by Kivoli Thomas
The 1980s brought about revolutionary changes in the music industry and the scene became more diverse. Music was also a huge marketing tool for companies who used hit songs and hot performers to sell their products.
Coming from a family of prominent soul singers, Whitney Houston was one of he world’s best selling musicians worldwide. After being discovered by Clive Davis, she released seven studio albums and three movie soundtracks. All of which have certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold. Houston was also the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits.
In 1985, Paul Porter worked as Assistant music director for WKYS Kiss FM in Washington, DC when Davis brought Houston into the station for her first interview. It was also the first time the station would play the lead single “You Give Good Love” from her self-titled debut album, Whitney Houston in the United States.
“The record had what we call ‘low fatigue’. You could hear it over and over and never get tired of it. I had plaques from everybody, it’s the only plaque I kept. She was real personable, her mom had trained her well,” said Porter.
After a special dinner set up by Arista Records at the Water Gate with about 20 other people, everyone knew she was going to be big. Houston went from black radio, to pop radio, to the #1 song in the country.
“We’re talking about a super star in the 1980s. That’s when music was music and every black woman wanted to be Whitney Houston. There’s nothing like being able to break like she did at that time,” said Porter.
The legendary singer was found dead in the bathtub of her 4th floor Beverly Hilton hotel, she was 48. Whitney’s body was removed from the room on a gurney. It will go to the morgue for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
R.I.P. Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012)