Whitney Houston: Too Much, Too Young

Monday, February 13, 2012 Andrea Lo 2 Comments

I once read that those who had found fame at a young age tend to spend the rest of their careers behaving the same way you would expect one to act the age at which they had become famous. The shocking news of Whitney Houston's untimely death today seems to correspond with the view.

The music legend was found dead in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, aged 48; she had been preparing for a party before the Grammy Awards, due to take place tonight.

Houston's first recording contract was signed at the tender age of 14. Prior to a critically and commercially successful singing and acting career spanning over several decades, the teenage Houston had already experienced fame by becoming the first ever black female to appear in a fashion magazine, when Seventeen featured her on the cover as a teenager. She went on to become one of - if not the most - successful female solo artists of all time, with 415 career recognitions including 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, six Grammys, and two Emmys. Various artists today have credited Houston as both an inspiration and influence for their musical careers, including the likes of Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blige. Rolling Stone described her as having 'redefined the image of a female soul icon' and Essence named her 'the diva to end all divas'.

Unfortunately, like so many others in the industry, Houston's life eventually spiralled out of control, with drink and drugs having played a significant role in her downfall. Her tumultuous marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown was plagued with rumours of drug use as well as domestic violence on Brown's part, and Houston's career and reputation suffered for it. After a disastrous reality TV show featuring the Brown household attracted negative reviews, Houston's career comeback was also panned by critics and fans after her it emerged that her once angelic voice had become hoarse and damaged after continuous substance abuse.

Despite still being a prominent figure in the music industry and sustaining respect within, Houston was never able to top the glittering height of her career she had once reached. Her untimely death, however, will no doubt prompt a wave of mourning from fans and other figures in show business, who will remember her for her monumental talent and a magnificent voice that had once brought pleasure to so many.


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