Whitney Houston has passed away at the age of 48. The performer was pronounced dead just before 4pm today at the Beverly Hilton Hotel despite efforts to resuscitate her, according to an LAPD spokesman. The cause of her untimely death is still unknown.
As BlogHer’s Entertainment Editor, when the news hit my first response was to rush to the computer to get a post up immediately. I’m home alone with Dee, so when she protested as I pulled myself up from the floor, I put on a YouTube clip of Whitney’s 1987 hit “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” to keep her busy. Dee’s a dancing fiend, so I knew she’d love it…It was the first Whitney song I ever heard, I was six — maybe seven, and in the way-back of a family friend’s woodie station wagon after a trip to the beach. I rushed home and waited for the video to come on MTV. I’ll never forget the awe — this beautiful creature singing and spinning with her pink eyeshadow and her tutu. Forget Madonna. I wanted to be Whitney when I grew up.
Anyway, now that I’m sitting at my desk, looking for words to sum up the too-short life of yet another legend, I’m finding the sadness and disbelief is heavy…even in light of the well publicized struggles that shattered the career of a woman who once seemed destined to reign as America’s Sweetheart forever.
But she wasn’t. I’m researching for this post and obituaries web wide are rehashing Whitney’s painful spiral – her fall from grace – her incredible gift and whether she’d lost it. But that’s not the Whitney who’s dancing on my TV screen. That’s not the Whitney who’s currently captured my daughter’s attention – invoking that same awe over pink eyeshadow and tutus I remember so well.
So today? On the day of her death, I’m going to kick off my slippers, and swallow the lump in my throat for Bobbi Kristina — Whitney’s only daughter who just lost her Mom — and celebrate the life of a woman who left an indelible mark of joy on the world — despite the pain and illness we know she struggled with.
Today, I’m going to turn up the stereo and answer Whitney’s plea and dance…with somebody who loves me.
Whitney Houston, 1963 – 2012
[this post originally appeared on BlogHer Entertainment.]