Whitney Houston died tonight.
She was 48 years old, two years younger than Michael Jackson when he passed, a comparison I make because those two are inextricably linked in my mind – much more for the genius and brilliance that made them stars than for the controversy and personal demons that embroiled them later in life.
Simply put, the two most iconic voices of my childhood were those of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
It wasn’t just that they became super-duper-mega-stars in the mid-80s right as I started to become a coherent human, or that they mom seemed to play them constantly in the house and in the car; it’s that even at that young an age – 4, 5, 6 – I already genuinely enjoyed their music.
I’ve written about Michael on MSF numerous times, because he is far and away my favorite musical artists of all time. Not long after he passed, I wrote this about the King of Pop: My Personal Tribute to the Complex Life and Incredible Legacy of Michael Jackson.
Though she never reached the historic popularity and notoriety of MJ, Houston’s legacy too can most certainly be described as both complex and incredible.