Whitney Houston, who for a time ruled as pop queen until her amazing voice and life were ravaged by drug use, has died at 48.

Ironically, her death came on the eve of the Grammy Awards – an event that she once dominated. During her peak from the mid 1980’s to the late 1990’s, the golden girl of the music industry was among the world’s highest selling artists. Her success was so great it shifted her from the recording industry to the film industry where her roles in THE BODYGUARD, WAITING TO EXHALE and THE PREACHER’S WIFE were very successful commercially.

Whits had that combo of beauty and control that meant she could be sexy while still looking poised and classy. Her influence on younger singers was significant. When Mariah Carey first came to notice, many people thought they were listening to Whitney Houston. But whether it was her marriage to Bobby Brown or whether she was just one of those doomed people who cannot resist dangerous excess, she began heavy drug use and partying and soon the songs stopped coming, the behavior in public became erratic and wild, the audience stopped buying the albums and when live in concert, her raspy and ruined voice could no longer hit those golden notes of her youth.

Yet another tragic fall of a superstar who sold 55 million records in America alone. Ironically, she was almost destined for music glory. Her mother was gospel singer Cissy Houston, her cousin was 60’s pop diva Dionne Warwick and her Godmother was Aretha Franklin.

But in perhaps the greatest irony, she had just completed shooting a film titled SPARKLE, a musical drama about three sisters from a successful singing group who must deal with the fallout from fame and drugs…


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