Yesterday marked the 6 anniversary of Whitney Houston‘s passing. To say I would have nothing without her would be an understatement. She was one of my first musical loves as a child.
Back in the day, before CDs and Spotify, we listened to cassette tapes in the car. Open up anybody’s center console and you were bound to find a few. I remember opening my mom’s up in her Grand Prix and finding, what is now, my favorite artists. Two of those albums belonged to Houston, her debut album, Whitney Houston and the iconic Whitney. Later she introduced me to The Bodyguard and my life hasn’t been the same since.
Years later, as my music tastes grew, I have made her listen to everything. I have taken her to concerts she has hated and blasted songs she felt were “inappropriate.” The days of her controlling my music were gone, but she always gives my music a fair shot. There are a handful of artists that will always connect my mom and I in a special way and one of those artists will always be Whitney Houston.
When she died, like so many other’s around the globe, a piece of our relationship went with her. To celebrate her legacy, I want to bring you the songs that will always remind me of the blessing that was Houston and the songs that will always connect my mom and I.
1. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
I know it’s cliche, but my mom and I still dance to this tune. A Whitney Houston playlist is never complete without it. Enjoy.
2. “Saving All My Love For You”
Just hearing the beginning notes of this song reminds me of summers driving around in the Grand Prix. Although I will admit, the content of this was a little beyond my elementary mind. Thanks for letting me just think it was sweet song mom!
3. “Greatest Love of All”
My first encounter with this song was when the video was aired once on VH1. It was from those happy days when VH1 and MTV actually played music. It was great!
4. “How Will I Know”
Again this is cliche to a Whitney list, but all we had were her first two albums and not a lot of money to spare!
5. “I Have Nothing”
I still remember sitting on the floor in the living room, with my mom sitting on the couch, and being completely mesmerized when Houston sang this song in The Bodyguard. I think it is one of the best things I have ever heard.
As my music ventures continued through life, I began to truly fall in love with everything that was Whitney Houston. I bought nearly all her albums and have watched performances of her on Youtube for hours. The next 3 songs are my favorite songs I discovered on my own, but they always reminded me of my mom.
1. “It’s Not Right”
Now this may be an odd song to remind one of their mother, but hear me out. My mom is pretty tough and she persevered through some pretty difficult situations. It may have happened once our twice, but no man could ever take advantage of my mom. Although, as much pain as we went through, in the end we were ok.
2. “If You Believe”
If there is one thing my mom passed down to me above all else, it is my faith. She is one of the strongest people you could ever meet and her complete foundation is laid in Jesus Christ.
3. “I Look to You”
Although this came out years after that old Grand Prix, this song completed the song to my mom and I’s Houston soundtrack. Although her vocal form wasn’t the best in her last album, this song and Houston’s mother-like vocals truly touched me. I can’t think of anyone that I have looked to more then my mom. If it wasn’t for her looking back at me, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.
As I ponder over these songs, memories, and emotions, I am just thankful. I am thankful for music. I am thankful for Whitney, and most importantly, I am thankful for my mom.
I still remember where I was when Houston passed away and my first call minutes later was to my mom. It just seemed necessary to let her know. It was like one of our best friends had passed away.
My mom always knew how to curate the perfect playlist, even when you had to rewind and fast-forward. Besides us never being able to see Whitney together, nothing between us was truly lost. In the end harmony was found to the soundtrack of Whitney Houston.
Rest in harmony Whitney, you sweet, sweet angel.