Whitney Houston was pronounced dead today at 3:43 pm Pacific time.  She was found at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, where she presently remains as her cause of death is under investigation with the Beverly Hills Police department.  “I am absolutely heartbroken at the news of Whitney’s passing.  She was a true original and a talent beyond compare, I will miss her terribly.”  Quincy Jones…  Houston was a native of Newark, NJ. The daughter of Cissy Houston, a cousin to Dione Warwick and the God-daughter of Aretha Franklin, she was destined to be one of the best in music.

At he beginning of her singing career, she did concerts with her mom at supper clubs in New York.  Her first solo concert was at The Bottom Line in lower Manhattan — I was there with my cousin Stevie, his girl and a date.  Her mentor and godfather Clive Davis was in the house and acknowledged by Whitney during her performance.  It was clear to many then that she had a future as a singer that would impact the hearts of many.  Her first album was a huge success for a new artist, the machine just grew from there.  As her career grew so did my perspective on choice of career.  When I went to her first show, I was a furrier in the garment district.  Once she segued into film, making her debut in the movie “The Bodyguard,” I was working in radio programming her music.  I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet her, dine with her and be honored with a plaque for my involvement with the success of “The Bodyguard” soundtrack.

This memento is particularly special to me because like Houston, Queen Latifah, Shaquille O’Neal, Betty Carter, Rah Digga, Wayne Shorter, Max Weinberg, Melba Moore, Redman, Marvin Hagler, John Amos, Ray Liota, Bill Bellamy, Ice-T, Brian DePalma, Jerry Lewis and James Moody, I was born in Newark.  Meeting her and having the most minuscule of involvement in the career of one of the hugest entertainers of our time was simply a blessing.  I may revisit this blog, or just generate a follow-up… I’m definitely emotional about the subject…  So soon after the deaths of Don Cornelius and Amy Winehouse, there’s something in the air, “There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air” Bob Marley. Whitney Elizabeth Houston leaves behind daughter Bobbi Kristina.



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