She may no longer be with us, but we will always celebrate the late and great Whitney Houston’s birthday on this blog. Whitney would have turned 50 years old today! Feel free to share you favorite Whitney Houston music moments in the comment section in celebration of her life! Here’s one of mine from later in her career…
A few weeks ago I posted a clip of a new Whitney Houston track called “Never Give Up” which will be released on her forthcoming greatest hits album. The Jermaine Dupri produced song is believed to be a left-over track from her final album I Turn To You. While it was evident from her last album that Whitney’s voice wasn’t as strong as use to be in her prime, I think most of the songs that were included in the final track-listing worked pretty well with her vocal capabilities of her later years. This song however does not showcase her “new” voice as well as the songs that made the cut on the I Look To You album and it was a wise decision to not include it in the set. I will admit however that now that she is no longer with us, it is nice to hear something new from the late singer! Take a listen to “Never Give Up” in full and let me know what you think… Should have this been released or kept in the vault?
I never thought I would ever write the words “new music” and “Whitney Houston” side by side with one another ever again, but looks like the late diva has a few unreleased tracks here and there that will eventually see the light of day! For example, take a listen to this preview of the Jermaine Dupri produced track “Never Give Up” which will appear on Whitney’s forthcoming I Will Always Love You- The Best Of Whitney Houston album. Vocally it is apparent that this track was recorded in Whitney’s later years… Maybe even right before her passing. From the preview it doesn’t sound like a ‘classic’ or a runaway postmortem hit for the icon, but it’s always nice to hear something new from the “Million Dollar Bill” singer. Take a listen…
As many of you may have already heard, CBS is planning on airing a Whitney Houston ‘Grammy Salute’ in November which will be a long overdue tribute to the late artist and will feature special performances by artists such as Jennifer Hudson, Britney Spears, Halle Berry and LL Cool J, just to name a few…
Usher is another star that will be paying tribute to the “I Will Always Love You” singer with a rendition of the Whitney Houston classic “I Believe In You & Me“. Footage of Usher’s performance has already leaked online and though no one quite does it like Whitney… Usher impressively held his own with the number and delivered a pretty solid take on the song!
IT’S A SPICE GIRLS MUSICAL REUNION!!! Well, two out of the 5 ain’t so bad is it? Take a listen to this sneak peek of a new Mel C (Sporty Spice) & Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) duet that will be lifted off of Mel C’s forthcoming album titled Stages which will be a collection of musical theater covers that Mel hand-picked because they played an important role at different stages of her life. The song is titled “I Know Him So Well” from the musical Chess. It’s really nice to hear their two voices back together again and only makes me long for all 5 of the girls to reunite in the studio that much more ! Take a listen…
Not a day goes by that I’m not missing the late, great Whitney Houston. Today fans of the vocal powerhouse (such as myself) were treated to probably one of the last official music videos that we will see from the “I Will Always Love You” singer. It’s the visual treatment for song “Celebrate” in which Whitney duets with American Idol alumn, Jordin Sparks. The song acts as the lead single from the movie Sparkle that both ladies star in. Whitney’s presence in the video basically comes from a montage of clips from the film. The clip also features some non-movie footage staring Sparks and a gang of other actors from the film. Very uplifting and fun song/video but I can’t help but notice the absence of Whitney in the new scenes and miss her even more. Check it out…
Are you guys ready for some more new Whitney Houston?! Here is the other track that Whitney recorded for the Sparkle movie soundtrack titled “His Eye Is On The Sparrow“. Good ol’ Whit is taking us to church on this beautiful gospel number that will appear in a scene in her movie. If I’m not mistaken, I believe this is the one of only two tracks that Whitney recorded for the soundtrack so between this gem and “Celebrate,” I don’t think fans will have any more new music to look forward to. But to look at the brighter side of things; What an absolutely beautiful & appropriate grande finale that she left us with to hear! God bless you Whitney… We miss you!
Whitney Houston – His Eye Is On The Sparrow:
The last official recording by Whitney Houston for her movie Sparkle has come to light today! The R Kelly penned feel-gooder titled “Celebrate” finds Whitney duetting with her Sparkle co-star Jordin Sparks over an uptempo dance beat. I know that some of you will want to point out that her voice on the track may not be in the best shape that we’ve from her in the past, but I think we can agree that it’s nice to have a new Whitney Houston song in our lives! Check it out…
Whitney Houston & Jodrin Sparks – Celebrate:
There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of Whitney Houston remixes popping up these days which believe me, I’m NOT complaining about!! Check out this new mashup remix of “It’s Not Right But It’s OK” that I recently stumbled upon. I know that nothing remotely touches the original Thunderpuss remix of the club anthem, but this new electro version is a fresh take on the song that might fit better into modern DJ sets. Check it out…
It’s been over a month since the passing of Whitney Houston and while many of us having been revisiting the discography she left behind, we still have something to look forward to. Check out this newly released trailer for Whitney’s final film “Sparkle” in which she also recorded new music for! One of those tracks can be heard in the clip… Enjoy.
Ever since Whitney Houston passed away last month, there has been a lot of speculation as to how the music legend passed. Many people were quick to judge Whitney and instantly blame her very publicized battle with drug addiction as the reason for her untimely demise. Others, such as myself, held out before making such rash speculations and whole heartedly believed that Whitney’s death was an accident and not a result of the demons of her past. Well today the LA Coroner’s office has issued a toxicology report this afternoon which revealed the cause of Whitney’s. Accord to their report, both reasons were correct… Whitney’s death was an ‘accidental drowning’ which they say was brought about due to heart disease and cocaine usage.
“Drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use were contributing factors to Whitney’s demise.
Cocaine and metabolites were identified and were contributory to the death. Marijuana, Alprazolam (Xanax), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were identified but did not contribute to the death.
It should be noted that investigators found no traces of cocaine in the hotel room in which she was found.”
While I am disheartened that Whitney fell victim to her battle with drugs, I think it is important to keep in prospective that why she died isn’t as important as the fact that she is no longer with us and that the music industry has suffered a tragic loss. R.I.P. Whitney.
It’s been a few weeks since the passing of Whitney Houston but it seems that many people are still mourning the tragic loss of the music legend. This week, fellow Queen of Pop Madonna has opened up to express her feelings about Whitney’s untimely death with UK publication The Sun. Even the two divas use to be considered “rivals” at one point in their careers, Madonna had nothing but nice things to say about the “I Will Always Love You” singer and revealed her introspective thought process when she learned of the sudden death. This is what Madonna had to say of the late Whitney Houston’s passing…
“I, probably like everybody else, was hit by this shocking sense of disbelief – especially with Whitney Houston. It had not been a secret, the struggles Amy had been through — both brilliant, brilliant artists and obviously both huge losses.
“But when these things happen, I’m always shocked by the first thing you say — ‘It’s such a loss’ — which doesn’t quite cover it. Then you reflect and you think, ‘How did it happen? How did the people around them allow it to happen?’ We’ve lost so many great artists that way when you think about it. So history just kind of repeats itself over and over.
“One thing I was struck by with Whitney Houston is I remember she sort of came out as a singer around the same time I did. I remember looking at her singing and hearing people talk about her, and just thinking, ‘Oh my God. She’s such a beautiful woman and my God, what an incredible voice. I wish I could sing like that.’
I just remember being extremely envious of her and also touched by her innocence.
“I was watching a documentary about Serge Gainsbourg, the French songwriter, and there’s a famous talk show he did that happened a while back when Whitney was just starting. It was funny, because I’d just watched it the week before she died, where he was making a kind of play for her on national television and he was basically saying in French that he wanted to ‘f’ her — and the look of shock on her face…
“I mean, she was so innocent and so young, and so cute, and really she blushed. And I was thinking, ‘We are all innocent at one stage in our life. It’s just interesting, the paths our lives take. I was struck by that — how well she started and where she ended up and the tragedy of it.”
I haven’t been able to watch this yet but wanted to post it for you guys to watch and discuss. Queen of TV, Oprah Winfrey, aired her interview with Whitney Houston’s immediate family tonight, including Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown! Check out what is being called an emotional sit down with the grieving family. I will watch myself later and discuss my thoughts with you guys in the comments section.
The late Whitney Houston broke a new Billboard 200 record this week when she managed to chart 3 of her albums in the top 10 simultaneously. She is now the first woman to accomplish this feat which I highly doubt will broken by anyone else anytime soon. Her “Whitney: the Greatest Hits” holds the #2 spot, “The Bodyguard” soundtrack is sitting pretty at #6 and her debut “Whitney Houston” self-titled album landed at #9 this week.
It’s a very bitter-sweet victory for fans of the pop legend. It brings to mind a very profound comment made by Lauryn Hill last week concerning Whitney’s death…
“Aren’t you tired of losing our people? I am. Love your artists. When they falter, hold them accountable. But love them. People are now showing Whitney Houston the love and respect she should have received throughout her career — through all of it.”
So I recently started a new segment on my blog called “Reboot” where I’ll basically be highlighting older songs that where either under-rated back when they were released as singles or overlooked album gems that should have saw a release. The first inductee that I gave a “reboot” to was Janet Jackson for her grossly under-appreciated release “All Nite (Don’t Stop)“. I was happy to hear some of you respond, giving the song the props that it deserved! I think it should come to no surprise for me to choose the impeccable Whitney Houston for my next installment of “Reboot” and this time I’m going to feature a few of her “shoulda-been” hits.
The first song I’m giving the reboot to is Whitney’s remake of “A Song For You” off of her last studio album I Look To You. From what I understand this track was intended on being Houston’s fourth single but was shelved because of the underperformance of the 3 (also under-appreciated) singles she released prior. I love everything about this song… Everything from the piano ballad fake-out intro to the retro dance synth riff that almost could have been lifted straight from an old Junoir Vasquez’ remix production of one of her classic dancefloor hits. I think this song would have made a great choice for her first or second single… Heck, I would have been happy even if it were only club release with a top-notch remix package! Take a minute and revisit Whitney’s timeless remake of “A Song For You” and then give the song your love in the comment section…
“And when my life is over, remember when we were together. We were alone and I was singing this song for you…”
Whitney Houston – A Song For You:
The next Whitney track I want to take you back to and re-appreciate (or maybe for some, appreciate for the first time) is Whitney’s heartfelt ballad “You’ll Never Stand Alone” off of her My Love Is Your Love album. If there was one thing Whitney was really good at, it was her ability to uplift your spirit with her feel-good ballads and “You’ll Never Stand Alone” is a prime example of this remarkable ability. The song was never released as a single here in the US but I can’t really complain since the album spanned four other (just as amazing) releases that have since become Whitney classics and helped her achieve a full fledged comeback at the time… But it’s a gem of an album track worth rebooting none the less.
Whitney Houston – You’ll Never Stand Alone:
And while we’re on the subject of “You’ll Never Stand Alone,” years ago a Tony Moran remix of the cut surfaced online which transformed the ballad into a hands-in-the-air dancefloor ANTHEM!! The remix was never officially released which is really a shame because it was so well done! I especially love the hip-hop breakdown during the bridge of the song which strips down the production of all of it’s synth work and puts emphasis on Whitney’s amazing vocals (lead and background). I’m hoping that the label might release a new remix album and revisit some of these unreleased remixes at some point… This would be an AMAZING gift they could give to their fans if they released it now.
Whitney Houston – You’ll Never Stand Alone (Tony Moran Remix):
The next Whitney Houston track I want to “reboot” is another remake. Whitney’s ability to sing other people’s music and somehow making it her own was just another remarkable gift that she had that undoubtedly made her one of the greatest voices of our time. A prime example of this is her cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” which we all know and love, but did you know that she also did an amazing cover of Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life“? The remake appeared on Whitney’s 2002 (Clive Davis-less) album Just Whitney. To many, this album was considered Whitney’s career slump and didn’t receive a whole lot of fan support or critic praise. But the album did have a few great tracks on it and this Debby Boone cover was definitely the stand-out for myself. If you’ve never heard it before, please take a listen to Whitney’s beautiful rendition of this standard.
Whitney Houston – You Light Up My Life (Debby Boone Cover):
Another more recent musical gift that Whitney has left behind for us that we all may have under-appreciated a little at the time of its release is the R Kelly written title track off of her last album, “I Look To You“. The song was hailed as Whitney’s comeback single to her fans but didn’t achieve “comeback” worthy numbers on the charts or plays on the radio. Not because the song isn’t any good, it’s actually just as good as some of her more celebrated classics! I think it had more to do with the timing of its release and the dance-heavy climate of pop radio at that time that might hinder a ballad such as this one to fair well. Well Whitney, this reboot is for you…
There are countless more unreleased/under-appreciated Whitney song I could share “reboot” but I think I’m going to leave you guys with the few I’ve covered so far so this article doesn’t get too long. Instead, I’m leaving it open for discussion and hope you guys will take to the “comments” section and share your own candidates for the Whitney Houston reboot. There’s just so many, I’m interested in finding out which Whitney tracks (especially from her earlier eras) you would like to add to my list…