I still can’t believe that the voice that was nothing short of magical is no longer a physical living truth. Whitney Houston has been a part of my life since I was a child. My family believed that children should be inducted into music at an early age and Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston musically baptised my sisters and me.
Many of us remember those inter-collegiate western music competitions during which at least three participants inevitably rose to the challenge of singing Whitney’s powerful love ballad I Will Love Always You… My older sister, Sharon, won her first competition in school singing the song. Even today, whenever the extended family comes together for a birthday, wedding, Christmas, Easter or a Sunday gathering, my sister and my cousin are made to sing it as a kind of a ritual. That’s how much the song means to us.
Whitney was someone who saw me through my life’s journey, the various ups and downs. I remember running to the nearby music store when her album My Love Is Your Love was out. I was over the moon after I bought my copy of the album. I would repeatedly press the play/pause button on my music system, trying to write down the lyrics so I could belt them out loud. Her songs were beautiful, soulful and heartwarming.
If I felt empowered… on top of the world… Queen Of The Night… was my number. If an ex has betrayed you, I’d recommend It’s Not Right But It’s Ok… or I Bow Out.. For pure inspiration I tune into Greatest Love Of All… or One Moment In Time… Right now, I’m remembering my cassette collection back home that immortalised my journey with Whitney.
Whitney and Barbara Streisand were my “ultimate idols”. I shared the stage with Barbara at an awards ceremony and mustered up the courage to tell her how much her music meant to me. I never got a chance to meet Whitney. But music to me is an emotion and she will forever remain one of the most majestic creators of that emotion. May her voice echo through the ages, heal generations to come with its power, truth and love.
Whitney, I will always love you.