NO SUR­PRISE

Sunday World - - Tribute To Whitney - CAMERON ADAMS

WHIT­NEY Hous­ton taught the world to sing.

But one of the most tragic things about her death is the lack of sur­prise at it.

Me­dia houses had Hous­ton’s obit­u­ary writ­ten and ready to run for years.

You can pin­point ex­actly where it all went wrong for Whit­ney Hous­ton – meet­ing Bobby Brown.

Pre-bobby she was a squeaky-clean su­per­star hailed for one of the purest voices of our gen­er­a­tion.

She was the an­ti­dote to auto-tune.

Post-bobby her ca­reer nose-dived as years of drug abuse rav­aged her God-given tal­ent.

It’s no sur­prise that Hous­ton’s songs are reg­u­larly used on TV tal­ent shows

– her vo­cal per­for­mance was of mas­ter­class qual­ity.

She set the yard­stick for power and emo­tion – not an easy dou­ble.

Her voice was the bench­mark, the rea­son mil­lions started singing.

Even Osama bin Laden was a fan.

When Whit­ney met Brown in 1989 he was an R&B bad boy.

He soon dragged her down with him, cor­rupt­ing her as their lives played out in a grubby soap opera, swing­ing from court cases, as­sault claims and fears for daugh­ter Bobbi Kristina.

Who can for­get a fired-up Hous­ton telling US TV host Diane Sawyer in 2002: “Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. We don’t do crack. Crack is whack.”

And it’s hard to for­get images of a skele­tal Hous­ton ad­mit­ting to daily drug use in an Oprah tell-nearly-all.

Mer­ci­fully, she ex­tri­cated her­self from the dys­func­tional re­la­tion­ship with Brown and it seemed Hous­ton was get­ting her life back on track when Clive Davis, the record com­pany boss who steered her ca­reer, as­sem­bled an age-ap­pro­pri­ate col­lec­tion of songs for her re­turn-to-form al­bum, I Turn To You, in 2009.

The next hur­dle was to get her back on tour. She was a su­per­star from a pre-face­book, pre-twit­ter era, start­ing again in a so­cial me­dia age full of peo­ple who thought they were the first to write: Hous­ton

“we have a prob­lem.”

I went to Hous­ton’s Rod Laver Arena con­cert in March 2010.

The tour had al­ready suf­fered cru­ci­fix­ion by

“so­cial me­dia”.

Rightly or wrongly you went in half ex­pect­ing a train wreck and a sea of peo­ple storm­ing out de­mand­ing a re­fund.

TV cam­eras were wait­ing out­side for their prey.

It’s not as sexy a story to note that while she wasn’t amaz­ing, it was nowhere near the train smash it has been mythol­o­gised to be.

In­side was a venue full of peo­ple will­ing Hous­ton on. “I’d never seen an au­di­ence so

com­mu­nally be­hind an artist.

Ev­ery­one there knew what she’d been through.

They were just happy to see her come out the other side. Sure, she couldn’t hit the notes she did 20 or 25 years ago.

Many acts strug­gle to recre­ate notes they sang half a life­time ago.

If peo­ple learnt how to sing from Hous­ton, if they were in­spired by her amaz­ing songs, there’s an­other les­son she of­fers - what not to do.

She fell vic­tim to the dark side of show­bizz, the sad cliché.

Be care­ful what you wish for.

– her­ald­sun.com

Sparkle

’ AS the world mourns Whit­ney Hous­ton, her mu­sic has set the charts alight again.

And the record com­pa­nies and writ­ers of her songs are set to profit from her death last Satur­day

– among them coun­try singer Dolly Par­ton.

Par­ton (pic­tured) wrote I Will Al­ways Love You in 1973. Hous­ton recorded it for The Body­guard al­most two decades later.

As Par­ton (66) owns the song, she stands to earn a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money as the No.1 hit is ex­pected to top the itunes sin­gles chart.

– her­ald­sun.com

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