Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

This shouldn't happen

By Brooks Taylor

By BROOKS TAYLOR

Mt. Pleasant News

I found myself at a loss earlier this week — at a loss because I don’t know why I was so saddened by Whitney Houston’s death.

While the death of anybody you know, even if it isn’t on a personal level, brings a twinge of sadness, Houston’s death brought much more. Rarely have I had similar feeling when other notables died. This time, however, it was different.

Sure, I knew some of her songs. “I Will Always Love You,” which topped the Billboard charts for 20 consecutive weeks, has become a staple at weddings and her rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” prior to the 1992 Super Bowl will never be topped.

But I was not a big fan of hers. I didn’t have any of her albums or CDs and I’ve never seen “The Bodyguard.”

Maybe it is because her death is such a tragic loss. Yes, there are people pointing to her drug and alcohol addiction and say her death by drugs and alcohol was inevitable.

Tough to argue with that one but instead of focusing on the pitfalls, I like to remember the successes. I am not a vocalist by any stretch of the imagination, I can remember an elementary vocal instructor describing my ability as monotone. Perhaps that is why I appreciate Houston’s talent.

There is a show on television called “The Voice.” Voices may be singing on the show, but it is not the voice. Nobody ever has or ever will be able to duplicate Houston’s voice in her prime. Houston’s was what could be termed “out of this world.” Seemingly effortlessly, she could make any song a classic.

That may be why her death is such a loss. Even though her personal life took its toll on her physically and musically in the last decade, nobody could argue that her talent in the 1980s and 1990s was overwhelming and recognized with six Grammys.

Some of the people she surrounded herself with in life is puzzling. Her only marriage was to Bobby Brown, who was known first and foremost for his rap sheet and bad-boy image.

One of life’s many mysteries is why good people end up involved or marrying questionable characters. I’ve seen it so often in life and haven’t found the answer. One of the reasons may be that these “good” people feel a need to save the world and think that they can rehabilitate anyone. It could be the old adage “opposites attract.’ Whatever the reason, I’ve seen few, if any, of these relationships work. Still, that doesn’t keep people from attempting the impossible.

She did plenty in her life to bring smiles and entertain us. She just didn’t stay around long enough, 48 years is hardly a lifetime.

There have been plenty of media coverage of her death and some of that coverage I would rather not watch. The photos of Houston during the last days of her life are distasteful. She didn’t resemble the Whitney we once knew. During the 1970s and 1980s, we were encouraged through song to work hard and party hard. Houston carried the saying into the 21st Century.

Despite her immense talent, Houston was a once-in-a-lifetime talent. She could have done more, but that could be said of most of us. That may be why her death brings much sadness to many. She will be missed, but she does leave many memories and her music made the world a better place.