Oh, what a loss: Whitney Houston dead at 48 – Gone too soon


A loss to the music world, family, friends and millions of fans


By Juanita Bratcher


Pop Superstar Whitney Houston had it all – she was a great artist, a great performer, an international entertainer, an icon in the music world, and had the gift of an eloquent, incredible VOICE – a voice heard and loved by many; a voice that has now been silenced, yet, will forever live on in the archives and annals of time.

The music world has lost a superstar, an icon. Houston was an international entertainer, crossing all ethnic lines and appealing to all ethnics.

Like so many others, I’m shocked!

I’m saddened!

Emotions run rampant. What a great loss to the music world…to her millions of fans.

What a powerful legacy! So much talent, so many powerful songs. Houston was a legend in her own time. What Houston weaved together was a showcase of rich music heritage. It was music with passion – “I Will Always Love You”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “I Learned From The Best”, and “One Moment In Time”.

More of her popular songs were:

“How Will I know”, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “Greatest Love of All”, “Saving All My Love For You”, “I Have Nothing”, “Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)”, “I’m Every Woman” and numerous others.

She made hit song after hit song, scoring seven straight Number One hits in the 1980s.

Houston, pop music’s queen, died Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA hours prior to the Pre-Grammy celebration that was hosted by her mentor and Producer Clive Davis. She was expected to participate in the event.

Funeral Services will be held for Whitney on Saturday, at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church in New Jersey, where she started singing in her younger years. The church service is private and by invitation only. There will be no public memorial.

Reportedly, it will be weeks before toxicology tests are completed to establish cause of death. However, authorities said there were no indications of foul play.

I followed Whitney’s career, her music, her brilliance in recording. She had a rare gift – the gift of an incredible, eloquent voice – and sung with a passion, an explosion of energy. She was a phenomenal woman on stage during her many concerts and public appearances.

Prior to the release of my first book, “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor”, I was gung-ho in making sure that my book party opened with Houston’s song, “One Moment in Time”. I called my husband, Neal A. Bratcher, Sr., at work and asked him to find a record shop in the Loop area that had the record in stock. At the time it seemed so befitting to me as to what my thoughts were at the time. It played (softly, low) through most of the book party. 

Whitney had the following of all age groups and ethnics, including that of many young people. Nicholas Bouyer, 16, a Junior at an urban prep school in Chicago, an honor roll student and avid fan of Whitney, said he was “incredibly saddened by her sudden death. She was a legend, and will always be an unprecedented talent. Her music inspired many generations and her voice touched so many souls. She had a rare and refreshing talent. She will truly be missed, not only as an artist but as a woman who has set the bar for what it means to be a success in the African-American community.

“This sudden tragedy has taken many around the world by surprise”, Bouyer added. “My condolences go out to her family and friends who will now feel her absence. Whitney Houston has definitely gone too soon at the ripe age of 48, and it is my belief that she could have done so much more in the way of her illustrious career if she were here with us now.”

Bouyer’s comments certainly echo the sentiments of many others.

And while there were some dramatic negative moments in Whitney’s career, one can look at them as the pitfalls of show business and human frailty – which can happen to anyone.

As a fan of Houston, when problems arose, I looked forward to her comeback. And she did so with her album “I Look to You.” I continued to look forward to more new songs and music coming from the pop superstar.

But one thing’s for sure: Whitney is gone but she left a legacy we can all still enjoy – music that will continue to remain a part of the international music domain through replay of her songs and videos. Though her voice has been silenced, her music will still be a major incentive in the world of music as with superstars Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and a few others.

Juanita Bratcher is the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com, the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 35 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.