Author: mirai  //  Category: Life in general

It was a Sunday.  I had just just woken up at around 10AM and trying to get myself out of bed.  I figured that I would go down to the kitchen have some sausages and eggs and spend a nice quite uneventful day watching TV or doing whatever.

Buzzz!…my iPhone letting me know that that I have mail.  Ugh!  Mail from work, no doubt!  Dammit!  It’s a fricken’ Sunday and I had work the day before.  Can’t a guy get any rest around here?  I stared at the ceiling for minute or so, trying to postpone the inevitable -reading my email and perhaps having to work from home, or worse yet, go into the office.   Buzzz!  Okay! Okay already!  Picked up the iPhone and saw the tragic news on the screen in bold white letters across a dark blue background. OMG!  Whitney Houston is dead!

I wasn’t particularly a huge fan, but I did like her music.  The news kind of hit me the same way that the news of Steve Jobs, Heavy D, Amy Whinehouse and Joe Frazier’s death hit me a few months earlier.  A brief moment of shock and disbelief, then an odd sense of acknowledgment:  Steve Jobs -because he had been sick and recently resigned as Apple’s CEO,  Amy Whinehouse -because she was known for her substance abuse, and drunken on stage escapades .  Joe Frazier -well, maybe because I have it in my head that all fighters die relatively young, plus he was like 66 years old.  Heavy D was more of a surprise because he was pretty young, but somehow I had it in my head that he was still overweight and that perhaps that was the cause of his death.  The real cause of death turned out to be a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in his lungs).  Whitney Houston ranked in between Amy Whinehouse and Heavy D on my shocked and stunned meter.  My immediate armchair autopsy reveal the cause of death to be substance abuse, but of course it could easily be something else.

I remember the first time I heard Whitney Houston’s music.  It was the summer of 1985.  I had just returned to the States after spending a month visiting my cousins and other relatives in Japan.  I was severely jet lagged and could not sleep, so I spent most of my nights watching all night music videos on TV.  Back to the Future was the biggest movie that summer and the music video for Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News had just ended.  I was about to turn off the music channel to play some video games that I had bought in Japan when opening bars for You Give Good Love started playing.  For some reason, the first few notes of that song always grabbed my attention, even to this day.    I sat and watched through the entire video and thought, what an awesome song!  What an awesome voice!  But what really caught my attention the most was the way Whitney looked in that video.  She didn’t look like your typical 80’s pop star.  Mind you, my image of the typical ’80’s pop star was tons of makeup and ridiculously big hair.  She might have fit into the big hair category, but she looked very ordinary and at best, cute in that video.  Not overly done or overly  sexy, but cute, for the lack of a better term.  I really liked the look and the song; they were very refreshing, and for music in 1985, very different.  She was definitely ahead of her time because that song could have easily been a hit in 1990 or 1995 or even 2000, not like the other songs of that time, where you would think, oh, that’s so 1980’s! A lot of her music was timeless.

Since that night, I always looked forward to seeing that video.  And I totally blame Whitney Houston for making my jet lag last over a month that summer, but it was all good and a lot good memories.  She was a nice change from Madonna and Cyndi Lauper who were on TV constantly that year.  Of course, as the course of time progressed, Whitney Houston changed her looks several times (sometime in a single video) and at one point did look very 80’s, but her music was always remained iconic and different.  It was what I listened to when I needed to really unwind.

So yes, we’ve lost another icon, but her music will live on as well as her legend.  Rest in Peace W.H.

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