When fans of the late Whitney Houston learned the 48-year-old music legend was found dead Feb. 11; some wish she had that “bodyguard” from her first film to protect her but, alas, it seems nobody could protect the fragile singer from herself, lamented MTV music critic Bill Flanagan on the CBS News program “Sunday Morning.” In turn, Flanagan asserted: “When the eulogies have ended, let's let Whitney Houston rest in peace.” Still, there are new speculations Feb. 13 about how Houston died, and were drugs responsible? At the same time, Flanagan and others wish her true fans would just focus on her “significant musical legacy,” and not be a part of the rumor mill that usually follows the untimely death of a superstar.
News of Houston’s death
On the same day that Houston was found dead, she was scheduled to appear at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party Saturday night. “When I heard that I thought, well, she must have been putting on her public face and summoning the strength to go out there again and live up to all the expectations. She'd been doing that pretty much her whole life,” added Flanagan during his Sunday Morning report on the death of Houston.
The music critic went on to explain how when “Whitney was still a teenager, the buzz in New York music circles became, ‘Have you heard Cissy Houston's daughter? She's an incredible singer - she's the most beautiful woman you ever saw! She's going to be huge!’ And this was BEFORE she ever made a record.”
He also explained that “from the time Whitney was a kid, she was the object of enormous expectations. And you know what? She lived up to them all. Her voice contained gospel, soul, rock and pop. It was a young voice, an old voice - it was timeless. Like Elvis, like Sinatra, she could elevate a mediocre song by her taste, her virtuosity, and by the conviction she brought to each performance. And when she got her chops around a GOOD song? The heavens opened.”
Houston battled demons
Whitney Houston was a public figure her whole adult life, added Flanagan; while also pointing to how “she battled her demons in the public eye.”
While everyone is praising her – to include many heartfelt tributes during the Grammys – Flanagan asserted “that's as it should be, she deserves it.”
“But wouldn't it be great if all of us could then leave it at that,” he said. “Let's ignore the gossip press and scandal media that will try to exploit her memory now that she can't defend herself. Whitney Houston touched millions of us, but she does not belong to us. She was someone's daughter. She was someone's mother. Her memory, like her love, belongs to them. The rest of us will always have her music.”
Bodyguard features Whitney’s music
Fans who are now re-watching the 1992 romantic-thriller film, “The Bodyguard,” that starred Houston in her first film with Kevin Costner playing her “bodyguard,” may note how real life mirrors art when Houston tells Costner that “I’m scared.”
In turn, film critic Roger Ebert gave “The Bodyguard three out of four stars, and praised Houston in her role as a music star who hires a bodyguard to protect her from an unknown stalker.
"The movie does contain a love story, but it's the kind of guarded passion that grows between two people who spend a lot of time keeping their priorities straight,” said Ebert of the film that also featured a romance between Houston and Costner.
At the same time, “The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album” has become “the best-selling soundtrack of all time,” states Billboard magazine; while pointing to the soundtrack “has been certified diamond” in the U.S. with sales of “at least 10 million,” and shipments of over 17 million copies. Also, Billboard noted that the worldwide sales of The Bodyguard “are staggering at 45 million copies; while, in addition, Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” sold 12 million units worldwide.
The Bodyguard soundtrack features five hit singles for Houston: "I Will Always Love You", "I'm Every Woman", "Queen of the Night", and two Oscar nominated songs "I Have Nothing" and "Run to You.”
Image source of the 1992 movie poster for “The Bodyguard,” that featured Whitney Houston in her first movie role. Photo courtesy Wikipedia