The music world, and all of Hollywood for that matter, is mourning the passing of singer-actress-model Whitney Houston, who passed away last night, six months shy of her 49th birthday, on the eve of the Grammy Awards.
Whitney exploded onto the scene in the mid-80's, with hits like "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", "How Will I Know", "The Greatest Love of All", and "One Moment In Time", the latter a theme for the 1988 Summer Olympics. She made her film debut in 1992's "The Bodyguard", opposite Kevin Costner, and scored a #1 hit with her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You", which has since become more closely associated with Whitney than with Parton, who also wrote the tune.
Whitney came from a musical family. Her mother, Cissy, is a gospel singer. Her cousin was 60's pop star Dionne Warwick. The legendary "Queen of Soul", Aretha Franklin, who later became a label-mate of Houston's at Arista, was her godmother. Her ex-husband, Bobby Brown, recorded a duet with her for his 1992 CD, but their union fell apart years later due to her issues with substance abuse, among other things. Tonight, at the Grammys, they will no doubt honor the memory of Whitney, and remember when she was atop the charts, and a role model for so many young performers.
Rest in peace, Whitney.