Does Whitney Houston’s Death Suggest That It Is Lonely at the Top?

Posted on April 5, 2012 in Media and Culture

By Bhavna Mittal:

She was only 48; she left behind a mother, a daughter and thousands of people like you and me who listened in wonder as she took one high note after another, all along deriving strength from the power of her voice. Her death is personal to me because I clearly remember the nights I spent listening to “Where do broken hearts go” on a loop. And like many others I’ve shed tears almost every time her masterpiece of a cover ” I will always love you” has been played.

In more ways than one she was “Every Woman” because despite the fame and all the jazz that came with it, she was just another girl with trials and tribulations of her own. Reports of her tumultuous marriage had been circulating for quite some time now but then who really knows what happens behind closed doors. If one looks beyond the blame game one can’t say for sure that she would’ve not allowed drugs to overtake her life had it not been for Bobby Brown’s influence.

We can only wonder how someone who seemed to have it all would throw away everything for what are cheap thrills in our opinion. What goes on in the mind of a woman whose life and its everyday events become cocktail conversations for numerous nameless faceless people around the world.

So we listeners and admirers are left with questions such as:-

Do drugs provide these divas an escape from the pressure of stardom?

Is it really that lonely at the top?

Or are they just ungrateful for the talents bestowed upon them?

Before Whitney there was the news of Amy Wine house’s demise. She sang about lost love and heartbreak. She too found solace in alcohol and drugs, chose to say no to “Rehab”, and before long, life and not just “Love became a losing game”. It was her call to go “Back to Black” and though her premature death was unfortunate, no one was surprised and she was right when she said that “Tears dry on their own”.

When you listen to Amy’s renditions and feel the pain in her voice, you know in your heart that it isn’t just another performance and with that dawns the realization that women like her, Whitney and Janis Joplin before her, represent every woman- just “Waiting to Exhale” — searching for peace and a little bit of real love in this mad mad world.

In the months to come, Whitney’s record sales will reach an all time high; there will be an overflow of tributes (with Jennifer Hudson’s performance at the Grammys being the first of many to follow) and resurfacing of older pictures of a happier and healthier Whitney.

We will miss the artist, the striking beauty, and the persona,  but my heart goes out to those who will miss Whitney- the person, the mother, the daughter and the wife; the little girl who went from singing in the church to being called simply and aptly “The Voice”.

I hope “the broken heart has finally found a way home”.

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