I remember being a kid and dancing around our house with my sister to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and her cover of Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.”
And driving in my car, waiting for that low drum beat before belting out “Annnnd Iiiieeeiii will always love you,” when absolutely no one was around to hear those off-key high notes.
The songs that Whitney Houston sang would be on the soundtrack of my early years, so I felt a little twinge of sentimental sadness when I learned the 48-year-old singer died on Saturday of still unknown causes at a Beverly Hills hotel.
But these days, a celebrity’s death has an aftermath of a whole lot of hoopla. And that gets old really quickly.
In Houston’s case, there’s the expected speculation of how she died and whether bottles of prescription drugs found in her room had anything to do with her death, since she had a history of drug addition.
But then there’s a CNN report on the celebrities planning to go to her funeral and debate on whether a producer and friend of Houston’s should have cancelled a party after her death, and a whole to-do in New Jersey after Gov. Chris Christie announced that all the public buildings would lower their flags to half-staff on the day of Houston’s funeral.
I logged onto Facebook and saw photos of military caskets draped with American flags and tagged with the phrase “Whitney Who?” on them.
I can’t help but think of another question. Who cares? Why do we take stands on a celebrity’s death? Surely, there’s something better for all of us to do. And I would think a death – any death - serves as a reminder that life is short.
So I’m going to dance around my house and sing at the top of my lungs. And I thank Whitney Houston for giving me a tune.