I remember watching Whitney Houston videos as a kid. I thought she was so beautiful, her caramel skin and superior vocals proving a stark contrast to the typical pop stars of the day.
Alongside Madonna and Michael Jackson, Houston's music was a slumber party staple in my formative years.
She was absolutely the first female pop star that prompted me to convert hairbrush into microphone. In the 6th grade at the local Skateland roller rink, I'd turn in to "Whitney on wheels" when her songs played. Years later, I would have the pleasure of promoting her artistry over the airwaves.
She paved the way for many, setting a near impossible bar for all female vocalists who hoped to accomplish even a fraction of her success. Whitney Houston was a defining voice of my generation.
While she was certainly unique, Whitney Houston was not an anomaly. Many artists (especially those who start young) struggle to re-invent themselves over time, which can be a difficult task under a cruel and unforgiving spotlight.
The blessing and curse that is worldwide fame has led to the self destruction of many of our greatest contributors.
Tabloid media gains from these unfortunate occurrences, documenting the most vulnerable in their darkest days and pumping it out for mass consumption.
This practice and the effect it has had on our society is (in my opinion) the ugliest part of mass media. My heart aches for Ms. Houston's family, mostly for Bobbi Kristina.
While fans and friends reflect on the life, career and untimely death of Whitney Houston, women who work within the music industry have much to say about an artist who touched them on a deeper level.
Ms. Houston was a mother, daughter, friend, a woman dealing with pressures few could ever understand.
Here are accounts from women behind the scenes in music and broadcast media who have been impacted by the loss of a musical icon.
On a personal note, I take great comfort in knowing the last song Whitney Houston sang on public stage was "Jesus Loves Me". God rest her soul.