Remembering Whitney Houston

For the next few days (maybe a week?), we’re going to find ourselves engrossed in the details of Whitney’s death, her life story, and oh yeah her music. I’ll be upfront and admit that I don’t actually have real experience and connection listening to Whitney Houston, so there won’t be any false “she was gone too soon” laments. Quite frankly, any death can be considered gone too soon, but that’s besides the point. Whitney Houston was a great singer, whose voice could pack a punch and provoke a stadium to roar in its approval. However, what I reflect upon the most when discussing about Whitney is the video of her rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl way back. It’s great because man that voice was great, and it was very helpful for personal use. How so? Well for the past five years or so, my parents belong to this Vietnamese group that put on a fundraising event for the Vietnamese community. It’s an interesting celebration that features Vietnamese traditions celebrated in an American setting, but perhaps that will be a different post. Before the Vietnamese national anthem is played, the “Star Spangled Banner” goes first. One year, when all the singers arrived late, the event did not have anyone to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” (This was a serious problem: Do you want to hear our nation’s song butchered by people who could sing but couldn’t speak a lick of English? Or do you want a bunch of English speaking kids singing in cracked voices?). In the end, a compromise was made, as I just burned a copy of Whitney’s version and we played it without a hitch. Whitney Houston, savior of a Vietnamese event, you were gone too soon.


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