Whitney Houston: A Life Well Lived

Wednesday, Apr. 4th 2012 3:50 PM

Millions of fans continue to mourn the loss of songstress, Whitney Houston, and I am one of them. Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say that I am still celebrating her life. What a legacy she left, and what an impact she made on millions of lives during her more than 25 years of fame. I remember my mother taking me to see one of her concerts when I was a kid. It was at an outside concert arena. Later on, she would fill arenas much larger than that. I also remember where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing the first time I heard “I Will Always Love You,” from The Bodyguard soundtrack. How often can you say that about a song? I was blown away by its simplicity and composition, and by her soulful voice. I applaud her for her musical acumen, as do most people. But while many criticize her personal choices, I also applaud her for a life well lived.


There is no shortage of commentary about Whitney’s later years. From what I can recall, most of it has been negative, often highlighting drug use, erratic behavior, a ruined voice, and what is often characterized as a questionable marriage. However, I see things a little differently.

Whitney Houston was on top of the world when she married Bobby Brown in 1992, fully aware of what doing so would cost her in terms of public perception. I remember all the negative comments about her choice, which mostly questioned whether she was nuts. I have no doubt that she knew her marriage would affect her “princess” image, as well as her album sales and career. But she didn’t care. She married the man she wanted to marry. Nice job, Whitney!

Not only did she marry Bobby Brown, but she publically supported him, even calling him “the original R&B King” at the 2000 Grammy Awards. It had been years since his last hit, but she said it and seemed to mean it. To the substance of the comment, I say nothing. To her willingness to say it, I say, “Nice job, Whitney.”

And who can forget the television show “Being Bobby Brown”? I got a kick out of it, especially the “who cares” attitude that Bobby and Whitney, with their baby-girl in tow, displayed in front of the cameras. And the family looked as crazy as … well … mine. There is no doubt that the show gave another blow to Whitney’s reputation. Again, I am sure she knew it – and did it anyway. To her willingness to support her husband’s television show, I say “Nice job, Whitney.”

Finally, there’s the drug use that contributed to her death. I don’t know how often she did it or whether she was addicted. I do know that she was honest about it, which takes a lot of courage. I don’t know what happens behind any closed door. Heck, I am not even sure what is happening behind a lot of open doors. But on this issue, Whitney slung the door open, eliminated speculation, and discussed her drug use – once again being honest and authentic, without seeming to care what the information did to her reputation. I am not endorsing drug use, but for her courage to be candid and to be herself, I once again say, “Nice, Whitney!”

I don’t know about your view of her, but mine is one of respect for a woman who lived life on her own terms and didn’t give a damn what any of us thought. Rest in peace, Whitney.

Keep Rising,

 

Frank Love

www.FrankLove.com

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18 Comments on “Whitney Houston: A Life Well Lived”

  1. George D. Says:

    Extremely talented and beautiful. Money burned a hole in her pocket and her head. May she rest in peace

  2. DANIEL S. M. Says:

    Lets start with this commnet you made: “Finally, there’s the drug use that contributed to her death. I don’t know how often she did it or whether she was addicted.”

    REALLY!!?? You don’t know whether she was addicted!!! REALLY!!??

    Are you then asking anyone to take anything else you say seriously!!?? REALLY!!??

    You state: “I do know that she was honest about it, which takes a lot of courage.”

    The end result is she’s DEAD way before her time!! And her magnificant talent is also DEAD!!! So, what’s the positives of being honest about being an addict; and what kind of courage is the kind that results in making the contribution to your own DEATH!!??

    REALLY!!??

    You state: “I don’t know about your view of her, but mine is one of respect for a woman who lived life on her own terms and didn’t give a damn what any of us thought.”

    You “respect” a person who knowingly destroys their own life because they are so in need of attention that they think by going on TV and telling the world they are not in control of themselves, and will end their life prematurely as a result of their drug addiction, that they are to be “respected”!!??

    REALLY!!??

    What kind of message are you sending to those who followed her; it’s okay to be a drug addict, if you tell the world on TV, be honest about your addiction – but don’t kick the habit and kill yourself!!??

    REALLY!!??

    You state: “Whitney Houston was on top of the world when she married Bobby Brown in 1992, fully aware of what doing so would cost her in terms of public perception. I remember all the negative comments about her choice, which mostly questioned whether she was nuts. I have no doubt that she knew her marriage would affect her “princess” image, as well as her album sales and career. But she didn’t care. She married the man she wanted to marry. Nice job, Whitney!”

    “Nice job Whitney”!!?? REALLY!!?? Marries a guy who is known to be a drug addict; allows him to make her a bigger drug addict (she was addicted when she went of with him, prior to marrying him!), divorces the low-life, and because she did it “her way”, she is to be applauded and held up as a role model!!??

    REALLY!!??

    All any of this shows is her weakness to truly be her own person; everything she ended up being was a result of someone else controlling her – she was no more in control of herself that a two month old with diarreha!!!

    REALLY!!?? Whitney Houston – a life well lived!!?? REALLY!!?? She’s dead as a result of how she lived!!!

    It’s garbage like this “article” that has our kids all messed up; and I can’t say you have any control either. Your position on this matter proves that!!

    What absolute garbage!!!

  3. Jalila Says:

    Frank Love, I completely agree with you. Our lives are often not pretty, but they are ours to live. We all suffer our own choices (for most of us not in public). To do that with honesty, I think, deserves respect.

    Much good came from Whitney’s life, and still to come from her death. She’s somewhere now being her true lovely self. I’m just glad she was here with us for a time. Bless her. And Daniel, even your unpretty (if secret) choices are alright with me!

    Whitney is somewhere being her true lovely self.

  4. Mark J. Says:

    Well as far as a heading that will draw attention and readers you certainly did that. I Couldn’t agree with Daniel more or Frank less.

  5. Elke K. Says:

    It’s Whitney Houston song “When you Believe”

    2-13-2012
    Wow what an amazing group of beautiful souls the Energy & Vibration incredible and when I got home I cried with joy and I prayed and Thanked God for everything.
    My experience this weekend I had asked the moon is this the message I am to bring this last full moon. Thumbs up it said speak from heart & soul and trust your wisdom from within.
    My life path is 3/4. It was on the anniversary of the Superbowl party it had been 12 ( 1+2 = 3) years since I celebrated my parents life and in my house I celebrated that day and boy then I asked the New Full Moon a few days later is this the message I am to bring – the next 3 days i dreamed thumbs up speak from heart & soul.and trust. My room bldg. 21 = 3 room # 2110 = 4 and my pet peeve has been prescription drugs – outdated way of practicing medicine the lethal combination of drugs & alcohol and the announcement was made Whitney Houston dead at age 48 = 3 and on that cd I have of favorite songs It’s Whitney Houston song “When you Believe” The slides in my presentation showed the affect the prescription drugs had on my organs & Aura
    Leading cause US prescript on drugs, hospital mistakes outdated ways most Dr’s still practice medicine. That’s what the presentation was about.

  6. DANIEL S. M. Says:

    Yes she is; underground as worm food – and what good is that for her life, or for the image she left for other little girls to follow.

    I suppose you’d hold her life choices up to your daughter as ones to follow – REALLY!!??

    My “unpretty (if secret) choices are alright with me!” Whatever that means hjowever; I have nothing to be ashamed of. And if you try to justify her drug ADDICTION because she confessed it on TV in order to get sympathy, I’ll have to conclude you are working a cup and a saucer short of a full place setting.

    Anyone who can hold up Whitney Houston’s life style as something to respect is a danger to out children – and everyone they come in contact with.

    I would avoid people with such an opinion as I would trust them as being in control of their own faculties, thus being a greater thn normal danger to me and my family.

    I don’t have “unpretty” choices – and that is why I’m still alive and able to contribute to the world.

    Whitney chose to stop her contribution of a great singing talent by choosing to become an addict and killing herself way before her time!!

    Sorry, Whitney did NOT suffer her own choices – ask her daughter!!!!! What choice did she have in her mother killing herself!!!

    REALLY!!?? You can’t be serious!!!

  7. Terry K. Says:

    I agree that she was a wonderful songstress and loved her music. Her legacy will always remain. BUT, she did have substance abuse problems, ignored coping skills, maybe thought she was above all the hard work others have to do when faced with abuse problems – I’m not sure that is what living authentically means. I would not want to encourage others to live life on their own terms if death is the possible outcome. (I just wanted to get both sides out there. . .)

  8. DANIEL S. M. Says:

    Terry K.,

    Possible outcome is not always in ones control; who can control the drunk driver who hits and kills another – only the drunk driver!!

    People can live life on their own terms however; those terms must take into consideration the impact those terms have on others an, maybe most important, consideration must be taken for one’s on welfare.

    And Ms. Houston, as all drug addicts, did’t consider either!! She WAS a selfish individual who didn’t even have the care or consideration for her own daughter, mother, or any other family member!

    That is a life without courage, without authenticity, and without a legacy!!

    Ms. Houston’s talent WAS unsurpassed – operative word WAS; there may be some authenticity there however; how damaged is it as a result of how she chose to life her life!!

    Sorry; I don’t applaud addicts who exit rehab – for the first, second or thrid time, and declare them courageous! I applaud those who have the strength, courage and respect for themselves, not to get involved with any drug to the point of becoming an addict! I applaud those who have a respect for their body, a respect for others, a respect for society not to be a burden!

    May she rest in peace, but I will not wave a banner proclaiming her courage, authenticity, nor her choice to life her life her own way!! What kind of message would that send to those we hope to teach!!??

  9. Martha Says:

    Wow! The new word “REALLY” is over-rated! You know, when we don’t like what we’re watching on TV, we simply turn the channel. If you don’t like the Blogs, don’t read them! It’s that simple! Much Love to My Girl Whitney and My Boy Frank Love!…REALLY!

  10. Daniel S. M. Says:

    Have had on many hats; a former smoker who quit cold-turkey!!! Didn’t want applause, nor recognition – shouldn’t have started to begin with!!

    Exactly my point; what are you teaching by accepting Ms. Houston’s addiction and giving her praise for “living her own life” – as short as it WAS; by proclaiming her ‘courageous” becuase she acknowledged her addition on TV – when everyone knows it’s done for one of two reasons – to project ones self as being above others and in full control (which is so far from the truth), or to get people to feel sorry for her and thus proclaim how courgeous of her to come out and annouce the fact that she’s facing it, or going to rehab!!

    REALLY!!?? What is the lessons you’re teaching!!??? Would you teach them to your child!!?? Would you teach them to children in school!!??

    I taught and coached for several years, and I never heard a lesson plan that taught it was okay to be a drug addict as long as you announce it on TV, go to rehab several times (no worry if you kick the habit), or if you declare yourself authentic!!!

    And lets be frank here; if she was a mediocre talent, would you be trumpeting her authenticity, her courage, her living her life her way, etc.!!??

    Aren’t you promoting a double standard here; why is it some excuse public people with a talent – athletic, entertainment (acting, singing, etc.), political, etc. – yet, condemn, if you even acknowledge, those addicts without a talent!

    REALLY!!?? You know you wouldn’t, or you’d be proclaiming the addicts on skip row as being something to applaud!!!

    Go ahead; tell everyone you’d tech your children all this as being admirable and something to strive for with respect to the lifestyle one shouls aspir to obtain!

    REALLY!!??

    I’m done; you applaud drug addicts with a talent; I admonish them for throwing that talent away, and disrespecting their life!!

  11. David A. B. Says:

    Authenticity and courage? You must be on the same bromides WH used. She died owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to drug dealers.

  12. Jimi B. Says:

    Well, Frank, you just won’t let the child rest, eh? lol Please read MY take on the time I actually MET her, danced with her (her move) and noticed what would carry my impressions of her til her dying day. I had a max crush on her once upon a time… http://achilliad.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/the-night-i-danced-with-somebody-who/

  13. Ed K. Says:

    There is an article by Clarissa Pinkola Estes about the dynamics related to Elvis that I believe would be of help to this subject. Too briefly it states that we in America enjoy raising up heroes and then tearing them down.

  14. Demetrius P. Says:

    Her debt are paid in Full !

  15. DANIEL S. M. Says:

    WOW!! REALLY!!?? It’s obvious you’re totally blinded by your love for Whitney’s talent that you don’t see the obvious – it’s about the message her lack of responsibility, her total disregard for the accountability for how she treated herself, it’s the “celebrity” label that she took to mean she was better than the facts of what will happen to someone who becomes an addict; IT’S the message she, and people like you who put her life and lifestyle on a petistal for the youngsters to accept – and copy – because she had the “courage’, the “authenticity”, the “legacy” of some talent, and had “announced” her addiction on national TV!!

    That’s the long and the short of it – you endorse her lifestyle because of some plastic celebrity; you put the label of acceptance on her “authenticity”; you put the stamp of approval on her addiction over the FACT that, whether she liked it or not, she WAS a public figure and as such, WAS a role model to many!!

    Now, that’s what it’s all about; and for you not to acknowledge that becuase you have some immature “love” for her talent and lifestyle, shows exactly what is wrong with the world today – and why our kids have such a difficult time with making good decisions!

    REALLY!!! And WOW – I can’t believe you are so lacking in common sense, you can’t see, nor understand that.

    That’s my final on this topic. The FACT that Whitney Houston WAS, should tell you all you need to know about this sad situation of someone lost before her time – because of her poor choices!!

    REALLY!!!

  16. E.J. P. Says:

    Whitney had a beautiful repertoire of songs that moved me. i am terribly sorry that her life devolved as it did. It IS the experience of many of our entertainment icons then isn’t it?

    i believe she was carrying too heavy a load and part of that was her promoters need for her to hide her shadow from her listening public. i certainly agree that she was a very poor model of behavior to our children and hers.

    i miss her best and her music and i want to cry for the hell of a life she owned by the end of it. i sure wish the best of our psychotherapists were available de rigeur to our stars before they crashed and burned !

  17. Dr. Stephen Says:

    “A life well lived”? Hardly. Rather more a case of a valuable life & great talent wasted.

  18. How Bad Was Bobby Brown? | Frank Love on Relationships Says:

    […] you read my previous post on Whitney Houston, you know I have a great deal of respect for the late songstress and diva. In that blog, I honored […]

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