panis angelicus - li divo
I cried many times listening to Miss Whitney Houston's songs growing up but when I heard she had left her body somehow I could not cry. I felt I needed to dance and I did. She was one of the best singer of our time. For some Whitney was simply the best!
At the end of 2011 while I was remembering the best moments or individuals that influenced the year I considered putting her on the list. She definitely was an option since 2009, I had been receiving updates from her fan club and at the end of the year they had sent pictures of the actress/singer/producer on the set of her come back project for the silver screen "Sparkle," for which she had bought the rights more than 10 years ago and was consequently also the Executive Producer. But in retrospective, looking at the pictures sent; despite the broad smiles on Whitney Houston's face I could not help but feel a cold energy vibrating from them. It scared me. A voice inside me said you might regret not putting her up here. I made my decision and the voice was silenced. Instead of her for that spot; I decided to predict a huge comeback for Madonna who at the time just had a song leaked on the Internet featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. Madonna, was also flirting with the headlines in the media because of her well received turn as a director in "WE" and her relationship with her boy toy French dancer. She had not announced her Superbowl project but my gut feeling was Madonna was about to bring it to another level so I for casted 2012 To be her year.
Whitney has always had comparable even more lucrative record deals than any songstress of her era. But she never toured as much as Mariah Carey or Madonna. She would be out of the spotlight for years at the time only making headlines because of her tumultuous marriage to Bobbi Brown; and her alleged drugs abuse habit. Yet whenever she would come back on stage she would be so classy it is weird people have put her in the pop category. I believe she was way beyond just being a Queen of pop. I rather think of Whitney as the Goddess of Soul Pop; if you must include pop.
At her peak "She knew she had a voice." She never had to over compensate by showing skin in skimpy outfits. She was an extremely classy performer. She never over marketed herself even though she only had to get on the phone and Mr Clive Davis her mentor would have bankrolled millions to finance her marketing campaigns.
Instead she seems to rely on her fans' support. When it comes to Madonna and Whitney Houston; both have topped the charts and have sold over 200 million albums worldwide for the last 20 years; yet there can't be more contrasting personalities in appearances and voices and arguably similar lives in reality than for these two divas. To the exception of drugs consumption and apparent self destruction. Madonna has always confessed of being vulnerable as much as Whitney often proclaimed to be strong.
When the curtains went down and the photographers were gone Whitney was a human with her strength and weaknesses. She had the resources to get and do whatever she wanted including not "Leaving bed for seven months" if that's what she wanted to do.
What does being a star her size means? You are supposed to look perfect; act perfect and stay on the top of your game and the charts no matter if you feel like you had enough; no matter if you feel like every woman and now just want to go home and be a simple wife. What you wish for you will get. Whitney Houston always wanted to be a star! Did she ever ask to have peace or simply figured she would think about it later? Wanting to be a public personality comes at a STIFF price. However you don't have to "sell your soul" like most urban legends would like you to believe. The price is that when you have reached such heights stopping learning equals death! Madonna, has been willing to pay the price. She has gone from being the bad girl to be the most all put together all around superstar. No drugs of any kind for Miss Ciccone; instead she eats veggie pizzas and practice yoga and keeps only healthy relationships and constantly pray.
I did not know Whitney personally so I can't speculate on what she was thinking but I can tell you she was not kidding when she said to Diane Sawyer "I am my worst enemy."
We will remember where we were when we heard of her untimely death like our parents still remember where they were when they heard John Lennon was shot and not a long time ago we were ALL glued to our screens hoping for a miracle for Michael Jackson when there were conflicting reports about him being dead or not; only two years ago.
So where were you? How did you feel when you first heard of Whitney Houston voice being silenced? I was at the supermarket's deli waiting for my chicken to be cut in four. I received a text but I did not look at it; instead my thoughts wondered about how on my way I just had escaped an accident just by crossing Broadway when I had the light. I had to jump a step back. I had no way to know if this guy would stop. He did. So I looked at him and at the young passenger; shook my head and I thought to myself "What would you do if you just ran me over? Would you get faster to your destination?" It was not my time to know; so my mind came back to the present time and now I opened the flip on my phone: "R.I.P Whitney Houston." sent by J.U. So I closed the phone and I admit I was mad. Mad for thinking about death and surely enough within a few seconds receiving these news. One minute we are here the next we are gone. Is this something to be scared about? I don't think so. I believe we must do the best with what we have when we can and know that being born and being dead are similar transition necessary for life to happen.
I apologized for breaking the news to the young man at the deli but it did not help as he heard my words he dropped whatever he was holding to the floor. Again I said "I am sorry for delivering the bad news." We are all connected. The passing of someone we care for literally takes a part of us with them. If they were part of our reality we were part of theirs. That is why it hurts. The more you touch people the more they will miss you when you are gone. When you are great your legacy becomes clearer when you leave your physical body. Your purpose on earth at explains itself with time. From being angry we become grateful; we become thankful for the memories; we look at the great time and uplifting feelings you brought to us.
Whitney, either or not you suffered behind your gorgeous Hollywood smile; this is too late now but we can hope that you will continue to smile to us from beyond and see how much we love you. I know it does not all end here. Life is a cycle; an evolution with a reason behind it. So sing to her songs dance to her voice and bask on what was the focus of her life: The mastery of her voice and her God given talent.
I thank the the Creator of the Universe for allowing me to witness her coming and hearing and experiencing her irreplaceablle voice live at a free concert at the Lincoln Center.
if one does not learn how to keep a candlelight close to their heart the night and the life ahead can be a cold journey that no fame no amount of money or good looks can turn into real success called wealth.
We tend to forget that successful people rarely have a so called "Balanced life." Their success is in equal proportion of the lack of that missing element thereof in their lives - DR