One of the saddest stories in the history of popular music is that of Whitney Houston. At or near the zenith of her career, things began to unravel.
Today, her greatest gift — that once remarkable voice — seems in danger of possibly becoming as damaged as her image.
At a time when her personal and professional conditions were in need of emergency treatment, Houston chose to do a reality TV show, not to mention that hurtful “20/20” interview with Diane Sawyer in which she made the infamous statement that “crack is wack” as part of the denials that fell of deaf ears around the country.
Natalie Cole is another superstar songstress — also with famous family ties — who got sidetracked by drug addiction, resulting in everything spiraling out of control. It got so bad (in the early 1980s) that her mother had to take over her business affairs and custody of her son.
However, Cole did all the things she needed to do to get herself together, and like Robert Downey Jr., made a major resurgence with most of the public cheering her on. (Sadly, there were serious health matters related to past drug use that later surfaced.)
But Natalie Cole, like her father, Nat “King” Cole, has always been a class act and the ultimate professional. Faster than one might expect, she was back on the scene…recording, performing, etc., even singing for President Obama at the White House. She remained “unforgettable.”
Another difference is that Cole was ultimately honest whereas Houston chose to lie.
We wish both ladies the very best.
IN ADDITION to admiring Denzel Washington for his remarkable acting skills, one of the things I like most about him is his affable personality and, just as important, the fact that he is so comfortable with his age. (He will be 56 next month.)
This is even more impressive considering the fact that he has been tagged a sex symbol for the duration of his career, in a profession that overemphasizes physical appearance.
I also appreciate him for the work he has done for so many years with Boys and Girls Clubs of America, an organization that helped him a great deal when he was a child.
Whoopi Goldberg has plenty of things to be proud of career-wise, and none more so than being one of only ten people ever to win an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy. (The “big four.”)
R. Kelly, who has certainly had his share of troubles, has a new album coming out Dec. 14 titled “Love Letter.”
KATHERINE JACKSON, matriarch of the Jackson family, is a special lady. There is a certain quiet dignity, plus honesty and a good heart. She has, of course, gone through a myriad of trials, including the death of her son, Michael, preceded by his years of drug dependency and misguided plastic surgery.
So much for a lady, who is now 80, to have to deal with. The Maya Angelou book title comes to mind: “And Still I Rise.”
Speaking of writers, Terry McMillan is to be commended for speaking out publicly against all the trashy Black books being published incessantly, and are displayed alongside works by respected authors — all identified as Black literature. McMillan says so many of these books are “poorly written, poorly edited and embarrassing.”
SORRY TO hear about NBC canceling Boris Kodjoe’s series, “Undercover.” With complete candor he said, “I’m sad and disappointed. I love the show. I wish they’d given us a chance to find our place.” And to end on a lighter note, he said to his fans, “Now I have to find a job. Let me know if you hear of any openings!”
Hopefully, Spirit of Life Films will do justice to Florence Ballard in the biopic “Blondie,” scheduled to be released next summer.