I’ve always felt slightly weird mourning celebrities. It’s not as though I know them personally and they definitely don’t know me. But, in the case of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston–two of the greatest entertainers of ALL time–they touched generations with their gift.
When my sister told me about Whitney last night, I stopped what I was doing and rushed downstairs to switch the TV to CNN. Always the journalist, I don’t believe anything until I can confirm it with a major news source. And even when I saw in bold, all caps “Whitney Houston Dies at 48.” I didn’t believe it. Not Whitney. Not now.
Ever the ’80s baby, I grew up listening to pop icons Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Watching their videos and listening to their songs is like taking a trip down memory lane. “I Wanna Dance Somebody” continues to be one of my favorite dance songs (I was just rocking out to it before a concert with my sister on Friday night). And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention “I Will Always Love You.” It gives me chills every time.
Of course, Whitney, like many other celebrities, had her struggles, most infamously with drugs and alcohol. But “let he without sin cast the first stone.” The truth is, nobody is perfect. Nobody. Not you. Not me. We all have our faults, our downfalls, our tragedies and celebrities are no exception. At the end of the day, they’re just people–someone’s mother, father, daughter, sister, brother. And they shouldn’t be placed on pedestals.
My hope is that people will remember the music. Both Michael and Whitney were taken from us too soon, but the legacies they leave behind will never be forgotten. Their music will live on forever.
“I hope that life treats you kind. And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of. And I wish to you joy and happiness. But above all this, I wish you love.” -Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”