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Is Houston’s Voice At Its ‘Whit’s’ End?

Yes, we know. Whitney Houston's voice is shot. We surmised as much after listening to the tracks from her new album, I Look To You. However, it was never more evident and obvious than after this morning's performance on Good Morning America. Although she looked great on the big stage (stunning, even!), to say the multiple Grammy award winning diva struggled and strained to hit notes that in the past would simply be part of her warmup routine would be an understatement. It was almost painful to watch at times. But that's because we're spoiled. It's because we grew up on the bombastic, otherworldly voice that brought grown men to their knees. The voice that would hit runs for breakfast, eat octaves for lunch and slay scales for dinner. Whitney + Power Voice were synonymous. Unfortunately, that era has passed. And not gracefully, either. Some say it doesn't matter. That even this much of Whitney is much better than what most of the singers on the R&B scene are offering nowadays.  I disagree. When asked by Dianne Sawyer what helped her get through the tough times, Whitney responded: "Faith." For now, I'll keep the faith that her voice can get stronger the more she sings. However, it will never be what it once was. The voice that spoiled me and the generation that grew up with it. In the meantime, if you missed the GMA performance, the clips are after the bounce. Let us know what you think when you're done viewing.

"Million Dollar Bill"

"I Look To You"

"My Love Is Your Love"

"I'm Every Woman"


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19 Responses

  1. you're right. It's a pity watching and listening to her in this way. I grew up with her amazing voice and I can't avoid to remember the 90's Whitney when I see these performances...also I think this Whitney have a new voice, a little bit as a truck driver but with personality and charismathic much better than a lot of R&B young artists.
    I hope her voice will improve the more she performs.
    Regards from Spain,
    Pol-Juslisen

  2. People need to lighten up ... It's gonna take her a minute to regain her strength. Can you imagine how nervous she probably was? I'm starting to think people want to see this chick fail. None of us should expect golden-era Nippy considering all she's been through. Personally, I'm just glad to see her trying to get her life and career back on track.

  3. Harlem, I couldn't agree, MORE. As I stated to a friend of mine, Clive must REALLY love this woman's dirty drawls, to even begin to imagine she could repeat her extraordinary past. Whitney's voice will NEVER be the same, and THIS affirms it. It's tragic. A travesty, even. Will she tour, and if so, how many dates could her already RAVAGED voice sustain???? Whatever the case, I won't be purchasing "I Look To You". I'll just revel in the memories of what WAS. LOL

  4. I was at Central Park for the performance - she looked great, but sounded horrible. What appeared on GMA this morning was edited - they subbed the background singers voices or the track for Whitney's voice on several occasions.The magic of television. So if you thought what you saw on TV was bad .... Whitney is back, but her voice isn't. It was sad for me, but I'm just happy she is pulling it together. She is a cautionary tale of what happens when you don't take care of your gift.

  5. Yes, she was hoarse. Yes, she was out of breath. Yes, her voice is nowhere near where it was years ago. But I'm not gonna give up hope on Whitney. She did look good, and if she works with a vocal coach to build up her stamina, there's a chance she can capture some of that old magic. Baby steps. Remember, Britney was a mess at the VMA a couple of years back, now she seems to be on the right path, although I'm far from a Britney fan, but at least she was able to turn herself around. The same can happen to Whitney.

  6. This is such a shame.... a huge talent, the voice of an angel, ruined by self indulgence. I have bought every CD of hers, and it brought me to tears listening to this performance. She has been "coming back" for a few years now, and at this rate I don't think she will return to even a shadow of her former self. She is still a presence on stage and she looks great...but her voice will never be the same.

  7. AWW, Harlem...I liked "Houston, We Have a Problem!"
    I found it to be quite 'Whitty'. LOL

  8. She wasn't ready. But that's ok... at least she showed up. And that is half the battle. Most of us would have not even bothered. So I salute her for that. She'll get better. -jj

  9. Wow, GMA really dubbed and pitch corrected the hell out of her performances!!
    Here's the unedited version.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKJ00psQU_w
    Its clear her once legendary voice is in tatters and her label is going to need a lot of smoke and mirrors to disguise that fact.
    The Voice has left the building.

  10. I watched this morning and i was absolutely horrified. Yes she looked absolutely fabulous. She sounded absolutely horrid that I went on a twitter rant. I think the pinnacle of the performance where you know she sounds a mess is when she tried I'm Every Woman.
    First of all that's a Chaka song and we all know what her voice can do which is why when Whitney re-did it we didn't bash it cause she could hold her own. That travesty of a rendition today tried the (insert four letter expletive here) out of me.
    I felt so bad. And beyond that I really want her to do well because I feel like she needs this. But in Whitney's own words "crack is whack" and the affects it's taken on her voice is the whackest of it all.
    I'm just extra tight.

  11. I saw the discussion. H, you write what YOU want to write. This is your platform. I like this headline too but that's your byline up there. Everyone has their opinions and they have assholes too.
    Moving on.
    The positives: She looks fantastic. And she is living, breathing testimony to "we fall down but we get up."
    Now, it will be a minute before I can watch this. I'm still too traumatized from listening to the album - particularly how she massacred A Song for You. WTF?! Whose bright idea was that - to have someone with Whit's iconic status do that to THAT song?! Particularly after doing it like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_UnGxm3OPs O_o
    As a teen, I voice lessons and performed her songs for my recitals. So her music holds a special place in my heart. I am deeply disappointed in what she has done to her God-given gift, one of the greatest voices of our time.
    Can working with a vocal coach, training return her voice back to something I can tolerate? Doubtful. But I don't want to tolerate Whit. I have TOO many other R&B chicks for that. I want to adore her like I used to and those days are over.
    Bad thing about us trashing her is that we'll send D'Angelo further down into a black hole, never to record again 🙁

  12. Um she has been working with a vocal coach for the past year. Actually CLive said that they were working on her voice before they let her record. So much for small miracles.

  13. When you sniff as much coke as whitney has, it obviously has damaged her. She will never be able to sing like she use too. She knows it, Clive knows it and we all know it.

  14. GOD GIVITH AND GOD TAKETH AWAY....YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU GOT TILL IT'S GONE...WHITNEY TAUGHT ME HOW TO SING,,,WHEN WILL WE LEARN TO RESPECT WHAT GOD GIVES US....I'M A SINGER, AND YOU ALWAYS THINK YOU'LL HAVE IT....BUT AS YOU CAN SEE,,THAT IS NOT SO...GUESS I'M JUST GLAD SHE'S ALIVE...HOPE SHE DOES NOT TAKE ALL THIS TO HARD...WE HAVE TO WATCH HER CLOSELY NOW...SO SHE WON'T RELASPE FROM DEPRESSION..AND HAVE SOME QUACK DOCTOR GIVE HER SOMETHING TO SLEEP, WE ALL KNOW HOW THATS GONNA TURN OUT.....WHITNEY KEEP YO HEAD UP GIRL...YOU HAD IT, BE THANKFUL FOR THAT.

  15. My sadness is as deep as my admiration was.
    But my younger sister idolised that woman, completely adored her and everything she stood for, and she's had ten years of astonishment and embarrassment and can barely bring herself to even speak Whitney Houston's name.
    "The Voice" has no voice anymore, so we're just left with the charmless buffoon and have to act like everything's normal?
    I hope we hear even less from her from now on.
    That was pathetic.
    The moral is: don't shit where you eat.

  16. wow.....I've never been a huge Whitney fan, but always loved that voice. I'm happy that she's made it pass her personal stuggles. I hope that she will continue to be strong and able to raise her daughter. The saddest part of her performance for me....was during I Look To You when she was singing to her mother. You could tell that her mom has been through hell watching her daughter's downfall.....but seeing her back (even if not in top notch voice) it was truely a blessing! Many blessings to Whitney and her family.

  17. I'm somewhat surprised that any of us thought she would still be "The Voice." Years of hard living (i.e. drug abuse, drinking, and cigarettes) will KILL the average person, let alone just damage their vocal chords. This is a feel-good story; albeit with a catch 22. She has risen from what could classified as ashes. Broken, embarrassed, humiliated before EVERYONE. We get to see her make a comeback, but she is NEVER going to be the Whitney of old, and I hate she has to battle her own legacy. Thank God, her mother and child are here to witness her turn around. To be honest, regardless of her voice, the material is not that great anyway. And I was particularly horrified at anyone who would turn "A Song for You" into a party track?????????? The only person I would even IMAGINE could pull this off would be Donna Summer and I would still be horrified. Any hoo, cudos to Whitney for proving you CAN get back up after falling down (even if you know you won't be the same). Let's stop focusing on the negatives and focus on the positives. If you don't like the Voice she is left with, don't listen or don't buy the album. Enuf said!!



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