Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston

I've never written about a celebrity/singer's death here but Whitney Houston's songs soundtracked so much of my childhood and life that it's impossible not to say anything.
Back in the days when I was about 7 years old my parents would ask me to "dj" while they made dinner. I loved my designated job and took it very seriously. I'd sit on the hardwood floor for hours pouring over their cd collection, lining up the perfect matches. Whitney was always a large part of those mixes. The Bodyguard soundtrack had just been acquired at that time and I was obsessed, even though I was too young to see the movie. My little sister, at the age of five, specialized in singing "I Will Always Love You", hitting all the high notes. We used to dress her up and have her perform for my friends. If we had youtube back then she would have gone viral.

 Later, in high school "I want to dance with somebody" became my ultimate sing into a hairbrush song and I often got all my friends to do it too. We still joke about those sing-a-long sessions today. In some cases, my love for that song is the only thing I still have in common with those people and it comes up whenever we run into each other. I played that song on the jukebox at our college bar every time I had a spare dollar, just to see the bar sing along. It was the most sung along to song right next to Madonna's "like a prayer" that played when the bar was closing.

Most recently, I dated someone who had a cd collection next to his bed. When I woke up in the mornings the Whitney album always seemed to be staring me in the face begging to be played. I almost always left his place with her songs playing on my ipod, I couldn't help myself. I found her vinyl record at a sidewalk sale while on a run this summer. I canceled the rest of my run so I could walk back with her 25 cent album in hand, happy as could be. I heard the sad news last night as friends were coming over and forced them to listen to that album on repeat. I woke up with "How Will I Know" stuck in my head. I'm singing it as I write this.

I could tell you about the rumors circulating now and the sad terms of her death, but what I just told you seems to me to be the most important. I grew up with Whitney soundtracking some of my fondest memories. I know she had her issues, but it still feels shocking that she's gone when I thought she'd be around for so much longer, hopefully a few more hit songs in her, to soundtrack more moments to come. I'm going to miss Whitney. Read this here if you want the finer details and a nice tribute.

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