Dear Whitney Houston, You Were the Voice of My Generation
I don’t understand at all and it’s not registering in my head fully that you’re really gone, Whitney.
I screamed when I found out. I literally screamed as I saw on TMZ.com “Whitney Houston Dies at 48.” I refreshed the page because surely, they’ll take it back. They didn’t. How are you gone? HOW? I just saw your pics on YBF two days ago coming out of a club with your wig askew. And I muttered “Oh Whitney.” Now? I’m repeating the same thing for different reasons. Whitney… Oh Whitney…
You were the voice of my generation and my childhood. Who didn’t sing (or try to anyway) one of your ballads into a hairbrush? “Bittersweet memories. That is all I’m taking with meeeeeeee.” I used to sing that when I was like 10, knowing I had none yet. As a little girl, I loved the pretty brown lady with the curls and the great voice. And you know we all had to sing “I believe in you and me” for one of our elementary school assemblies. When I started getting an allowance and paying for stuff myself, one of the first things I bought was the “My Love is Your Love” CD and I played it til it skipped. And now, the song of that name is the hardest thing for me to listen to.
Someone tweeted “If tomorrow was judgment day (sing mommy)” and the moment I read that last night, my eyes welled up and my cheeks stayed wet for 10 minutes. Gahtdambit, Whitney. Today isn’t supposed to be that day for you. I didn’t expect you to live forever, but I thought we’d have you at 90 years old, still snatching the wigs of folks who tried to come for you. Still with that grace under fire and sass that made you tell Diane Sawyer to “show you the receipts.” In fact, bless you for even giving us that phrase. I use it at least twice every day to tell people they need more proof or the devil is a LIE.
Your legacy is so big and your accomplishments so numerous. You won 415 awards total, including 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, 6 Grammys, 2 Emmys, and a gang of others. But that undeniable voice! THAT. VOICE.
“I hope life treats you kind and I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of. And I wish you, joy and happiness. But above all this, I wish you love.”
Your voice sounded like it was coated with the unicorn tears and tickled with Phoenix feathers. You’d sing and I’d wanna kick down every chair in a one mile radius. Nawl, you’d SANG and I’d wanna just holy ghost stomp for Jesus and Allah and Vishnu. Your version of the star-spangled banner even made me wanna relinquish my Nigerian citizenship. It was THAT damb good! That voice you had was surely a gift from God and thank you for sharing it with us. Yes, that awesome voice took a hit in recent years but we never forgot how it was. How could we?
You’re not supposed to be gone yet because you were still fighting to live. You were still living loudly. Maybe this is why your passing hit me harder than Michael Jackson’s. I can’t fully articulate how this affected me, and why I cried so much having never met you. Maybe it’s because your life’s work is all in my iTunes. Nary a week went by when I didn’t listen to a Whitney song. I still bust into random solo jam sessions of “Dance with somebody” and jig like my wallet depended on it. I’ve barely updated my iTunes since 2010, but no dambs were given because I have most of your discography in there.
I’m not about this whole “growing up and losing my childhood” life. I AM NOT! I don’t want you legends whose work helped raise me to keep leaving like this! I hate how history perpetually repeats itself with the greats. You come and grace us with your presence and gifts, do some epic things and leave quickly. And we’re left going “But wait. We weren’t done with you.” It’s like you and the others are so epic, the Earth couldn’t hold on to you for too long.
48. I feel cheated, Whitney. And I can’t possibly imagine how Bobbi Kristina feels. Lord, please give that child strength.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston, Bobbi Kristina’s mother, Cissy’s daughter – I really hope you’re resting in perfect paradise. You gave us an amazing gift with your gift and you’ve left a permanent mark on this Earth. I pray for strength for those closest to you.
I was “So Emotional” when I found out, because “It’s not right, but it’s okay” that you’re gone so soon. You were taken in just “One Moment in Time” and I’m *wall sliding* in a “Heartbreak Hotel.” You were the “Queen of the Night”, Whitney, and you’ve slipped away just like that. For the soundtrack of my childhood and the growing me, “I Look to You” and for this and much more, “I Will Always Love You.”
I still can’t fully grasp this.