People Who Inspire: Whitney Houston

I was an 80’s child and just like everything else then, my optimism screamed loudly and brightly. Back in the days of synthpop and neon glory, I was as bold and as gung ho as your mother’s make up. And I, dear friends, wanted to become a pop star. You can blame it on all the variety shows around (and maybe a little bit of Sesame Street) but I had a dream to be a bright red diva. All because I was profoundly touched by this song my parents taught me and made me sing over and over again.

I loved Queen Whitney because this tune was really epic.  Forget that this was the first and only song I could really sing well. Heck, I couldn’t even hit any of the notes now. But I loved it. I graduated with honours in 6th grade and had to address my class with some sort of inspirational speech. Whilst the high school valedictorian quoted Mandela and some story she read on Chicken Soup For The Soul, I quoted Houston (yes it’s a Benson cover but hers is the popular one!). Despite the cheesiness of the lyrics, I was totally convinced that we were going to be the future as long as we loved ourselves. My peers and my teachers gave me a standing ovation and I felt a bit vindicated and absolutely grateful.

In those years where everybody was searching for a hero, I knew I had three: the parentals (collective!), my Uncle Romy and Whitney Houston. I wanted to be like them and I really believed I will be as great as them. All I needed was one shining moment. Maybe. In time.

Eventually I realised that I never really wanted to (and can never) be a pop star (thank heavens) and we all found out about Whitney’s lousy decisions and addiction. But as any fangirl would, I still loved her more than I admitted. Well, I loved her until this.

Oh Whitney. This felt like a betrayal.

But then she came out with another duet with the George and a Greatest Hits album which was stuck on repeat for eons in our household. We all have our favourite tracks (even my ever so cool brother has one but he’d never admit that), and it’s amazing because you realise that her voice has been consistently amazing. Some people loved Celine, Mariah, Cher or Tina and yes we loved them too. But Whitney was the greatest love of all. Oh yes. She was seriously something else. Oh Whit. we will always love you.

I hope she’s found somebody to dance with.

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