(Note: Originally Posted on February 12, 2012)Â
According to an email I received fromÂ AllHipHop News, â€œrepresentatives for legendary R&B singer Whitney Houston have confirmed that the singer has died. Details are still being released and the cause of death is currently not known, but her publicist Kristen Foster confirmed that Whitney Houston died today (February 11).â€
Additionally AHH reported â€œWhitney Houston, was just 48 years old when she died. More details will be released through the evening. Whitney Houston has sold over 200 million records world-wide. She was well known for her documented struggles with drugs. Whitney is survived by one child, Bobbi Kristina, with her former husband, Bobby Brown.â€
Weâ€™re losing a lot of iconic Black figures and this one is just as sad. I grew up listening to her music because my mother was/is a huge fan. Although my mother never met the singer in person, she certainly felt a connection to her. Like Whitney, my mother had a serious bout with drugs that impacted her life and our lives greatly for many years. That experience shaped my heart to always root for those who battled with drugs because I know what itâ€™s like to live in crack houses, be surrounded by crack pipes, see your mother beat up by a drug dealer, and await a call that your mother was found dead due to an overdose. Itâ€™s something you donâ€™t understand until you go through it. Thatâ€™s why I was always rooting for Whitney Houston and others to â€œget the monkey off of their backs.â€
After several relapses my mother was blessed to conquer that addiction and is now a state licensed chemical dependency counselor in Texas. She believes she is walking in her calling which is to help others overcome what God blessed her to come through. She wanted that for Whitney as well. My mother was glued to the TV whenÂ Oprah interviewed WhitneyÂ in a very candid and revealing segment a few years ago. I was touched by it and we both said â€œWhitney is back!â€
So when I got the shocking news of Whitneyâ€™s death tonight I called my mother and she was disappointed by the news. She shared with me that having your spirituality in order is very critical to maintaining your recovery from drug addiction. â€œI really hate to see this happen,â€ she said.
Whitney won over 400 music awards, sold over 200 million albums, had seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, starred in multiple movies, and is credited by many popular female artists as being a source of inspiration for their careers. Yet, how will this world remember her? What will the media zero in on? The gift or the curse?
Unfortunately, we live in a world that cheers you on when youâ€™re on top, but is eager to kick when youâ€™re down. Many donâ€™t believe in redemption and will always bring up your past â€œdemonsâ€ no matter how much you improve your life. Itâ€™s harsh but thatâ€™s just the way it is. Either way, we all have the opportunity choose to overcome instead of succumbing.
Whitney Elizabeth Houston lost her bout with her curse (choices) but I and others will choose to remember her most for the gift that God blessed her with that she chose not to hide: A Dynamic Voice.
(Follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on TwitterÂ @BrotherJesse)