50 years ago today, God or some other all-knowing benevolent creature, looked down upon Earth and said, “I’ll give ’em a little gift.” It was a tumultuous time, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Sylvia Plath killed herself. Kennedy was assassinated. Elizabeth Taylor started boinking Richard Burton. And on August 9, one of the greatest voices in popular music emitted her first cries to the world, perfectly on-pitch, mind you. Whitney Elizabeth Houston would’ve been 50 years old today. The Voice, The Legend, The Diva. The world is a far less better place without her in it, and here’s exactly why.
The Diva Echelon has thinned out considerably.
There are very few real divas left. The old school class — the Streisands, the Chers, the Dianas and Arethas — are only getting older and there’s only been one true diva of note to emerge in the past 10 years. Thankfully, we still have Mariah. That kind of crazy comes along but once in an 8-octave moon:
No one will ever top her “Star-Spangled Banner“.
People should just stop singing the National Anthem. Whenever it’s needed — before a sporting event, a Presidential inauguration, the opening of a car wash — just have a drag queen come out and lip-synch to Whitney’s impeccable version and call it a day.
We’re stuck with a bunch of covers and tributes that pale in comparison.
Jennifer Hudson is great and all, but in the wake of Whitney’s death homegirl couldn’t say no to a tribute performance. She generally had the best, while others should’ve just stayed home, but they all only served to remind us the immense gap left by the departure of The Voice. Of course, her voice departed years ago, but that’s neither here nor there.
Who’s gonna take care of Bobbi Kris?
Whitney may not have been the most stable mother — though that ungrateful wretch Christina Crawford’s still alive and complaining about her Mommie Dearest — but she loved her some Bobbi Kris. Heaven knows Cissy Houston ain’t the most loving and understanding of caregivers, leaving…Bobby Brown. Shit.
Pop stars just ain’t what they used to be, namely: talented. While we love to dance to RiRi’s neverending string of hits, the Bajan sensation’s ridiculous amount success for being able to get auto-tuned to a set of songs written and produced for her, then get carried around on stage by others as she “performs” them — not to mention the fact that she has more #1 hits and the same number of competitive Grammys as Whitney — is just another indication of how far pop music has sunk since reaching its zenith in the mid-80s.
But greatness was never meant to be measured in Grammys and Billboard Hot 100 hits. All tea and shade aside, let’s now enjoy Whitney doing what she did best: performing vehicular homicide on a pop ballad by hitting every goddamn note on the lyrical highway. We love you Whitney!