For those who may have been living in a cave for the past few days, the world is mourning the loss of the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. Ever sinceHoustonhit the airwaves in the mid 1980s, her music has been a part of the soundtrack of our lives. Of course, being the daughter of singer Cissy Houston, the niece of the great Dionne Warwick, and goddaughter of the legendary Aretha Franklin,Houstonwas destined for greatness. She hit the ground running in 1985 with her self-titled debut album that produced the chart-topping hits “Saving All My Love for You,” “You Give Good Love,” and “How Will I Know.” Throughout her career Houston had the inimitable ability to cover other artists’ songs and make them her own as she did on “The Greatest Love of All,” “I’m Every Woman” and “I Will Always Love You;” and she pretty much set the precedent on how the national anthem would be sung after she performed “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl in 1991.
Houstonwas an inspiration to a generation of young ladies who wanted to sing just like her. (Surely old school fans remember hearing countless Whitney Houston songs performed at school talent shows and family reunions back in the day). She was also influential in breaking the color barrier on MTV, becoming one of the few African-American artists to receive heavy rotation on a video channel that wouldn’t play videos by black artists. While Michael Jackson was paving the way for male artists with “Billie Jean,”Houston’s “How Will I Know” kicked down the door for female artists like Janet Jackson and Jody Watley.
Other hits that will not be forgotten include “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “All The Man That I Need,” “So Emotional,”…the list goes on and on. Suffice it to say that with over 415 career awards to her credit, although Whitney Houston will truly be missed, she leaves behind a musical legacy that will remain for generations to come.
Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughter; sometimes both at the same time. Purchase his latest release “Inertia” at www.MontroseMusic.com and on visit him online at Facebook.