Social media outlets have been buzzing with the recent death of music icon Whitney Houston. Houston’s voice evoked many emotions from her fans; you couldn’t deny the raw talent Houston had when she opened her mouth to sing beautiful notes from the late 1970s to just before her death. Folks will argue that before Houston began her heavy consumption of drugs and alcohol her voice was truly a gift from God. After the poison took over Houston’s body, her voice began to dwindle away. But honestly, when has the news really paid much attention to Houston after the time she decided to get sober and before her death?
Take a moment to think about the amount of times you saw a news story that featured Houston in a positive light since her divorce from Bobby Brown and her decision to give up illicit drugs for good.
Many people, myself included, cannot recollect a time when Whitney Houston was in our minds as the actress from Waiting to Exhale, the Preacher’s Wife, the Bodyguard or the songstress who belted out beautiful melodies on albums such as ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ and ‘My Love is Your Love’. But it seemed as though the VERY minute Houston’s death rumored onto the Social Media mills, her popularity skyrocketed as if she was discovered all over again. Some of my Twitter followers were retweeting ‘RIP’ messages for Houston before many of them had even confirmed that she had truly been founded let alone pronounced dead.
It truly fascinates me that people will believe whatever the Internet or Social Media outlets reports before even confirming a story for themselves. Call it the Journalist in me who has been told to question everything but I personally waited until I was able to obtain 3 independent sources, that is sources who did not cite each other as their primary source before I believed ‘the hype’.
But even since news outlets have been able to confirm Houston’s death, she has taken on a new life after death. Her celebrity status seems to have been given a boost since her death. She has been given tribute television shows, old interviews have been replayed – the good ones and the bad, music friends have given their accounts of life with Houston and fans have paid their respects detailing when they first heard Houston, etc. Whitney Houston is not the first celebrity to have an elevated status after her death. Some of the greats Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G. and even Bob Marley have gained much more success after their death than the success they obtained when they were alive.
It puzzles me as to why this is so. I can come up with a few reasons as to why these artist’s careers have continued to grow post-death. Some died at a point in their career when they were just truly getting started, Bob Marley for example. However, artists such as Jackson, Sinatra, and Houston may have outlived their music careers. They reached the peak and plateau of their careers, yet they tried to revive it despite the odds against them. The deceased artist’s estate will continue to receive income from the many avenues the estate handler deem profitable. For Jackson, it was the ‘This Is It” brand, the documentary that featured rehearsals for the tour grossed $260 million worldwide. A DOCUMENTARY which featured footage of the rehearsals, grossed that much money AFTER the artist had recently died.
It is sad to say that it takes the death of a celebrity to bring about the recognition they should continue to receive for their talents, despite any negative press they received during their careers or for any wrongdoing they may have been a part of. To be quite frank, we all make mistakes in our lives; the difference between us and celebrities is that we are the fortunate ones to not receive publicity every time we do something ‘wrong’.
Count your blessings, folks