Receiving this honor would have been important to Whitney Houston, who died in 2012. Her mother and sister-in-law were present for the ceremony.
Whitney Houston grew up around strong female figures who showed her the ropes of the music industry. Whitney was the daughter of Cissy Houston, a gospel singer and back-up vocalist who worked with stalwarts like Otis Redding, cousin of Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and the goddaughter of fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love. Music was around her and inside her, and it only makes sense that she received the greatest honors for her talent, while she was alive. Even after death, Whitney is continuing to rake in tributes.
The Bodyguard actress and singer was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame posthumously and her mom got emotional during the ceremony. "I’m so very, very proud that Whitney’s being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," said Cissy, according to the Los Angeles Times. "She wanted to be something, not anything. She worked hard at it too," she added. Whitney also holds the Guinness World Record for being the most honored female singer of all time.
Whitney's sister-in-law and former manager Pat Houston said, "This is something that Whitney always wanted. I remember, in 2009, we were in London and Whitney looked at me, and she said, 'This is really special, but there’s only one thing missing: I’ve got to get the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.'"
"Yeah, she did it," Cissy chimed in.
"This moment right now proves it all: That there’s only one, matchless Whitney Houston," Pat said in the induction acceptance speech. "And tonight, she would be very proud and honored to receive this award." Whitney's mother was so emotional that she couldn't continue talking. "I’m proud of who she was," Cissy said. "What can I say now? If I talk too long, I’ll cry. I don’t want to cry. So thank you!"
Those who knew and loved her also spoke about how important she was to them. As per the Hollywood Reporter, singer Jennifer Hudson, who performed the 2012 Grammy tribute to Whitney the day after her death, said, "Being a little girl, seeing this goddess command the stage with her presence and then voice… [I was] thinking 'I want to be like that someday.'"
Alicia Keys introduced her earlier that night, saying, "We all know how her unprecedented success brought Black women into the absolute highest reaches of the music industry's pantheon. We all know her music will live forever."
Whitney continues to be relevant, even eight years after her death, as her talent was spectacular. Recently, singer-songwriter Charlie Puth recommended that we hear her 1991 version of the Star-Spangled Banner after the presidential election results, reported LATimes.
The I Will Always Love You singer died on February 11, 2012, a night before the Grammy awards. She died of accidental drowning and was found face down in a water-filled bathtub with drug paraphernalia nearby, as per ABC News. Unfortunately, the talented singer and mother-of-one was addicted to narcotics and despite trying to kick the habit multiple times, she had not been able to.
In the room, a "small spoon" was found, as per the coroner's report. Items like that are reportedly used to snort cocaine. "Some people use a spoon for cocaine administration," a law enforcement official involved in Houston's case said. "These days it's likely around for meth, which was not found at the scene, according to the investigator, so likely used as inhalation tool."
Multiple medications and traces of cocaine were found in her system. It was also found that she smoked marijuana, which is legal in California for medicinal purposes, within two weeks before her death. After the reports came out, her family had been surprised that she was using again.
Pat blamed Whitney's undoing to a lifestyle change where the singer was "chasing a dream ... looking for comfort, love ... and it was younger." She added that the Higher Love singer was chasing someone "that would ultimately hurt her."
She had said she was "saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure."