“After This Week, Whitney Houston Will Disappear from the Airwaves”

That’s a quote from Tom Kent, an American broadcaster who has some pretty strong opinions on the legacy of Whitney Houston. Here’s more:

The reason why Whitney will never be a ‘classic’ artist is because the record labels designed her music to be disposable. It was mostly synthesized and had a high burn factor, setting the stage for the next Whitney single. It was brilliant short-term marketing of one of the most gifted performers of our time, but the long-term effect was that her music has not stood the test of time.

Fightin’ words, huh.  More here.

I agree with Tom.  When a friend texted me with the news last Saturday night, one of the first things I thought was “Wow, I haven’t even THOUGHT of Whitney Houston for years!”  And judging from some record sales figures, neither had a lot of people.

As I point out in this week’s music sales report, Whitney sold more albums Saturday night and Sunday than she did for all of 2011 and 2012 combined.  Unlike Michael Jackson, she wasn’t a steady seller nor was she on the same superstar level as he was. There’s going to be a huge spike in sales and attention for a week and then things will go back to normal.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on ““After This Week, Whitney Houston Will Disappear from the Airwaves”

  • February 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I also agree with Tom.
    Great voice, average songs. Either over-wrought ballads that she sang the hell out of or forgettable dance pop numbers.
    If we compare her to another great singer we lost during the past year, Etta James, there is a lady with a musical legacy. Fifty years later, "At Last" still pops up on movie soundtracks. I doubt the same will happen with "I Will Always Love You," or any of Whitney's hits.


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