Music Fans Mourn Legend

This past weekend saw the death of one of music’s greatest and most iconic stars, singer Whitney Houston.

Known as one of music’s greatest talents, Houston, 48, was found dead in her bathtub Saturday evening at the Beverly Hills Hotel by her aunt and members of her entourage. The singer was due to attend her mentor, Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy awards party that evening.

The cause of death has not been formally released as of yet, but prescription drugs are being said to  have been involved in the star’s sad end. It was no secret to the public that the golden-voiced singer had an ongoing battle with drug addiction, which started with  her marriage to singer
Bobby Brown.

Her death came on the eve of the Grammys, music’s biggest award show, in which she the singer was once a top winner. The grief and shock hit friends and fans of the singer worldwide, many of them taking to their personal blogs and Twitter to say a few words honoring the late singer.

Despite her personal perils, Houston has been a main source of inspiration for some of today’s most beloved and respected voices. Singers like Alicia Keys, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera have all expressed the impact that Houston had on their careers and the motivation that they drew from Houston’s talent and unrelenting success.

Houston ruled the charts for about a decade and a half, selling 170 million albums worldwide, including seven back-to-back multi-platinum albums.

She also had various No. 1 hits, including the biggest-selling U.S. single ever, “I Will Always Love You.”

She was also the winner of two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards and 22 American Music Awards. It has been quite some time since Houston saw the same success, although her latest album 2009’s I Look To You, debuted at the No. 1 spot in the U.S.

During a promotional interview with MTV, the singer sat alongside Davis and she spoke of the process of creating I Look To You, she said: “I was back at home, with whom I belong with. We’re good partners, we make a good team because we both love music. I’m talking about music with lyric, with great melodies, standards that will last a lifetime for people.”

This is the standard with which she created all her music, songs that would transcended the test of time and became absolutely timeless. The singer’s melodic and effortless voice inspired many of today’s young stars, and captured the hearts of many around the world.

Some of St. John’s University’s most talented singers reside in the Voices of Victory gospel choir. They have similar upbringings in terms of their introductionto music, as Houston too started singing in her church’s choir in Newark, New Jersey-where her funeral will take place later this week.

Although Houston’s major success took place when current students were infants, her timeless talent was able to reach everyone, no matter how their age. Lamar Perry, a senior at St. John’s and member of Voices, said that Houston was a major inspiration for him as a singer and her music was the reason why he ever picked up a microphone.

“Her voice challenges us all to always push further and to be our best,” he said.  “There’s something so raw and intangible in it that reached out and touched your soul.” Perry, like many other students, were firstly introduced to the singer by their parents. Ayanna Miles, freshman, remembers singing her first song, “When you believe,” in kindergarten inspired by a cover Houston did of the song.

Through her music and movies, Houston had a significant impact on the artistic development of countless of people.

“As performers, we’re aiming to be able to give that kind of honesty and depth to our audience,” Perry said about Voices of Victory.

Media reports continue to flood in with details of the singer’s passing and of other details in her life. But as reports begin to slow down, there’s no denying that she will forever live on through her music and will continue to motivate and inspire future artists not only at St. John’s, but around the world as well.