accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Whitney Houston remembered by those with Atlanta ties

Photo credit: Patrick Demarchelier

Photo credit: Patrick Demarchelier

 When Whitney Houston’s self-titled debut album exploded in 1985, she duitifully followed its success with a tour.

She possessed an angelic voice, but performing didn’t come naturally to her, a professional shortcoming that would frequently be noted throughout her career.

 Her first Atlanta stops were a double shot at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

 Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, remembers she was always surrounded by a phalanx of handlers and seemed like she was trying to find her live footing.

 “She had incredible talent, but she was never very comfortable on stage. She wasn’t a James Brown or someone to whom performing came naturally,” Conlon said.

 The last time Houston performed in Atlanta, according to Conlon, was about four years ago at the Fox Theatre. About a year ago, he looked into booking the singer at the Fox, but based on negative publicity her tour was garnering overseas, decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

 “It would have been good,” Conlon said, then added, “You hate seeing anyone with that kind of talent go. We just lost Etta James and she was in her 70s…There are only so many talented people in the world and she was one of them.”

 In October, Houston wrapped a remake of the 1976 Irene Cara film, “Sparkle,” which stars Jordin Sparks and Atlanta’s Cee Lo Green. Houston plays the mother of Sparks’ character and was the executive producer for the film, set for release Aug. 17.

 Atlanta publicist Saptosa Foster told the AJC that Houston was “phenomenal” on set.

 “I got nothing but glowing reviews,” Foster said. “They were really preparing to show that Whitney is an amazing and incredible talent. She’s stable and on top of her game.”

 Many Atlanta musicians and artists who knew or worked with Houston during her years living in Alpharetta and beyond –such as Jermaine Dupri and Kandi Burruss – and were too distraught to talk Saturday night, just hours after the news broke.

 Burruss, however, provided the AJC with an emailed comment regarding the loss of her friend:

 ”I wrote, ‘Tell Me No,’ a song from Whitney’s, ‘Just Whitney’ CD, along with Annie Roboff and Holly Lamar.  L.A. Reid heard it and wanted it for her.  He enlisted Babyface to reproduce the record and while in a session with him, Whitney and Bobby came in.

It was an amazing day for me because I’d put her on a pedestal as a child and would always mimic her songs growing up.  One of the best moments about that day was discovering how funny Whitney was. She had me cracking up the whole night with her jokes; it was such a FUN time!  Whitney made me feel like family and I am blessed that I had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of the woman that will go down in history as one of the best of our time.”

With the 54th annual Grammy Awards airing Sunday night, it seemed appropriate to remember Whitney Houston’s Grammy accomplishments. Interestingly, she never was nominated for Best New Artist.

Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan will reportedly perform a tribute to Houston during Sunday’s ceremony.

  •  1985 – Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, “Saving All My Love for You”
  •  1987 – Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”
  •  1993 – Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, “I Will Always Love You”
  •  1993 – Album of the Year, “The Bodyguard – Original Soundtrack”
  •  1993 – Record of the Year, “I Will Always Love You”
  •  1999 – Best Female R&B Vocal, “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay”

Talk of Houston’s death predictably commanded the Twitter-verse Saturday night. My colleague, Alexis Stevens, complied some tweets from several musicians mourning her death.

39 comments Add your comment

sonic youth

February 12th, 2012
2:12 am

sonic youth

February 12th, 2012
2:21 am

Say what you will, but that girl could SANG! Very sad. Much appreciate her contributions to the music world on her short time here… She will be missed. God bless.

Dwayne

February 12th, 2012
3:29 am

Great loss, she will be missed. I first saw her perform at the Moonshadow Saloon in the early 80s before many people ever heard of her.

Connie

February 12th, 2012
3:39 am

So sad!!! Make all the jokes you want people but Whitney was an incredible singer. It is so *^*^#% sad what drugs do to people.

Bev

February 12th, 2012
4:19 am

I grew up listening to Whitney. I am very saddened by her death and no matter the problems she had in her life, she was a talented and beautiful person. Rest Whitney, you have earned your wings…..

CAP

February 12th, 2012
4:33 am

Enter your comments here

CAP

February 12th, 2012
4:42 am

I woke up this morning to hear the tragic news on CNN of the death of Whitney Houston. My heart felt as if some one had rip a hole in it. I wish I had an opportunity to tell her how much I love her and appreciated her talent but I can’t. People when you awake this morning call and tell someone you love them because it may be the last time you get the opportunity. We all go through life with ups and downs but through God’s grace we continue on. Let’s stop tearing each other down and help when problems come. If anyone goes through this life without mistake then he or she is lying.
Whitney I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. My deepest love and prayer to the Houston Family.

scallywag

February 12th, 2012
6:55 am

The singer for many serves as a reminder of the heady days of the 80′s and 90′s when she first appeared on the landscape with her dazzling looks and even more dazzling voice but with her eventual degeneration and capitulation the illusion of grandeur and invincibility began to fade which in some way hinted at the disillusionment the star experienced but probably says more about the public’s own addiction that their hero (never mind her addictions) could no longer be the role model that we demanded her to be.

Then again why the relentless pursuit of making entertainers heroes in the first place and should we really be surprised that it came to this, the eve of a ceremony that she once reigned supreme?

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/02/theory-emerges-that-whitney-houston-may-have-died-due-to-prescription-drugs/

jimmie

February 12th, 2012
7:46 am

Just another human. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Don’t worship the dead; pray for the living.

a

February 12th, 2012
8:06 am

It is sad that people are being so harsh when everyone knows someone who has had issues with substance abuse. Admit it or not. Neighbor, church member, co worker, friend, class mate, or family member. Whitney was amazing! She will be dearly missed….An icon

tripledart

February 12th, 2012
8:41 am

So sad reminds me of Dorthy Dandridge story.The best female singer of all time.
There is a special place in hell for Bobby meth Brown.

LEMONDROP7

February 12th, 2012
8:50 am

Today, Whitney is in paradise

Jamal

February 12th, 2012
9:14 am

I’m anxiously awaiting Rev Al Sharpton’s apology to Whitney Houston’s fam. She’s not black enough remember? So she married Bobby Brown. Now she’s dead. The blood is on their hands. Crack Kills.

LOOKING UP

February 12th, 2012
9:16 am

EARTH HAS NO SORROW, THAT HEAVEN CANNOT HEAL !!!!!!!!!!!!

Name (required)

February 12th, 2012
9:24 am

Her crack dealer is the saddest of all today. There goes that Rolls Royce payment

tim

February 12th, 2012
9:33 am

CRACK IS WACK

Cracked

February 12th, 2012
10:21 am

Drugs and money and talent and an entourage of fools. Did I mention bobby brown?

Lisamone

February 12th, 2012
10:28 am

God only knows the demons you dealt with, the hurt, shame of it all. When Clive Davis introduced you to the world, you were loved for that angelic voice of yours. You will always be loved by your millions of fans around the world. No more pain or suffering, God has you wrapped in his arms now.

John

February 12th, 2012
10:36 am

I saw her Ms. Houston maybe 12 years ago when she came to court locally in a case involving charges of her husband’s domestic violence. There is no way on earth I would have recognized her had someone not told me who she was—-emaciated, yellow teeth, almost skanky. None of us knows what secret sorrows she harbored or how she may have battled her addiction, but I think anyone toying with the idea of recreational hard drug use would think twice having seen her in the shape she was in when I encountered her.

Jamal

February 12th, 2012
10:39 am

Imagine that! Drugs were found in the hotel bathroom where is drowned in the tub. Big surprise! The media will try and portray her as “an incredible talent” like this article. Yes she was, at sniffing cocaine! Look at her most recent pics on drudge, she did it to herself. Her death is not tragic. She was just another that couldn’t handle the spotlight. She was no daisy!

Len

February 12th, 2012
10:53 am

Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone…….. Rest in peace Whitney. We will surely be missed. Love you!

Chaz

February 12th, 2012
10:55 am

What the HELL!!! Dont blame Bobby B. for Whitneys downfall, contrary to popular belief Whitney was heavy dosing long before Bobby showed up, and as you could tell from the reality show, Bobby was not the one out of his mind after all. I love Whitney, but Whitney had alot of issues created by Whitney. Bobby is clean, remarried and appears to be just fine. Whitney struggled longer with addiction because she was around it and on it much longer than Bobby and much more than folks care to realize. This is a tragic moment for the Queen of Pop, but dont point fingers about who was responsible, ultimately you control your own life. We are only here for a short while, so make the best of it..RIP WHITNEY!!!!

Tonya

February 12th, 2012
11:04 am

It is really unfortunate how people especially the media is speculating on how she died.. What does it matter? She is gone.. She is mother, daugher, sister, that’s what is important..
NO ONE lives forever or knows the day or hour when their physical time is up on earth.. Some people should Focus on that and where you will spend eternity..life here is temporary… Live your life to the fullest and stop judging… we are all sinners.. No sin is better or worst than the another..

Jo yBarnes

February 12th, 2012
11:08 am

Wrong!! Whitney’s first LIVE performance in Atlanta was at the Moon Shadow Saloon! Check your facts! Few things worse than reading misinformation in Atlanta’s (supposed) premiere (?) daily news source.Is there an EDITOR in your house?

Tonya

February 12th, 2012
11:15 am

Three of the realizations when a person realizes they made it to Heaven or Hell…

1. I made it to Heaven or Hell.
2. I see people here that I did not think would be here.
3. I don’t see people that I thought would be here.

Melissa Ruggieri

February 12th, 2012
11:33 am

Joy Barnes: I never said the Chastain shows were Whitney’s first-ever in Atlanta; I said they were the first Atlanta shows she played on the tour to support her debut album.

Name (required)

February 12th, 2012
11:50 am

Joy Barnes…..”Few things worse than reading misinformation in Atlanta’s (supposed) premiere (?) daily news source.” is a fragment, not a complete sentence. Is there an EDITOR in YOUR house?

atlnative

February 12th, 2012
11:57 am

My former wife and I saw Ms.Houston on a Sunday night at the Moonshadow Lounge near Emory University.I remember what Ms.Houston wore that night:A simple red dress with black shoes.She said,”If you give me a little bit of you, you can have all of me”.Whitney Houston went on to give us one of the greatest live performances I’ve ever seen.She’s had the best singing voice of my generation,hands down.You can’t tell me listening to “I will always love you” doen’t move you emotionally! Another great artist gone too soon!

Morris

February 12th, 2012
12:18 pm

Amen my sister

Morris

February 12th, 2012
12:22 pm

The corone has not yet issued a cause of death.But yet so many people have rushed to judgement.

dawg151

February 12th, 2012
2:21 pm

Tragic does not begin to describe the situation. Will be remembered as one of the most beautiful voices to ever perform. Will also be remembered as one of the most wasted talents on the face of the earth as well. Never conquered her demons. Attitude and surroundings take most of the blame there. Leaving a beautiful, talented daughter to “fend for herself” is just as tragic…..We will miss the voice, and the potential talent that was unfinished, but not the pretentious attitude and resulting chaos that followed. May the family and friends be comforted by prayer, and memories. May the ones left in her wake LEARN from her shortcommings…….

Cracked

February 12th, 2012
2:39 pm

Use crack see Jesus sooner.
Where was Al Sharpton and Jesse J when she needed them. No doubt they will be out in front at her memorial service acting as if she was there baby sista…..

Alan

February 12th, 2012
3:47 pm

Whooooooo cares? I love how the media is acting like she was so great. She was nothing but a druggie.

joey

February 12th, 2012
5:34 pm

The price of Crack just went way down, one of the largest consumers is gone!

don

February 12th, 2012
6:46 pm

She was a very nasty person. She had a reputation for being difficult and abusive of many people. I worked in a hotel in Tampa where she stayed when she sang at Superbowl. She was abusive and nasty to the General Manager down to the Housekeeping Staff, and she seemed to enjoy making everyone miserable. She cussed me out when I politely tried to extend a call. Could she sing? Yes, but she warbeled and hollered a lot and whomever arranged for her was less than kind. Yet I do hope she is at peace. She did not seem like a very happy person and she went through a lot of misery – so today I believe she is in a better place, and I pray for her and her family. She made some really bad choices and Bad Bob Bobby Brown was the biggest one of them, though only she was responsible for the bad decisions she made. She would have made a great Opera singer. I say that because she had a very powerful instrument. She was a stunning lady – quite pretty, indeed. I agree this is a media moment for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Bad Boy Bobby Brown, which rather sickens me. I do hope the media respects whatever her family wants. They have been through a lot.

donna

February 12th, 2012
8:38 pm

I can’t believe another phenomenal singer gone too soon. I grew up listening to her angelic voice, the music would soothe the soul and put a glow of love in your heart. Whitney will be deeply missed but, I know that she is in God’s arms and she is singing his praises and she is now our Heavenly spirit. My heart goes out to her family especially her Daughter, may she find peace within her heart and may God guide her along the way. love to you Whitney RIP…………………..

Kem

February 12th, 2012
11:32 pm

@ JoYBarnes, Glad you made the correction on that 1st Whitney ATL performance at the MoonShadow. That spot later became “Rumors”. Great show. I had a feeling she was going to “blow up”. RIP

[...] your latest hot ticket info. Atlanta Music Scene RSS feed … … Read the rest here: Whitney Houston remembered by those with Atlanta ties | Atlanta … ← Dolly Parton: I Was Brought to Tears Last Night « Nashville Music [...]

[...] your latest hot ticket info. Atlanta Music Scene RSS feed … … Read the rest here: Whitney Houston remembered by those with Atlanta ties | Atlanta … ← Dolly Parton: I Was Brought to Tears Last Night « Nashville Music [...]