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The EnterPAINment Industry: Whitney Houston

Updated on April 25, 2020
Ryan Cornelius profile image

Ryan is a poet, article writer, screen writer, sportswriter, copywriter, and song writer.

Introduction

In Newark, New Jersey.
There was a young star singing.

Singing in the womb of her mother.
Who happens to also be a singer.

Her father's not far behind.
So the talent was there to shine.

Her cousin is Dionne Warrick.
So when born, she was destined.

Destined to do music.
Since youth, she displayed it.

Society couldn't stop it.
She studied and perfected it.

At 11, she started performing.
Her voice was seen as amazing.

She toured clubs around the city,
On artists albums, she was singing.

Soon, the industry took notice.
Her career surely had promise,

Despite tours, she was too young.
After school, she sang a song.

She sang in New York City.
& Arista records was watching.

She was signed and given more power.
Her career bloomed like a flower.

Houston was iconic ever since.
Her music lives on & shes deeply missed.

The Good Girl

Despite what she already knew about the industry, she did not start right away. Instead, she was groomed for her debut album. Her first duet was with singer Teddy Pendergrass. Pendergrass was a huge artist apart of the Arista family. The project was a top 5 R&B hit. Houston debut it on her album in 1985. With superb production, the debut album showed the world how much exciting her voice was. Her single YOU GIVE GOOD LOVE was the most popular single in the U.S. The album peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 100. It was number 1 on the Hot R&B chart. Houston toured nightclubs, she was on late night TV shows performing, her song Saving All my Love was number 1 in the U.S and U.K. Her success was monumental worldwide. Her success was soon introduced to the MTV audience. She soon was labeled the first African-American woman to receive heavy rotation on MTV. Houston just continued making hits. During it all, guys fell in love with the image. Football star Randall Cunningham, Movie star Eddie Murphy but in 1989 she found the one. In 1992, she married him. The bad boy Bobby Brown. A year later, Houston gave birth to their first child Bobby Kristina Brown. That good girl image caught the attention of those in the movie industry as well. Sadly, she had a miscarriage carrying her second child while filming the movie the body guard. She had success coming from all directions.

The Bad Girl

Whitney was a great singer with a superb image. She came from a great background. She had support that aimed to perfect her craft. Because of it, she was success throughout her career but nothing that is good comes without a roadblock. By 1999 to 2000 her good girl image took a dive. She started staying out late nights, canceling concerts, and appearances. She was just erratic. The rumors that she was doing drugs were surfacing. Her weight loss confirmed it. She was using drugs with her husband, bad boy Bobby brown. After being caught with drugs in Hawaii, they were free of the charges but that did not stop the rumors. Houston was still cancelling events. After the Hawaii incident, she was not even worried about calling. She just did not show up. There was a time when she attempted to clean up her act. She went to perform at the Academy Awards but was fired for having throat problems that disabled her from singing. Her erratic behavior continued. In 2002, she became involved in a legal dispute with John Houston Enterprise. The company was started by her father, now 81, to manage her career but whom he put in charge tried suing Houston for $100 million for breaching her contract with Arista Records to pay for legal fees. Houston thought her father had nothing to do with it. During the battle she was questioned on live T.V about her drug use. She immediately became very aggressive to defend the allegations. She admitted to using alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and pills. As a response, she developed an eating disorder. Her husband Bobby was also hitting her, but she denied that too. All the while, her mom was asking her to seek help. She denied that too. Houston was in denial.

Tragic End

She started with a good image for herself but like many many successful artists, she faced stumbling blocks. Blocks that took her off track. Blocks that made her look to drugs as the only remedy. Eventually, she saw it was not. She was doing music on and off because of her drug use. She took a necessary step and separated from her husband for good. She filed for divorce in 2006 and in 2007, it was finalized. She was left with everything including their only daughter. She wanted no ties to the past. By this time, she was well established. She really did not have to do much. In 2009, she admitted to using drugs with her former husband. After the success of her movie The Body guard and the birth of her first child she used it heavily. She also admitted that she almost lost herself in 1996. She went and took her mother’s advice but sadly, it did not end her drug abuse. She still struggled with it even after her husband's divorce. It just was not as bad. She started working with present and future stars, but her struggles affected her image and it was very visible. In 2012 in Hollywood, California she sings JESUS LOVES ME. She was still spending her days struggling with the demons she let within her but on February 11, the worst happened. She was found unconscious in her hotel room in the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverley Hills, California. The paramedics arrived, performed CPR to revive her but she eventually was pronounced dead. She died with cocaine in her system. Along with cocaine, there were many more drugs.

Conclusion

Houston left behind her extensive legacy but the way she did it that angers many. It angers many because this has happened too much in this industry. Most of those that it happened to walked in with this issue. They see the money, buy the house, the nice cars and live the life they dreamed to live but they forget to deal with the issues on the inside of them and the labels do not help it. They make money off of it. They have great intentions but they also have jobs. Jobs they must exceed in no matter what it takes. Houston was damaged because of it. Her music background coming in along with her good girl image, did not eliminate the fact that she was exposed to a typical musician live early. She came in struggling coming from where she came from. Her music hid the secret lesbian relationship she had with her longtime friend. It hid the decades of drug use. Early on, the young Houston may have been exposed to a life that she thought was right. She got older, did it and found that it was not but by that time she was in a deep hole that she found it hard to get out of. As a result, the best thing she figured to do was do what she knew how. Sad life ending. Years after, it is still devastating.

Do you think Whitney should've waited?

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© 2019 Ryan Jarvis Cornelius

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