The world loses yet another '80s music sensation
February 11th, 2012
10:56 PM ET

The world loses yet another '80s music sensation

Fans of '80s R&B music have suffered yet another loss.

Just months after the deaths of '80s R&B chanteuse Vesta Williams, rapper Heavy D and singer/songwriter Nick Ashford, who was one half of the duo Ashford and Simpson, fans are once again grappling with the silenced voice of one of the superstars of that era: Whitney Houston.

The New Jersey native and daughter of famed background singer Cissy Houston first burst onto the music scene in 1985 with her debut album "Whitney Houston."

According to Billboard, the album sold millions and earned Houston her first Grammy for best female pop vocal for the single "Saving All My Love For You."

She went on to have other hits from that album, including "The Greatest Love of All" and "How Will I Know." Mentored by impresario Clive Davis, she sealed her place in pop history with successful music videos for songs like "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" from her 1987 album "Whitney."

"The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd tweeted "Vesta Williams ... Whitney Houston ... too soon ... can't make sense of it." Williams was found dead in her Los Angeles hotel room in September. It was later determined that Williams had suffered from heart trouble.

Houston's staggering career success through the '80s and into the '90s cast her as a major influence for future artists. On Saturday night Simon Cowell told CNN's Piers Morgan that "I would have liked to have taken her under my wing, as well...she would have been the ultimate mentor for any of the contestants on the ['X Factor']."

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. rob68MO

    I go way back to the 60's, but did like a lot of the 70's and 80's music. Whitney was in a class by herself.
    I play the piano by ear and have been told that I have perfect pitch. I know that Whitney did and had such an ability to
    push her feelings and passion into her songs. She had an extremely powerful voice and could really hold a note for a long time.

    I drove my two sons from Missouri to St.. George, Utah, to enroll at Dixie College....they and a friend all wanted to be commercial pilots. They all reached their goal. I have a Whitney tape and just played it over and over again.....I thought someone was going to jump out of the vehicle, but I could not get enough of her music.....what a very blessed talent and I look forward to hearing her sing on the other side where everyone will have perfect pitch.

    I also feel very bad that many of these super stars get mixed up in drugs. You would think the applause, cheering and
    millions of records, (now CD's) sold would satisfy their need for attention and recognition. These drugs are a curse to mankind and I feel blessed that I have ever tried any of them.

    Whitney's music is timeless and will be played on radio stations for decades to come. What a wonderful talent and a very beautiful person.
    Much love to her family from someone who is shattered by grief of her passing!

    March 11, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. say nothing

    Takes one to know one.

    March 5, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jesus C.

    Old News

    February 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Amanda L. Lee

    What an opinion! Did you do or give her any crack? It is not fair to assume that what she was. Men have strange
    control issue. Now admit if you may that her voice was sweet and she was a good looking woman. I am praying for her family and the rest of them,women, as they sometimes, people, learn and can, to love. May your spouse be protected
    and may you learn to trust. God Bless.

    February 29, 2012 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. DandG

    dead and gone,please leave same.

    February 28, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. eatmybird


    February 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dennis

    a long time ago and too many years to confess to some very credible people in music told me that when Francis Scott Key wrote 'The Stat Spangled Banner' it was virtually impossible to sing with the music scale and octave shifts were all over the place... at that time Kate Smith was the singer of choice along with Robert Merrill, who sang it in a lower registe, but not the way Scott Key wrote it....
    then came Whitney Houston, who ripped the cover off the ball when she sang it at the 1991Superbowl... talk about a throat clencher... absolute perfection.... RIP Whitney, apparently this was the only way to stop your demons.....

    February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. M


    February 15, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Not impressed

    Just another worthless doper like Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison and the rest of the trash

    February 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jacq

    Get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cleareye

    Whitney Houston was another victim of the absurd Hollywood publicity factory. They create an impossible to maintain image that eventually runs these people into an early grave as they try to present themselves as they were when they first made it big. We all grow old, slow down, and lose out youthful attractiveness. Very few 'stars' manage the transition gracefully, and many do not make it at all, choosing death or drugs instead. Look at Bonnie Raitt for how to do it, not the Beach Boys. They should have stayed retired.
    Whitney Houston shared her gift as long as she could. We should be thankful for what she gave us.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JoJo

    I usually don't/won't respond to ignorance. But what are you? Who are you? Do you have a life? Do you have children? Family? Significant other? If so, they are probably all crack ho's, as you say! Because for you to make such a statement you probably have them all in your life. Or, are you some disgusting looking, red face, white racist sitting behind a computer, because you're probably a punk and would never say anything negative to anyone's face, just spewing out hate and stupidity. You don't even know the truth so go and stay under the rock you live under. You're probably broke, uneducated, and a loser. That's what you do best so stick to it. May you rest in peace Joe.

    February 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PGG

    R.I.P. Withney...So sad to see another great performer of my younger days gone. I bet it will turn out she had a cardiac arrest.Heart disease is very common in recovered addicts, unfortunately many cannot enjoy what life has to give after recovery, their body has been damaged too far to turn around. So,I will just sit here and remember sitting on the floor of a theather in Firenze to watch "La guardia del corpo" (The bodyguard) too packed to accomodate anyone else in chairs...With that long gone boyfriend of my youth. ..Crying silly at the kiss by the end of the movie....But life is like that, the best of it is made of spontaneous moment of emotions, caused may be by a movie or may be by a song or a painting...
    That's why I will remember this amazing lady...And that's why I pity these vile people who plague blogs with insults at the dead...Blogs where others write to pay R E S P E C T. What a beautiful thing. I respect any artist who makes me dream for a moment....She did.

    February 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |

    All of this negativity is unnecessary. Whitney was a talanted artist who unfortunate came across some demons. She is human just like the rest of us. Im quite sure if all of are lives were in the media 24/7 no telling what kind of drugs or addictions we would be on. I really was an Whitney Houston fan and I was hoping for a comeback. I still remembered when she perfomed in 09 on the GMA summer concert. My prayers are with her daughter Bobbi kristina, Mother and all of her loved ones. R.I.P Whitney gone, but not forgotten. You can replace a singer, but you can't replace an artist.

    February 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pimpson

    That's a great picture of her.

    February 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Leucadia Bob

    February 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Joe T.

    She was just another crackhead with a good voice.

    February 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Joe

    It makes me sick to see racist comments (posted by people like Bobby Brown) about other people.

    It is also sad that the media continues to focus on Houston's problems instead of her talents. I guess this will be fodder for the tabloids until the autopsy results and released and for years to come.

    February 13, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  19. Wow

    Wow, for minute I read the headline and thought, "NO! Not Kajagoogoo too!!!!"

    February 13, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  20. Name*Liz Carter

    Rest in peace did what you were suppose to do admitted, you went to rehab, you were still working one day at a time towards your recovery! That's more than I can say for some of these posters. They may need to take a hint from you! Folks like Joe and fake Bobby Brown need to sign themselves into somewhere! Strange...! Seems they know all about 'purple drank',drugs and 'crack ho's!!! I guess experience has it's rewards...huh?

    February 13, 2012 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • jen

      No fake a55ed Bobby Brown and Joe haven't any experience ,they live vicariously through rappers and players by reading Source and Vibe magazines they aren't haters they're wannabes so pathetic.RIP Miss Houston.

      February 13, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  21. fernace

    While I'm mourning the losses of Heavy D, Nick Ashford & my beautiful Vesta Williams & will Always miss Teena Marie, it is unbearable to have to aknowledge that Whitney Houston is dead! Even though most of us don't personally know Ms.Houston, we know what her voice & songs did to our lives! She sang songs w/conviction & carried the messages we needed to hear at that particular moment! Along w/Aretha, Barbra, & Chaka, she's 1 of my all time favorite vocalists & always will be! What a voice, what a loss!!

    February 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  22. fernace

    While I'm mourning the losses of Heavy D, Nick Ashford & my beautiful Vesta Williams & will always miss Teena Marie, it is unbearable to have to aknowledge that Whitney Houston is dead!

    February 12, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Jeannette

    How very sad. What a wonderful singer. I am so disgusted by some of the comments above. Judge not ! May Whitney Rest in Peace. May her family find healing in our Lord Jesus. I believe she will be singing with the angels when Jesus returns for all of us. Until then, may she sleep in peace. if you can't say anything nice keep your comments to yourself.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Trischa V.D in Canada

    This is just an extremely shocking event. Whitney Houston was an Icon and paved the way for various women performers. The hardest feelings about losing a singer or entertainer is that we will never hear their voice again. Just like an unfinished song the music will just linger on.

    February 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Carol - kc

    You will be missed, I am praying for the family.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  26. England Forever

    Yes, yes it's very sad... Another so called star dead, another star who went off the rails, took drugs, drank, lived to excess. What do you expect?

    Do you really think she was in touch with reality, kept her feet on the ground, lived a normal life? No! – she was surrounded by people who said, yes, yes, yes, no matter what she wanted.

    She led a life of indulgence, and excess, and in the end, no matter how sad it is, she paid the ultimate price for it.

    February 12, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • too bad

      yes its bad but do u realize how many very young people die from overdose(if that is what it was) that goes unnoticed people say oh well another junkie gone she should not be given excuses for her drugs yes sad for her daughter but SHE made the choice to take these drugs alot of people r under alot of steress that have families to feed in this economy but they r not turning to drugs

      February 13, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  27. Benn

    Way to young to go. But she did live an incredible life. Best wishes.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  28. Ivan

    A very sad news. The world had lost a very talented singer. Will "Always Love You".
    My deepest sympathy to her family. Rest In Peace Whitney.

    February 12, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |

    J'ai beaucoup pleuré et je pleure encore quand je regarde " Bodygard" ou quand j'écoute ses tubes planétaires, mais aujourd'hui je pleure une magnifique chanteuse à tous points de vue. Quelle que soit la vie qu'elle a mené, je ne l'ai jamais jugée, chacun vit sa vie comme il veut. Aujourd'hui je ne retiens que ses qualités musicales, sa voix exceptionnelle, sa beauté... Qu'elle repose en paix au pays des stars décédées !

    February 12, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      tu as bien parle Claudine. Trop souvent, nous les hommes on a tendance a nous rapeller des defauts des autres et oublier leur qualite. Withney a contribue au bonheur de tant de personnes par sa musique. que son ame repose en paix. To the english speakers.Well said claudine , often we always remember the bad side of other people when we are not pefect.Whitney had contribute a great deal to make us happy with her music . Rest in peace.

      February 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  30. R.A. CROES

    Now you know WHY Romney won't beat BO: Barack Obama is one of our own GENERATION OF ALL TIMES: that has

    February 12, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  31. R.A. CROES


    February 12, 2012 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  32. miguel

    Joe sounds like one of those spoiled teenagers who dropped out of school thinking he was smarter than the rest of us...but he cant get a job cause he is actually dumber than the rest of us so now his life plan is to sponge off of welfare and blame the establishment for all of his problems.

    February 12, 2012 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  33. R.A. CROES

    THANK YOU FOR THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL: YOUR MUSIC AND YOUR VOICE AND YOUR COLORNESS IN OUR YOUTH YEARS: THE 80'S: IS AND ALWAYS WILL REMAIN THÉ GENERATION. As: we are the ones who had been growing older wíth the GREAT ONES SINCE then. Then WE were with them when they'd finally got out of Racial Isolation – B4 OUR GENERATION – and since then we'd been with them while they grew further and now they're even: US President OUR GENERATION has become the first one in HISTORY that chose one of their skin colour to be ours.

    February 12, 2012 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  34. R.A. CROES

    Like Michael Jackson: Whitney Houston is indeed another LOVED ONE by the Youth of the 80's of the 20th CENTURY:
    WE HOPE NOW THEY ARE IN HEAVEN: THEY KNOW WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE THEM: for then they were all what: we had in the 80's ALL they'd given us IN OUR DEER YOUTH YEARS. And: that's WHY it is us who will always LOVE AND REMEMBER them ALL our lives: in our hearts in which there will always be a place for them who made us happy YOUTH OF THE 80'S = THÉ GENERATION

    February 12, 2012 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  35. Pryyme

    I loved all of Whitney's music, but one of my favorite performances was when she sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. What a performance! I really think that sat the atmosphere for the game. Gone way too soon.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  36. bill

    Whitney was right up there with Streisand and Sinatra. RIP Ms. Houston:)

    February 12, 2012 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  37. rara

    I guess you thought this was your chance at your fifteen minutes.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  38. Beau Amarasekara

    Sad ! We aspire for success & when we reach the top rather than maintaining that success ...some destroy it with excessive behavior ! Why ? Aloha baby girl ! Saving all my love for you !

    February 12, 2012 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  39. Shahid Khan

    Its a sad sad day..

    February 12, 2012 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  40. JackLW

    Can't say her music did anything for me, but it's always a tragic thing seeing anyone destroyed by crack addiction, celebrity or common person alike.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  41. Ken in NC

    It's not easy picking "One Best Song" from Whitney Houston as she sounded every song she sang to the heavens. While her 1991 Super Bowl National Anthem brought me to tears, "I Will Always Love You" is my favorite all time by Whitney. Her voice has gone silent to us now but only because GOD has chosen to make her a big part of HIS Heavenly Choir. I know some may not agree that she is with GOD now because of the troubled life she had here on this earth but, she is still one of HIS children and HE graced us for a short time with this Angelic voice. I, for one feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have herd such a voice. I'll pray now for her soul, miss her deeply and pray for her family. RIP Whitney Houston. Your task on this earth has been completed. Go HOME and RIP.

    February 12, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  42. rtbrno65

    An analogy: Most people are Red and Yellow dwarf stars. They use little energy and last a long time. Others though are Red and Blue giants. They use and give off massive amounts of energy, but they don't last long. They shine brightly, and then they supernova. It happens time and time again. It isn't good or bad, or right or wrong. It just is.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  43. fay

    May she rest in peace. This news saddened me tonight. I grew up listening to her. I rooted for her on her comeback...These kids today posting on here joking about crack, drugs etc. do not truly know what a legend she was. She will be missed by millions and her voice will live on. Rest in peace Whitney.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  44. Sokman

    It is a shame, but drug addiction is a choice, not a disease. That's merely an excuse to not have to take responsibility for one's actions & decisions. And although it's easy to blame drugs at this time based on general assumtion, the autopsy will determine the cause of death.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • The Clash

      This is not a knowledgeable statement. Addiction is a disease and can even be linked to genetics. Do some research and you will be amazed at how "choice" isn't true. Some people trigger it by having their first taste of alcohol or with one dose of drugs. Look at the research being done at Hazelton in Minnesota and it will really enlighten you.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Addiction is not a disease you sap. You don't just get addiction one day. There is a choice. Cancer is usually not a choice. It is a disease.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Danny

    You do realize that Karma will get you for such a hate-filled remark about someone you never even knew or met...and about someone who descended into the hellish world of drugs and struggled with that terrible DISEASE for so long. Your short but absolutely evil comment made me feel an emotion I've never felt before, and hope to never feel again. I will not utter hateful words back on to you but I will say this; I pity you, for you must've had a sad life.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  46. Lila

    She was perfection in" I wanna dance with somebody". One of the most beautiful women ever in that video, she rocked those dresses. Her voice amazing. I feel bad for Adele tomorrow the media will keep playing old Whitney when it should be her day.

    February 12, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      You are right, but I believe Adele will be fine. And I hope Whitney's sad life will be a lesson to all great singers to respect their instruments, thank God for their gifts, and SING.

      February 12, 2012 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
    • m

      she had a drug problem...may this pour soul rest in peace

      February 14, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  47. BT

    With the death of Whitney Houston, does this mean the price of crack will go down?

    February 12, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda L. Lee

      Crack only gives you a 20 mintue high anyway. It is not even worth the trouble to get. And I personnally, did not like the high the one time I did it.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  48. carrieanne

    Go to hell Joe!

    February 12, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  49. carrieanne

    Thank you for the music, rest in peace and in God's arms.

    February 12, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  50. shawn riley

    whitney u will always be remeber in my heart and i will always love you.M y heart goes out to your family and love one's in they time of need and i want you ya'll tto know tthat i am her biggest fan. so r.i.p whitney houston and you always loved

    February 12, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  51. Karim AICHE

    i remember when i was playing her songs on cassettes at home, and then i turn my favorit song back on the cassette with a pen, just to live the sensation of a wonderfull voice ever.
    in my 80's only few artists were able to survive and cross boarders to reach public, like in Rabat in MOROCCO where i am, but 20 years after it became possible for me to see live performance of Whitney in mawazine festival here in Morocco for free.
    not only a singer, but a big DIVA.
    RIP Whitney HOUSTON we will always love you.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Lisa

    My FavoriteWhitney Song was: I Will Always Love You, As well as The Preacher's Wife,As long a list of others, She was an amazing singer who knew how to really belt a song out with everything she had in her!You don't get opo singer's this day and age that can really go out there and sing like Whitney with no lip sync going on, Whitney did not belive in that she always gave it her all as she belted it out and you could see she was giving it her all!!! Really a class act watching whitney !! No Matter what a person goes through in their life they are still a human they still need to be treated with dignity, She was trying to make her life better, It is just a shame for her and her family and the music business,You will be truly missed!

    February 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karim AICHE

      right, everyone has his or her fails and mistakes, but we stay all human being and fiull of good things.
      RIP Whitney

      February 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Ernie Mendillo

    Whitney had perfect pitch no matter what she sang. I rank and parallel her to Frank Sinatra.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • JaeB

      We are losing those greats at an alarming rate. And, that is a loss to American history. That is the reason my Kickstarter project exists. Pass it along, please.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Loretta

      Its been three weeks since Whitney Houston took any drugs or alcohol. Her longest period sober! You go girl!

      February 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Don't intend to be mean, but Frank had terrible pitch and impeccable delivery/interpretation.

      February 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda l. Lee

      My favorite song sang by Whitney was I will also Love you. Dolly Parton wrote that song and by the time Whitney got
      it sung, she Dolly could only say wow. She will be missed. God bless her family at this time of sorrow. May God allow them to move on with their lives in peace.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |

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