by Emily Goldblum.
Last Saturday news of Whitney Houston’s death took everybody by surprise—especially with the Grammy Awards scheduled for the next night. According to investigators, the cause of Houston’s death is still undetermined, but drinking, prescription drugs, drowning or even a heart attack have all been discussed.
In the meantime, fans all over the world are mourning the superstar—and her tragic legacy. She will be remembered most for her blockbuster hit “I Will Always Love You,” her role in the 1992 film “The Bodyguard” and her empowering influence on a generation of women.
Students at CCNY are feeling the loss and wondering why she died.
“Knowing that Whitney Houston had a history of drug abuse, I think the most probable cause of her death is drug overdose,” says Angela Farooqi, 21. “Nonetheless for the monumental figure she was, it’s a terrible loss in music history.”
Even though so much of her music was released over a decade ago, students recognize the impact of her albums. “When I was a kid my mom used to have Whitney Houston’s cassette tape and I used to make her play it over and over again,” says Nicole Ohm, a CCNY junior psychology major. “I would sing ‘and I will always love shoes’ because I was so little and didn’t know the words. I loved that song!”
Another student, Nicole Mitchell, 24, majoring in MCA, says, “She will always be a legend. The music business won’t see talent like her in a while. It’s unfortunate the way she died. It’s a testament to what drugs can do to you.”
Despite all the talk of Houston’s death, some don’t see what all the buzz is about. “People die every day from war and diseases and they aren’t on the news or being honored,” argues Lilibeth Guerrero, 23, also an MCA major. “Her death from an overdose isn’t something that should be exonerated.”
Will this teach the world a lesson about the abuse of drugs? Junior Colin McIntyre believes it will: “I think Whitney’s death will be the defining moment in American history where we take a serious look at prescription drug use in America.”