RIP, Whitney Houston. She was weird, wacky, and very talented. Born into a deeply religious family, Houston died addicted and deeply conflicted. She was blessed with a refined singing voice—4 octave range. Once a beauty, she faded fast. Still, in an age where the Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson bump and grind are celebrated at the White House (where once Pablo Casals played), Houston deserves to be remembered as a fine singer. Here she is in one of her finest moments, singing, not screaming (as the others all do), “I Will Always Love You.”
In recent years, American “artists” have botched the National Anthem, both the lyrics and the music. Houston gave us the loveliest, most naturally exuberant, musical, perfectly pitched rendition. She wore the right outfit too, no ho couture at a sports event. What a pro. So all-American. Here Houston is, singing “The Star Spangled Banner” before Super Bowl XXV on Jan. 27, 1991 in Tampa.