Courtesy of MCT
Legendary pop superstar Whitney Houston died on Feb. 11, 2012. Her death was attributed to accidental drowning in a bathtub, which might have been brought on due to her cocaine use and pre-existing heart disease, according to chief investigator Craig Harvey of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Houston died the night before the 2012 Grammy Awards. She was scheduled to attend the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammy party held by her mentor and longtime friend, Clive Davis, the night of her passing. The party was held in The Beverly Hilton Hotel, although Houston died in the same building just hours before.
After learning of Houston’s death, Davis addressed the party, “Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on.”
One year after Houston’s unexpected death, her family continues to “carry on.” Houston’s mother and gospel singer, Cissy Houston, told Oprah Winfrey what life is like without her daughter during a recent episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” Cissy Houston told Winfrey about failed attempts of staged interventions for the pop star.
“My son (Gary Houston) called me and said we have to do something about the drugs, so I went on down and I did what I had to,” she said.
This was one of several failed interventions for Whitney Houston. She had a long history of drug addiction that dated back to the beginning of her career in the late 1980s, said her brother Michael Houston. Whitney Houston’s addiction contributed to a series of erratic public appearances and questionable behavior during the final days of her life.
Ebony Domingo, a fourth-year in psychology, said she was annoyed by the kind of carefree behavior Whitney Houston displayed during her final days. Domingo said she even started boycotting Whitney Houston’s music after learning she had died of drug-related causes.
“I was kind of annoyed and I thought that she was being reckless, partying and not thinking of her daughter,” Domingo said. “I guess she tried to get herself together towards the end, but after she died I could no longer get into her music.”
Despite being disappointed with the circumstances regarding Whitney Houston’s death, Domingo said Whitney Houston will have a lasting legacy due to her extraordinary vocals.
These vocals are what allowed Whitney Houston to sell more than 170 million albums worldwide. She also holds the record for most consecutive No. 1 singles at seven, surpassing the record previously held by The Beatles and the Bee Gees. In 2009 Nielsen SoundScan reported that Houston’s 1992 remake of the Dolly Parton ballad, “I Will Always Love you,” sold more than 4.5 million copies in the United States, becoming the best-selling single by a female artist.
First-year in vocal music performance DeMeeshia Marshall said “I Will Always Love You” is her favorite Whitney Houston song.
Marshall is a longtime admirer of Whitney Houston and an aspiring vocalist. Like Whitney Houston, Marshall grew up singing in her church and has won many national awards for her vocal abilities.
Marshall said even though she aspires to have success equal to Whitney Houston’s in her own vocal career, she wishes to pursue classical music instead of mainstream chart-toppers. This difference in style does not take away from the influence Whitney Houston’s success has had on Marshall’s aspirations.
“As far as being encouraged and motivated, like, ‘If she can do it, I can do it,’ yes I would say Whitney Houston’s success is definitely success I can see myself having one day,” Marshall said. “She is definitely a role model to where I want to be in life one day.”
Marshall said she has listened to Whitney Houston’s music since she was in middle school. She said Whitney Houston has always been inspirational, especially her sincerity and poise.
“Not only is she inspirational in her music, but also as a person herself. I look up to that. She had a personality that stood out in her performances, she wasn’t just a singer,” Marshall said.
Despite her public battle with drug addiction, Whitney Houston’s death was a surprise to Marshall.
“When it did happen (Whitney Houston’s death) it took a toll on me,” she said. “I’m not going to say I bawled out crying, but I did shed a tear a little bit because her music will be missing now. Who do we have now to replace someone like her? Nobody can replace her.”
Cissy Houston was also shocked to hear of her daughter’s sudden passing. In the same interview with Winfrey, Cissy Houston said she had talked to Whitney Houston on the phone the night before her death. Cissy Houston said she had no idea that would be the last time she would talk to her daughter.
“She told me that she loved me, which she always said,” Cissy Houston said.
Whitney Houston died at age 48 and left behind a daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.