I only met Whitney Houston twice. The first was at a Michael Jackson event early in her career. My memory is that this remarkable vocalist was so singularly stunning and elegant; shaking her hand felt somehow like meeting royalty, specifically a musical princess. The second time was a just a few years back when I wrote for Whitney who was appearing at the Grammy Awards for what would be her very last time. That musical princess had grown up, and while she remained a great beauty and could not have been more polite, there was a sense of a sweet but troubled soul who was trying her very best to keep things together.
When we heard the sad news that Whitney Houston had passed during Grammy rehearsals last Saturday, we all did our best to honor her memory in a way that was fitting to that moment. I'm proud to say that with the help of our remarkable host LL Cool J, and the stunning performance by Jennifer Hudson that our Executive Producer rightly asked Jennifer Hudson to do almost instantly, we somehow expressed the collective love and the loss that so many were feeling at that moment about this death in our musical family.
As Whitney Houston's family and loved ones gather to remember and to mourn her this weekend, here are the songs that I will listen to as I remember a woman who brought so much love and solace to millions around the world with a voice that will likely outlive us all.
I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU - Whitney Houston
HOW WILL I KNOW - Whitney Houston
DIDN'T WE ALMOST HAVE IT ALL - Whitney Houston
I WANNA DANCE SOMEBODY - Whitney Houston
I HAVE NOTHING - Whitney Houston
I LOVE THE LORD - Whitney Houston with the Georgia Mass Choir
THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER - Whitney Houston
EXHALE (SHOOP SHOOP) - Whitney Houston
ONE MOMENT IN TIME - Whitney Houston
I'M YOUR BABY TONIGHT-- Whitney Houston. L.A. Reid & Babyface
I BELIEVE IN YOU AND ME - Whitney Houston
WHERE DO BROKEN HEARTS GO - Whitney Houston
THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL - Whitney Houston
Rest In Peace, Whitney Houston