When we mourn the death of a celebrity, it hits us like a ton of bricks. The celebrity may be someone we grew up to, listening to their music, or watching their movies/shows. That formulates a personable connection to the celebrity, who when suddenly dies, leaves us in mourning as if that celebrity was a part of our extended family.

We may surprise ourselves at how much a celeb’s death has affected us. Sometimes, we don’t know how much our favorite star has impacted our lives until they’re gone. In a sense, we’ve grown up with them. For many years, we’ve listened to their music, watched their films, and read their books. We’ll become a faithful fan of a celebrity because in some way, shape, or form, their art resonates with us.

The unexpected news that leaves us having difficulty processing it, the longtime thought of immortality and the never-ending appreciation for what they do are all factors to why we mourn. It’s also a reminder of our mortality and forces us to use the legacy they’ve left behind as a template for how we should walk in our purpose.

According to Huffington Post, David Kaplan, chief professional officer of the American Counseling Association says, “The passing of someone so admired, whose life was in the public sphere, creates a universal human connection.”

In the age of digital media, I can see how bonds are formed from celebrity death. When you see that you’re not alone in the grieving process, the bond you share with other mourners validates your need to express how you feel without fear of criticism.

It’s totally okay to mourn a celebrity’s death. Everytime an admirable public figure goes home to glory, I hear and read comments like, “You act like (s)he knew you.” , “Why are you so upset?”, and other questions worthy of a faceslap!

1….The person doesn’t have to know us

2…We become upset because we can. There’s no wrong way to grieve. Mourning the death of a celebrity you’ve admired for a long time is no different than mourning an extended family member or the family pet.

 

 

 

 

Image by Steven Meisel

It was on this day in 2012 when we lost an icon… the woman behind the voice that touched millions of fans, young and old

Whitney Houston.

Whitney was one of those artists that had a song for every experience in our lives. Her voice was angelic, yet powerful enough to stir up emotions. From falling in love to heartbreak, Whitney’s music was every woman’s anthem. She touched us with relatable lyrics while belting them out like nobody’s business! She had one of those voices that were distinct, raw, and incomparable. When you heard a Whitney song for the first time, you knew it was her.

She is missed….especially today. As we reflect on the legacy she’s left behind with her timeless catalog of music, we will take a trip down memory lane…in honor of Ms. Houston.

Take as look at Whitney in one of her  first acting gigs, Gimme A Break, with the late great Nell Carter.

Watch this clip of Whitney & Jermaine when they were singing duets. “If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful” is my fave.

 

My favorite upbeat throwback song from Whitney is “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

Watch this interview with Whitney on Video Soul with Donnie Simpson!

Watch Whitney’s legendary performance of “Star Bangled Banner” for the 1991’s Superbowl

My favorite throwback ballad is “Saving All My Love For You”!

Watch this bittersweet video. There’s a moment when she invites her lil girl, Bobbi Christina, to the stage.

In this video, Whitney talks described Aretha Franklin the same way we’ve described her [Whitney]. The Youtube caption reads that Whitney was adorable, classy, and charming at the same time. I couldn’t agree more!

Watch this performance of Whitney and husband Bobby Brown, performing “Something in Common” on The Soul Train Awards.

The United Negro College Fund 44th Anniversary Dinner in 1988 with Michael Jackson and Whitney.

 

One of Whitney’s best hits!

Watching Babyface’s tribute put me through over fifteen minutes of nostalgia. So many good memories popped up in my head, watching the performers. From Tevin Campbell to Babyface himself, all the music that was performed during his tribute was enough to make me realize how indifferent today’s music has become to me. I am musically biased and always will be. No music from today will touch the music from the nineties and even from the eighties. I understand that the generation above mine could say the same about the music I grew up listening to. My generation can say the same about the music of the generation under us. Each generation is accustomed to certain trends and as always we’re always changing with the times and music is no exception. I know the younger generation has their own “Babyface” in Ne-yo, their own “New Edition” in Mindless Behavior, and their own “Brandy” in KeKe Palmer.

That fact still doesn’t change how I feel about the music I grew up as a young lady to. To this day, I still beam with excitement when any of the songs performed by the artists plays on the radio. The music from the nineties reflect the happier times in my life when I didn’t have many responsibilities. The music from the nineties also proves how times has changed. Most of us are not impressed and rather keep the radio turned off.With that said, I appreciate the few stations that keep us happy with throwback music on rotation, because it keeps us balanced. If I can withstand music my almost 12-year-old daughter listen to, she can learn to listen to my favorites.

Tevin Campbell was my favorite male solo artist from the nineties I’m so glad he decided to come out from hiding and surprise us so effortlessly! Brandy did her thing, making me want to re-buy that Waiting To Exhale soundtrack. “Sittin’ Up In My Room” was one of my faves. Fantasia DID THAT AND SOME MORE STUFF! She gives EVERYTHING every time she sings, and she’s soul soulful I pulled cornbread out of the oven… I wasn’t even cooking! Once she sang “Superwoman”, we were immediately reminded that Karyn White was missing. Everyone thought she would’ve been a great addition. Karyn recently posted a video on Facebook, saying she watched with everyone else and had the same question….why wasn’t she a part of the tribute? Click here to see what she had to say.

Bobby Brown was another who was a pleasant surprise to see come out. We all know he’s been through a lot. With that said, I appreciate his courage to come out and do what he does BEST! AND he sang one of my faves. God bless him.

My all-time favorite group, BoyzIIMen came out looking debonair and did an outstanding performance, despite Michael McCary’s departure. They sang two of their Babyface-written hits from their album II. “I’ll Make Love To You” and “End Of The road”. “End Of The Road” was also the Boomerang soundtrack.

Last but definitely not least, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds performed the megahit “Whip Appeal”.Babyface’s entire songwriting catalog is the catalyst for true R&B. That is not a debate!

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