Before Beyonce’, Jennifer Hudson or Alicia…There was Whitney.

By: Taren Vaughan

To be coined a true diva is something that must be earned. That title is not just attached to any female with a cute face and a few dance moves under her sleeve. An abundance of talent this person must have, along with a set of pipes that are unmatchable to any ones ever heard of. Of the old school R&B crowd, many names are notably mentioned from Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle. This list however would not be complete without one woman, whose powerful vocals still go untouched…Whitney Houston.

An angelic voice and a striking natural beauty, she had it all.

Her voice was incredible and pierced the very soul of those who listened to her music and who witnessed her live performances. One of her most memorable live performances was when she sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl XXV in 1991 between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants.

To this day, this has been said to have been the best rendition of the National Anthem ever.

And it still has the same effect on people that it had years ago when it was first sung by her.

With her sweetheart image, Houston gained millions of fans over the years, along with releasing a countless number of awards for her chart-topping songs. Her self-titled debut album Whitney Houston was released in 1985 and became the best-selling debut album by a female artist during that time. The album also made Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Success is what she continued to find as Houston won a total of 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards. Some of her classics include “I Will Always Love You”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “How Will I Know” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”. Not straying far from her gospel roots, Houston also received much applause for her singing of “I Love The Lord” featuring the Georgia Mass Choir.


Aside from her musical stardom, Houston graced the big screen, making her way into the film industry, starring in “The Bodyguard”, “Waiting Exhale” and “The Preacher’s Wife” alongside Academy Award Winning Actor Denzel Washington.

Often imitated but never duplicated, Whitney Houston was the epitome of a songstress.

And she has had a major influence over those who have a true love for music like she did:

“I’m still in shock about her passing. It’s so hard to put into words. Whitney Houston was my childhood. I grew up pretending to be Whitney. She made girls who were singers and even those who weren’t want to be like her. An entertainer at heart she was. And even through her trials, you could always see the beauty in her. If it wasn’t for Whitney, there would be no Beyonce’, Jennifer Hudson, Brandy or any of the other young stars. The 80’s produced icons. And she was one that no one could compare to. The music industry as a whole suffered a huge loss but more importantly, her family did. My heart goes out to them. I hope that she knew how much she really touched her fans and how much we will miss her.”

Krystal R.
Age: 27
Los Angeles, California

“Whitney was a beautiful woman with one of the most gorgeous smiles I’ve ever seen. Her voice was angelic and uniquely incomparable to any other female artist I’ve heard. My most memorable performance was her 1991 National Anthem rendition at the Superbowl. The way she sung it in my estimation has never been sung like that before. It was technically pitch perfect and I was in total awe and that is still my reaction today. She was definitely before her time and it’s sad that her life ended the way it did. It should serve as example of what happens when we consistently make damaging decisions in our lives. Fame and fortune can never fulfill the void of emptiness and lack of peace. She will be missed.”

Jeremy M.
Age: 27
Whitsett, NC

Despite the ups and downs she faced throughout her lengthy career and her untimely death, Houston will always be remembered for her one of kind talent and ability to touch the souls of her fans with timeless hits. She has influenced numerous acts in the music industry and the legacy that she leaves behind will continue to live on for years to come through her family, friends and fans.

“Every Woman” is what she was and will always be; a sweet spirit that touched the hearts and souls of those who understand the essence of music. Instrumentals she did not need for her voice alone was more than enough to grab your attention and keep it.

Thanks to you Whitney Houston for leaving your everlasting footprint in the world of music.

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