"Any song is a great song of Whitney Houston’s. You heard her gospel roots all wrapped up in her music," said her sister-in-law Pat Houston.
Whitney Houston's extremely talented vocals were rooted in gospel music before she ascended to pop superstardom.
Houston's brother recalled how his younger sister used to listen to their mother during gospel practices, before mimicking every song that was performed. “Gospel was in her heart,” said Gary Houston, who remembered his then 5-year-old sister wearing their mother Cissy Houston's wig and high heels and using a broom as a microphone. “We woke up to and went to sleep to gospel. She would sing exactly what she heard my mother and her siblings. No secular music. It was all gospel,” he said.
11 years after her passing, Houtson's sister-in-law Pat and brother Gary Houston want the foundation of her musical legacy to carry on through her new posthumous gospel album and documentary, I Go to the Rock: The Gospel Music of Whitney Houston, per NBC News.
Whitney Houston began performing as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Her naturally powerful vocals anchored in the Black church but made palatable to the people with her musical image made her one of the world's best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s.
“You heard the innocence of her voice,” said Pat Houston. “You could see where she started and how she ended up with all her hits throughout her career. Any song is a great song of Whitney Houston’s. You heard her gospel roots all wrapped up in her music.”
It was understandable that the family needed time to mourn following Whitney Houston's passing in 2012. Gary, her brother, said he still feels his sister's presence whenever it rains or when a bird visits him at home, and that “when the doorbell rings, I think it's her.”
But Gary and Pat Houston believe they are in a better position now. That's one of the reasons Pat believes now is the ideal time to release the gospel-focused projects, particularly with Easter coming up next month and Whitney Houston's 60th birthday party in August.
Whitney Houston rose to pop superstardom though her vocals were rooted in gospel music. Now, her family wants the foundation of her musical legacy to continue to live on through her new posthumous gospel album and documentary.— theGrio.com (@theGrio) March 28, 2023
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“An Easter project is something she always wanted to do since her visit to Israel,” Pat Houston said. “It never came to fruition. We’re doing this all through Whitney’s lens. It’s special because this is her 60th birthday celebration. This project is definitely a labor of love for her. It represents her in such a very spiritual way.”
“Hopefully one could have peace and knowing that Whitney Houston was a woman of God,” she said. “No one is really exempt from the harsh realities of the world. She certainly understood that. But Whitney expressed her love for God. She knew where her strength was coming from and she showed it throughout the documentary.”
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain