Saturday, February 11, 2012

Too Late To Say: Houston, We Have a Problem

It's amazing how often this scenario plays itself out: we watch a self-destructive celebrity like Amy Winehouse stumble around Camden Town for years in her scuffed ballet flats and then express surprise and a kind of collective grief when the toll finally claims her amazing talent and her life. It's happened again and again, with celebrities as diverse in their contributions and levels of talent as Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith, and we keep expecting it to happen to tragedies-in-waiting like Lindsay Lohan but will somehow be taken aback when it actually transpires.

Whitney Houston has been skating on this thin ice for what, 15 years? Her career path took an unshakeable detour when she met the rapper Bobby Brown. She went from a clean-cut gospel-trained singer with a five-octave range to a raspy, drug-addled shadow of herself, a reality TV parody in a track suit shrieking obscenities at the ever-present camera. Just yesterday she was photographed emerging from a club looking confused and combative, with something that appeared to be blood running down her leg. 

Like many performers who die too young, she left one last performance as her final legacy: the role of the stage mother in the upcoming film version of Sparkle. Let's hope it does her memory justice as a natural actress and an immeasurable vocal talent. And in honor of her once-astonishing ability, let's try to remember her when she was fresh, lovely and maybe even a little unsure of herself -- but unmistakably impressive -- from videos that feature her alongside several dancers who soon succumbed to the AIDS pandemic. 

1 comment:

  1. Precisely the reason NEVER to git tooo involved in this zany world: we'll croak, dude, and then, we must face our Divine Judgment, whether you choose to believe in that or not, our soul is indelible. God bless you.