we have to be discerning. There are a lot of drug pushers out there, more than the Mexican cartels and they have a pass of legality. We have to know NOT to do everything that’s placed in front of us. I would say there’s no real excuse for falling victim, yet there are many excuses. Its so simple, yet more and more are becoming addicted.

    @Lin – Last night I decided to watch ET Tonight and of course it was all about Whitney. It was respectfully done. They interviewed Kenny Lattimore (whose voice I love) concerning Whitney, but also concerning Bobbi K. He lied noblely to protect Whitney and he lied again noblely about Bobbi K having a singing career. Already, eyes are focusing on Bobbi to take her mother’s place as a singer. She uploaded a video of herself singing, and she has the potential. Kenny’s lie was that if she went into the business she would need a lot of love surrounding her to protect her. Whitney had the love of her family and it didn’t protect her at all. There are always more users surrounding them than their family who loves them.

    @Kekemichel. That’s why I hate doing these tributes, because they just become fodder for my blog and others’ blog. The person becomes dehumanized IMO. I even have a problem with everyone wanting to do a singing tribute to her – even Aretha, who has more right than anybody else. It begins to look competitive – Aretha’s trib blew away Jennifer’s. Will Christina Aguillera do one? What about Chaka? What about her own mother? Why not just have a show of all the soul singers do a trib to her, by showing off their own singing pipes? Then we can give awards for the best one. Personally I hate it.

  11. Lin says:

    This is true, Anna May. Love & love alone from others will not stop someone from self-destruction, if that is indeed their path. Even love of God doesn’t seem to be enough, because by most accounts, Whitney was “God-fearing.” It takes deep doses of self-dignity & self-awareness & self-possession, a sense of SELF-protection, most of all SELF-LOVE. Sadly, it’s doubtful Whitney, as talented as she proved herself to be, was endowed w/ the kind of Self-Love that would have insured her own SELF-Survival.

    One.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      It’s a difficult thing, my brother. It’s impossible, really. That’s why in the Bible Jesus said:

      “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”
      John 15:1-7

      It’s in the ABIDING. We are able to be negatively influenced, even as we believe that we are followers of Christ. This happened to the Children of Israel again and again and again over the course of their history. It’s very easy to be led astray, no matter who you are. And Hollywood, Im sure, is worse than Babylon ever was. Being a child of God is in the obedience and the abiding. It’s a long-term life long relationship, and as any relationship, you have to put in much time, or someone comes along and steals your heart away. Hollywood stole Whitney’s heart from the Lord.

  12. Lin says:

    You deep, Anna May!~ I’m almost a-scurrred of your depth. yo But, while man tragic horror stories are written and produced there, it wasn’t Holywood alone that tainted the host. Please, don’t buy into that Pop Princess hype that Clive Davis & the press people ran when Whitney made her debut. She was Newark born & bred, & knew what time it was. It it wasn’t Bobby who’d suddenly led her atray either. Even SHE debunked that theory & owned up to her personal demons.

    I guess that abiding thing wasn’t set in stone.

    God & religion can’t sustain us when we only seek fast food attonement. We can’t simply go by drive-thru window, place our orders & believe our deepest hunger is being sated. It just doesn’t work that way. Abiding, indeed. Perhaps that’s the real lesson in all this sadness. And I’m not speaking of just Whitney Houston alone.

    One.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      It’s amazing how many of us believed the Fairy tale story. I remember the different interviews when she’d say this or that which made me see through the fairy tale thing and call her a regular sister, like so many from the church.

      And like many from the rigors of the church, maybe she rebelled. She did say that she spent all her time in the church 4 days a week with different choir practices, then again on Sundays. A lot of children rebel in those situations.

      But Hollywood is a monster that kidnaps and destroys rebellious children. Fame is the monster that gives full access to every wickedness that available – look at Michael. How on earth does anyone have access to ANESTETHICS, for Gods sake?

      Yes, Hollyweird has some culpability in this tragedy. The whole place is set up on unreality – especially for women – anorexia being the measure of beauty, botox to erase lines, lip injections, liposuctions, breast augmentations – the place is all about turning women inside out.

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