48 and gone.  Maybe it is the age. Maybe it is the fact she was ‘the voice’ of a generation.

Whitney also seemed to embody some of the issues this generation has with the famous. Whitney was famously talented. And in the spotlight she was sometimes famously lacking.

Just because she was a star people wanted her to be perfect. And expected her to be the smartest and the most responsible person.

We forget that she had a talent. And was, frankly, a stunningly attractive women. But she wasn’t a math professor or a literature student. She was a singer. An amazingly talented singer but …. just a singer. And if she fell short at any time in her generation’s eyes it wasn’t because of anything she did but rather the unrealistic expectations we had for her.

Where she never fell short of expectations?

That voice.

She will remain one the greatest voices and in our limited attention deficit world we seem to live in I believe we tend to forget the Super Bowl national anthem Whitney sang in 1991 as our soldiers fought Desert Storm.  Her delivery is effortless (which is kind of amazing in itself). And when her voice rose up to sing “the rockets red glare” I am fairly sure all of America got goosebumps:


While it may have been one of the best renditions of the national anthem (and extremely difficult song to sing) but the moment  … the time … the impact of the delivery … for that one moment in time Whitney wasn’t just the voice of America … she embodied America … a flawed person with amazing talent. I cannot think of a better description of America. I am not sure I can come up with a better legacy for Whitney.

I didn’t always like her music but I never tired of hearing her sing.


Whew. That seems too young.

Written by Bruce