Whitney Houston—the pop princess of the ‘80s and ‘90s—died tonight at the age of 48.
I’m not going to pretend that I was some sort of huge Whitney Houston fan or anything. That seems pretty pointless and awfully cliché to do after a celebrity has passed away.
Admittedly, I dug a handful of her songs—I still rock out to “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” on a nearly bi-weekly basis—and I thought she was smoking hot when I was like nine years old. That’s about it.
I’m also not going to downplay how amazing she was for a ten-year stretch in the ’80s and ’90s. She had an amazing voice that has almost never been rivaled and she deserves all of the accolades she’s ever received for her abilities.
I’m also not going to pretend that her “sudden, unexpected” death is any sort of shock.
Houston has been in a downward spiral for the better part of two decades thanks to excessive drug use that stemmed from her rocky relationship with ex-husband Bobby Brown.
She claimed to have kicked the habit a few years back and offered up her oft-mocked “crack is whack” statement while discussing her drug use, but it all rang hollow given how often we’ve seen addicts fall back into the same habits despite their assurances that they’re clean and sober.
In recent years, she has been a shell of the performer she once was and it has been pretty obvious that her once-in-a-generation voice was long gone.
The details surrounding her cause of death are still unknown as of this posting, but—unless she was hit by a blimp—I’m going to go out on a limb and say drug use probably played a factor.
It is always sad when someone dies.
It is even sadder when someone who is beloved by millions and possesses such a genuine, life-altering gift passes on.
It is even sadder still when they pass on at such a young age.
This is certainly a sad situation.
What it is not, however, is a surprise or a shock or unexpected. And that just might be the saddest part of the whole damn thing.