Nothing But Love for Whitney

Voice of a GenerationWhitney Houston
2011ComrzBlogWhitneyRIP480

Strange times for pop singers these days - Michael, Amy and Whitney all succumbed to substance abuse in one way or another - regardless of their enormous talents, resources and success. This is for sure an ongoing lesson in the dangers of substance abuse - it seems all too common a problem - especially in the USA where celebrities so easily (and I suppose inadvertently) self-medicate themselves to death, as was also the case with Brittany Murphy. Whitney apparently drowned in her hotel bath, supposedly passing out - after taking a mixed cocktail of Lorazepam, Valium and Xanax, washed down with Champagne.

As a pop artist, she did not quite reach the lofty heights of the Pop Power Trinity (Madonna, Michael and Prince), but she surpassed all when it came to the power and reach of her voice. In my opinion, there can be no doubt that she was the finest voice of her generation. Such a clean, clear, pure tone, without any need for the Mariah Carey-esque flourishes and embellishments. Way before Adele came along, Whitney was able to project the most intense, spine-tingling emotion with her amazing voice.

I was both saddened and exhilarated when I first listened to her most recent and last album. The ravages of her substance abuse had caught up with her and damaged beyond repair her wonderful vocal chords. Instead we had a more throaty, almost rasping at times, breathy delivery which made up in raw emotion what it lost in brilliance of tone and clarity.

Of all her albums, this one was the most affecting for me - it was laced with heartfelt emotion, as if she were giving it all in one big final effort. One track in particular continues to send shivers down my spine every time I hear it, and its lyrics make for a fitting epitaph for Whitney:

Nothin’ But Love

Here I sit by my window
Thinking ’bout all the things I’ve been through
There were times when I never
Thought I would get to where I got to
Had some angels to guide me
Some who just violated my love
Now this is my chance to say
Ain’t got nothing but love

For my family that raised me (shout out, shout out)
And my teachers that done praised me (shout out, shout out)
To anyone who tried to hate on me (shout out, shout out)
Even the ones who tried to break me
Even the ones who tried to take me down

There’s been haters since this world’s been going ’round
(Nothing but love)
Why’d they take a dream to try to crush ’em down
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)
I ain’t even trynna hold on to that now
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)
Nothing but love, Ain’t got nothing but nothing but love for ya
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)

I could hold on to pain
But that ain’t what my life’s about
I ain’t blaming nobody
If I ain’t got my stuff worked out
I got a lot for myself
Ain’t gonna regret anything I’ve done
I just wanna sing my song, ain’t got nothing but love

For all the players on the street (shout out, shout out)
To all my ghetto doing your thing (keep on, keep strong)
To all my exes that done wrong me, stepped on me
Can’t hold me down

There’s been haters since this world’s been going ’round
(Nothing but love)
Why’d they take a dream to try to crush ’em down
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)
I ain’t even trynna hold on to that now
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)
Ain’t got nothing but nothing but love for ya
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)

To the givers and the takers
To my crew from way back when
To the goers in the stands
And the ones that I ain’t met
For myself for sticking with me
For the ones I’m missing up above
Anyone who’s ever been a part of me
Ain’t got nothing but love (nothing but, nothing but)
I got nothing but love

There’s been haters since this world’s been going ’round
(Nothing but love)
Why’d they take a dream to try to crush ’em down
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)
I ain’t even trynna hold on to that now
(Nothing but love, nothing but love)
Ain’t got nothing but nothing but love for ya
(Nothing but love, nothing but love) [Repeated]

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