Whitney Houston death Whitney Houston death

Whitney, We Wish You Well

I cried inside when I heard the news about Whitney Houston. I was unbelievably shocked and in denial... and puzzled. I did not know I'd be this sad over Whitney's passing. Her death was so sudden and untimely that my emotions were stunned. But once that hazy cloud of disbelief faded, I felt immediately and deeply saddened. Our national treasure, the Voice, had been riddled by a cataclysm of hard times, ravaged by drug addiction and railroaded by fame. Not only did we lose yet another icon (I liken this whole experience to losing MJ), but many of us, myself included, forgot to cherish her while we had the chance. Of course, most of us would stumble upon a classic every no and then, recall a Houston-laced memory, but ultimately, a lot of us (admit it or not) had forgotten to wish her well during her battle.

In 1985, the former model debuted her self-titled album under the watchful care of Clive Davis. Although unable to identify with her at that time (for obvious reasons), my parents didn't hesitate to wrap me up in Houston's powerhouse vocals when I was old enough. I remember, at such a young age, reaching for her cassette tapes to dance around the living room with my dad. My favorite? You can probably guess: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."

She had a myriad of singles that I didn't know. When an artist dies, you kind of realize just how many tracks you don't recall from their catalog. But as the core of why we loved her rotated on music networks, I instantly realized which songs were the soundtracks to my life. "Your Love is My Love," "It's Not Right But It's Okay," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)," "I'm Every Woman," "I Have Nothing," and the list goes on. More of the 90s Whitney is what I remember (Cinderella, The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale and their soundtracks included), but towards the end of that bright decade came such an ugly descent. After giving us some much musically, her addiction eclipsed her effortless talent. Sadly, many fans ran off and poked fun at the falling star. And like a time capsule, people decided to dig up her greatness only when she was gone.

At the time of her death, I wanted to blame Bobby for sending our princess on a tailspin. But I couldn't. Hell, I had to blame fame somehow, right? But in all of this, I forgot to blame myself for not treasuring such a legend while she was here. After seeing her fall so far, I gave up. Guilty as charged, I flippantly dismissed Just Whitney and I Look To You.

I respected all of what she gave to us but forgot to continually pay homage or feed her music to today's generation. Only in these last few days have I been able to verbalize what I forgot she and the songs she sung meant to my life. Music is funny that way; it's a very "right now" type of thing. She got lost in the current state of iTunes playlist. Still, our lioness Whitney resurfaced and even released critically acclaimed final albums, but few kept in step with her recovery. A lot of us truly forgot to pray for this artist who gave her life to entertaining and inspiring us. She gave little black girls confidence, she made little black singers want chart-topping, worldwide success and she provided a down-to-earth kindness that made any young girl watching believe in miracles, indeed. Shit, Whitney easily schooled us about life and love in a matter of minutes during any ballad or uptempo cut.

Even in her last days, she still administered some of those things to those around her. A few clips from Grammy Weekend show her a bit frazzled, visibly still fighting demons but lovable, kind. However, all is forgiven. Now, we wish to only see the positive light she shined for so many years alongside timeless legends. Today, I pray that Whitney finds paradise away from this place. Unfortunately, my wish for her true wellness comes when I know she'll indeed find it, but I'm secure in knowing how she enriched my youth and touched so many others. Those memories will forever be etched in my life's book, and on account of all that, I believe God has finally given her the complete solace she deserves.

Rest in peace, Whitney Houston.

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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