Saturday, February 11, 2012

NEWS IN: Whitney Houston confirmed dead at 48

Indomitable Gospel-Pop diva Whitney Houston has been confirmed dead by her publicist, Kristen Foster, who reported the news to the Associated Press. The exact time, location and reason of death have not yet been revealed. It is likely that years of drug addiction and other personal issues took a toll on "The Voice"'s health and caused unknown complications leading to her unfortunate, premature passing.

The most awarded female artist of all time, she amassed 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards (as of 2010), and established herself as one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time, with album and single sales exceeding the figure of 170 million. Houston was also the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1. Billboard Hot 100 hits and produced the best-selling Gospel album of all time, The Preacher's Wife Original Soundtrack, a deeply personal record for me - the first I ever owned and listened to, start to finish, over and over again. These are just some of the many records she holds, excepting the great success she enjoyed in various other fields - from modelling to acting, in which field she holds particular note and is guaranteed an unextinguishable place in history for opening the door  - by her now classic role in "The Bodyguard" - for the following generation of black actresses to play female leads in major Hollywood productions. 

I'm in absolute shock and still can't believe this. Absurd, shocking, so unexpected and undeserved - whatever you may say about the woman's personal troubles, her talent and charisma were incomparable and there was still SO SO SO much for her to share with the world. R.I.P. 

Affectionately known as "Nippy" to her family, friends and fans, Whitney had been working on a new album and a number of film projects. She is survived by her young daughter, Bobbi Kristina, an aspiring singer herself, and her 78 year old mother, gospel legend Cissy Houston. Be sure to keep them and the rest of Whitney's extended family in your prayers during this time of inconsolable grief.

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