On a day when the Grammy Awards ceremony paid tribute to Whitney Houston, our very own guest writer Martin Jalleh comes up with a moving tribute to the gifted singer.
Your pure, perfect, powerful and peerless voice will persist in our hearts, Whitney!
By Martin Jalleh
You were a “majestic voice”, a “miracle voice”, a “magical voice”. You were a “magnificent voice” (as singing legend Barbra Streisand would put it).
You were “pop’s pure princess”…one of pop’s “purest voices”… your vocal prowess unequalled!
You were one of the world’s greatest, gifted, and gorgeous pop singers of all time!
You were a gift of God…one born for greatness…the golden girl of the music industry! To Mariah Carey you “will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.”
The world will always love you Whitney Houston — your powerful, pristine, passionate and peerless vocals … your perfect image and poise!
You were “the perfect melding of the styles of (your) mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston; cousin, 1960s pop singer Dionne Warwick; and godmother, queen of soul Aretha Franklin”!
Sadly and tragically, you were a paradox of talent and tragedy … a beautiful soul, yet one who would be very broken and who would make bizarre public appearances.
You were a living musical legend in your own right and yet a very lonely life with a lost voice and searching for the greatest love of all, in your last days.
You, who once vowed your audiences effortlessly, would struggle personally and despairingly in drug rehabilitation centres!
You ruled as pop music’s queen until your life was ravaged by drug use, your regal image ruined by erratic behaviour and a rocky marriage.
Your signature high notes took you to the top of the pop music world but you saw your career spiralling out of control as you sank deeper in the mire of substance abuse.
You scooped up six Grammys and more than 400 other awards in a 25-year career. You sold millions and spawned hit after hit. You had everything; yet you struggled for years in emptiness and senselessness for survival!
You were the darling of millions but when decades of drug use destroyed your image and resulted in your wild demeanour and dishevelled and disoriented appearance, many deserted you. You would declare: “The biggest devil is me!”
You were a feisty diva with fame and fortune … accompanied by a very frail, fragile and fallen nature. But, as Lionel Ritchie would urge us, it is your voice and not so much the tragedy that will be our focus when we hold your life up in memory.
Indeed you were one of history’s greatest songbirds. Your searing, soaring voice, your soulful roots …You were a superstar!
You started off as a singer in a church choir. Divine wisdom would have it that you would sing as your last song here in earth the gospel classic: “Jesus loves me!”
May the choir of angels greet you and lead you into paradise … farewell, Whitney …. May you rest in peace.