Remembering Whitney Houston on Her 50th Birthday

Today would have been the 50th birthday of the legendary Whitney Houston.

Whitney will always been in a class all her own as a vocalist and entertainer.

Though her later years were often marred by stories of her personal troubles, we will always remember Whitney for her once-in-a-generation talent.

Check out Whitney’s television debut on the MervGriffin Show in 1983:

One Year Later, Remembering Whitney Houston

One year ago, the incomparable Whitney Houston passed away.

We watched her meteoric rise to the top of the charts, and we watched her excruciating fall from grace. But through her ups and downs, her legacy remained in tact; without question, among the finest vocalists ever. Her talent was undeniable, and she is still beloved and missed by fans across the globe.

Her place in popular culture is a unique one, and  a fantastically written article from Dream Hampton takes an in-depth look at “the legacy, the life and the loss of Whitney Houston.”

Two for One Monday: Gabby Douglas and Chick-Fil-A

Morning, folks. As the end of last week approached, it became very clear that I’d have to address two very different stories: the all-around awesomeness of Gabby Douglas and this Chick-Fil-A poor excuse of a protest. There’s no clever way to introduce either topic or merge them together, so just check out what I have to say after the jump.

‘Sparkle’ to Become Book and Broadway Play

The Sony Pictures remake of the 1976 film, Sparkle will more than likely top the box office the weekend of its August release.

After all, the updated version will feature the late Whitney Houston (1963 — 2012) in her last film role. Houston’s death obviously generated tremendous interest in the movie. It appears that producers are going to capitalize off of that interest by turning 2012 Sparkle into a franchise.

A book will be published days before the film’s debut, and a Broadway play featuring 5 new songs is in the works.

On the Inevitable #Fail of the Whitney Houston Biopic

As much as I’d like to stop publicly mourning the death of a person I never met, I’m not ready. Tweeting #shoopforjesus, randomly saying “‘Re ain’t here!?” to whomever will listen, and concluding that Whitney wasn’t that bad of a dancer after watching the “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” video are clear indicators that I’m: 1. my mother’s child and 2. not quite ready to let go. So, (un)fortunately, I must write about Whitney again. (I’m sure you can find a pundit sounding off on Rush Limbaugh somewhere on the internet.)

It makes sense, then, that I went in on my friend Maegs when she mentioned news of a Houston biopic and tried to defend why Jennifer Hudson was a legitimate option. My profanity-laced diatribe not only included the “J.Hud’s not pretty enough” angle, but also featured a rather long-winded digression about how much I hate her Weight Watchers commercials and thus would not stand for her playing my mama’s favorite singer.

Spilling Whitney’s Tea Redux

Since I have done nothing but act like my mother’s child and mourn the passing of Whitney Houston for the last 10 days, I knew today’s post would be a return, in some way, to The Voice. Early last week, I had resolved to write a fun, lighter post, tentatively titled, “Whitney: Anatomy of a Diva,” where I post videos of Whitney singing with other, clearly lesser singers and offer commentary.

But that will have to wait.

After last Monday’s post, I got a really thoughtful and thought-provoking email asking about whether or not it was too soon discuss the nature of Whitney’s relationship with her former assistant, Robyn Crawford. It took me a few days to respond, because I thought I was deeply ambivalent about the matter. In reply, I questioned the impulse to posthumously out folks, and wondered if we had not found other ways to validate our own sexuality. I made that last claim with a little trepidation, because although I don’t find being able to identify with a celebrity in such a way helpful to my own self-esteem, I must acknowledge that others feel differently. (Moreover, I must readily confess that my addiction to poorly produced webseries starring lesbians of color does not stem solely from my thirst for things to hate on.)

The Voice: Remembering Whitney Houston (1963 — 2012)

The Voice. When one is colloquially known as such, it becomes easy to forget that such sound emanates from inside a human being. The Voice. A disembodied moniker. So spectacularly general, simply an article and noun sans the dressing of more instructive, clarifying wording: “of reason” or “of God” or “of an angel.” The Voice. So intangible, yet generating a viewable response that cannot be contained within the body, that must express itself in paroxysms of applause, spontaneous standing, or dimmed eyes, mouths agape, heads nodding in utter disbelief of what their ears have witnessed. The Voice. An appellation, like air or magic, that implies an ethereal otherworldliness, an omnipresence so unique that the one to which it refers can never be confused with another.

This weekend, The Voice lost its vessel.