Monday, February 11, 2013

Remembering The Voice- Whitney Houston

I was probably around eight years old when I first understood and heard the greatest of a Whitney Houston song. I grew up in the church and I grew up hearing great singers, but there was something about that voice, her effortless runs, her clean pitch, and the clarity of her tone that capture my attention at such a young age. She became one of my favorite singers, she became my first unofficial vocal coach.

As a child that loved music and loved to sing, I quickly noticed that Whitney did more than hit the right notes, she used every line, every word, every note, and every breathe to emote the heart tugging, soul stirring intent of the song. I watched her live performances and realized the power of the voice, the power of the song, and the power of the person singing it. I was a very shy child, but seeing her command of the audience encouraged me to use my gift of song to break out of my shell.

Unlike the incomparable Whitney Houston, I choose to use my gift for the Lord, by singing in church every Sunday and seeing it as a ministry to uplift and encourage people. It wasn't part of God's plan for me to sing for crowds of thousands but if I ever do, I'm partly prepared due to the indirect lesson taught by her career, her life, and her talent. Even though our paths and choices greatly differ, it doesn't take away from the things that she taught me and taught the rest of us through the use of her God-given gift.

People can say that she made mistakes, she lived carelessly, that she doesn't deserve our accolades or remembrance, but I say, her impact is greater than her demise. She is The Voice, she is the vocal coach, she is the style that we emulated long enough to find our own voice within, she is grace, she is style, she is a legend, and today, I remember her greatness and the impact she made on my life and my voice.

August 9, 1963 - February 11, 2012

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