Originally, I had vague notions of this week’s blog being about either music in nature or customized ringtones. The gorgeous weather here this past week has led to wandering outside and the other morning I heard some birds singing. Later that same day, while standing in line at the grocery store, the woman in front of me had her phone ringer set to “the Wicked Witch of the West” theme song. When she answered the call with a “Hi Mother,” I couldn’t contain my snort of laughter. Both of these instances were enough to start my mental gerbils running and I thought they would be good potential blog starting points.
However, when I logged online, the story that was being screamed at me from the headlines was Whitney Houston’s death and the resulting social media fallout. It’s been two weeks since Houston has passed and everyday my Facebook news feed is still flooded with comments on various sides of the Whitney Houston fan club. I feel as though it is only appropriate to spend a few moments on this issue.
On the one hand, there are those who believe that when Whitney Houston died, society lost something special. News outlets like the Huffington Post have published articles defending her as a hero. Meanwhile, individuals have been up in arms over everything from her manner of death to her funeral arrangements. This article on Jezebel sums everything up really pretty nicely, from the timeline of posts to the array of opinions.
While we could spend hours and lots of space dissecting the social media reactions to Whitney Houston’s death, I wanted instead to look at what she left behind: her music. Despite any personal opinions about Whitney Houston’s life, her death, her drug use and her tumultuous marriage, it cannot be denied that she left behind a musical legacy. During her career, Whitney Houston sold over 170 million albums and had seven number one hits. If Whitney Houston’s iconic music can be used in music therapy and helpful to those struggling at various points in their lives, whatever flaws she had in life can be balanced by the good her music can do.
Children like Gloria Mengel use music for energy and to help them get through the day. Gloria has a special affinity to Michael Jackson’s music. While Michael Jackson may seem like a really unfortunate hero choice for a child, if his music is helping her get through two rounds of cancer, blindness, aphasia and a stroke, there can be only goodness and hope in something that gives her strength. The same holds true for Whitney Houston’s music. Past her tragic death, her music may live on to inspire others.
What are your thoughts and opinions on Whitney Houston’s life, death and musical legacy?
Thanks to Asterix611 for use of their photo.