I am so saddened by the passing of Whitney Houston. It shocks me just how sad I am about the whole thing, seeing as how I never got to meet her, let alone know her. It always amazes me how attached I get to celebrities (yeah, I’m aware that that makes me a little crazy).
I always think it’s so strange when we lose a icon. Like, who will take that person’s place? No one. No one can. Like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston was game-changer. She inspired vocalists (men and women) everywhere. She gave them a greatness to aspire to. Sure, there were strong female vocalists before her, but none quite as great as her. Think about all the great songs you know by female vocalists…do you have them in your head? Now, tell me that Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” isn’t on that list. It’s universally known and loved. People all over the world know that song. They’ve probably been known to randomly burst into that song (just like me, and probably you, too) at some point in their lives. Without Whitney, there is a strong possibility that a lot of the people I love today wouldn’t be around (they’d still be on the planet, I just wouldn’t know them…or love them). She inspired so many people with her magnificent voice. People will always talk, and say bad things, but no one can deny that she was gifted. She was such a major part of music history.
When I think about losing music industry legends, it always makes me wonder what kind of legacy my generation is leaving. I mean, the generations before us did a pretty bang-up job. Along with Miss Whitney they gave us The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Madonna, U2, Stevie Wonder…this list could literally go on forever; they gave us so many legendary people. Who will people remember from our generation? Who will people look back and say, “Wow! So-and-so really made an impact.” Who are the icons going to be? You have to remember that everyday we are making history. The things we experience today are the things that people will remember (or not remember…) years from now. What kind of musical legacy are we leaving? [People who read this—I’d like to hear who you think will be the “new” legends.]
I was brought up in a musical household (thanks Mom and Dad!), so I have very early memories tied to music (in fact most of my memories are tied to music). And it’s thanks to those days spent listening to oldies that I have such a deep-rooted love of music, and why music is such a big part of my life. I have an appreciation for the oldies. Not that I don’t listen to and enjoy today’s music, because I do, it’s just that they don’t quite make them like they used to. Every once in a while you find true talent, but mostly it’s manufactured and, in my opinion, it’s not quite as golden as it used to be. There was a golden age in music, and it began in the 60s and reached until probably about the mid-90s…and I just feel like everything after that has been sort of downhill. Don’t get me wrong, you have bright spots here and there (i.e. Adele, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, etc., you know who they are) but I feel mostly it’s been about the fame and the shock value, and not about the music. And that is truly sad.
Generation Y, we need to get our act together!