It’s been a little over a week since Whitney Houston was laid to rest but today we see that her beautiful face is featured on the cover of the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine. RS, like many other magazines, are paying their final respects to Whitney with feature coverstories so it’s fitting, I think, to see her on the covers of various magazines again. Additionally, E! News is reporting that Whitney’s death is going to be ruled an accident. Very soon, once the matter of cause of death is officially revealed, Whitney will truly be allowed to rest in peace.
Diligent professional one moment, wild child the next: Those were the opposing sides of Houston in her last days – and, it turns out, much of her life. Blessed with a peerless combination of bravura lung power, model-perfect looks, and an image that was both warm and regal, Houston was that pop rarity: a genuine crossover star, juggling music and film, audiences young and old, black and white. “Because of her cousin Dionne [Warwick], she understood all those pretty-ass melodies from Burt Bacharach,” says Narada Michael Walden, one of Houston’s many producers. “But because she was young and from the era of Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna, she had soul in her too – those rhythms. She had both sides. Plus, she was so damn gorgeous. You couldn’t say no to her.” But after she peaked with her 1991 version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and 1992’s The Bodyguard, her fans watched as, year by year, Houston’s demons were revealed to the world: Her voice grew huskier, her looks hardened. Her records, when they appeared, didn’t sell as well as they once had; her live performances revealed a performer physically and vocally rusty. People who worked with her still find it hard to comprehend her dark side. “A lot of us talked about that, and no one could come up with an answer,” says Gerry Griffith, the A&R man who brought Houston to Clive Davis’ attention around 1982. “Where is that rebellion coming from? It didn’t come out for a while.” When it did, it came out in force, nearly destroying her personal life, career and music.
As sad and as difficult as it is to read, the truth about Whitney’s struggles with addiction plays a huge role in remembering her life. Just yesterday, I read from cover to cover the tribute issue to Whitney published by People magazine and was just reminded that yes, Whitney was a huge talent but … she was also a very tortured soul. Her death is just tragic for a host of reasons. According to E! News, her death will not ruled an overdose … but, instead, an accidental death:
The pop icon’s sudden death on Feb. 11 is expected to be officially ruled an accident, a source with knowledge of the ongoing investigation confirms exclusively to E! News. And that appears to be just what those close to Houston suspected would happen. The singer’s family always believed her death was accidental and was not a result of deliberate action taken by Houston—or anyone else, according to the insider. While the actual cause of death was temporarily listed as “deferred” on Houston’s death certificate pending the result of toxicology tests, “nothing suspicious” has been found to connect any physicians or other people of interest to Houston’s case and the inquiry is nearing completion, the source says. Plus, “she had no marks on her body whatsoever to indicate a struggle, and she was the furthest thing from trying to kill herself.” The L.A. County Department of Coroner will not comment, citing the ongoing investigation. Our source says that the autopsy tox screen could be in the Beverly Hills Police Department’s hands by next week and, depending on the status of other elements of their investigation, the case could be closed very soon afterward.
As sad as Whitney’s death still is, time will heal all wounds. I still get extremely sad when I see her face or hear her voice … but she’s gone now. Once the coroner makes his final ruling on her death, the saga will truly be over. Over time, I hope people just remember and love the good things about Whitney’s life. She deserves, at least, that.0