It’s a tragedy that resonates with fans around the world. Whitney Houston, one of the great voices of her generation, died suddenly Saturday night. She was 48. At the time of this writing, an autopsy was scheduled to be performed tomorrow.
Houston rocketed to superstardom in 1985 with her self-titled Whitney Houston. She remains the only artist to chart seven consecutive number ones on the Billboard Hot 100.
Bob Slade, the KISS FM news director and longtime music host, has early memories of the songstress. He interviewed Houston at the radio station in the spring of 1985.
“Her debut album had just dropped,” Slade recalls. “She was very shy and reserved… A year and a half later I met the ‘real’ Whitney. [It was] night and day, full of life, funny, and was having a ball.”
Life, though, was not always a ball for the 80s iconic singer. In 1992, after a three-year courtship, Houston married singer Bobby Brown, and a downward spiral was underway.
Houston’s perfect image was tarnished by the end of the 1990s. She admitted to drug abuse and her behavior was, at times, erratic.
Prescription bottles were discovered in the Beverly Hills hotel room where Houston’s body was found. She was reportedly found in the bathtub.
Although it’s premature to link her death to drugs or alcohol, “Fast” Freddie Colon, a DJ whose career in New York radio paralleled Houston’s zenith, is disgusted by her career downfall.
“I am angry, WHY? How many times will it have to happen? Why did nobody step in,” Colon tells FishbowlNY. “I pray this does not end up being another one of those sad stories. We really have not had the real Whitney since about ’92. My prayers go out to her family. No one will ever take her place, just her space. RIP Whitney…WHY?”
However, most would prefer to remember Houston, the Newark native for her musical process. She was named by Guinness World Records in 2009 as the most-awarded female act of all-time.