Feb 12, 2012

"Don't cry, cause on Earth we weren't meant to stay"

I'm sure you all could have bet on this blog post coming... so I'll stay true to form and write about my feelings. 

I've been working GRAMMY events the past two years. It's been such a memorable experience, getting to do these events and see these people I grew up seeing on TV and hearing on the radio. One of the first CDs I bought when I got my first Discman back in the day was Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits album.

You know, everyone has certain people they just "know" growing up. For me, those people were Michael Jackson, Oprah, Julia Roberts, and Whitney Houston. I have "known" them since I was little... before Justin Timberlake or even my latest crush (Clay Matthews) came into my life. And you see these people as larger than life beings, people who will always be around, and people you grow to love from afar.

Sadly, two of those four people have passed. And what truly remarkable beings they were for the music industry. Whitney, such a beautiful talent -- someone we all saw rise and fall. 

Last night I worked the Clive Davis GRAMMY Gala at The Beverly Hilton. Most of you know by now, that's where Whitney died. We didn't know she had passed until we were in my car driving to the hotel when I got a text from my roommate. "Whitney Houston died?"

In a world where Twitter gets a little too slap-happy at announcing a death (or prematurely announcing one -- a la all the "RIP XXX" Trending Topics that get started), I was hesitant to believe it, so I had Nat get on her phone and check. "See if it's one of those fake trending topics."

We ended up getting on Twitter and seeing a slew of reputable sources reporting her death. We were shocked. In fact, I was particularly shocked she died today of all days -- the day of Clive Davis' gala. He was the man responsible for making her THE Whitney Houston. They were close. It was just a tad ironic.

Even more ironic is when we found out she passed at the hotel we were shortly going to be working a party at. I called my mom after we parked and were walking in to tell her the news.

"Hi baby dumb!"
"Mom, you know Whitney Houston died, right?"
"She died today, here at The Beverly Hilton. We're about to walk in but I wanted you to know."

She instantly started crying. I was a little shocked actually, although my mom is an emotional being and cries when she's happy, cries when she's sad; she just said, "That makes me so sad. I grew up with her. And Bobby Brown ruined her life."

This is truly a tragedy. I didn't know Whitney -- not claiming to either. But it's 100% fine for fans to be hurt and sad that someone they liked (or loved) passed away. There are so many people on  Twitter and Facebook who are seem angry and are ridiculing others who are sending condolences and using these social mediums to talk about their sadness. If you don't like Whitney, why say anything? Just be quiet. Let her fans mourn. If anything, let people have empathy for another family that has lost a loved one.

I just read on TMZ that Whitney was found in her room at the Beverly Hilton, on the fourth floor, and pronounced dead at 3:55 PM today, however, her body was still upstairs while the party was going on, and was removed approximately 45 minutes ago (so, 12:15 PST) this morning. I find it surreal that I happened to be working there. One of those things in life you'll never forget, I think.

A lot of celebrities backed out of showing up tonight, sending their prayers and expressing grief online, like Sharon & Kelly Osbourne -- both finding it distasteful to show up and party -- Miley Cyrus, Mark Salling, among various others. However, a huge showing come out to the party. I think if a lot of them had known Whitney was still upstairs, they wouldn't have come. A lot of them must feel pretty sick about it. Although many people came to support Clive, a dear friend of Whitney's, who was a staple at his gala every year.

Tonight I was assigned to Blake Shelton -- who I seemed to have missed. However, I got to meet Tony Bennett, Dr. Dre, Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams, walking them all down the carpet. Not going to lie, as a pop culture maniac and lover of all things celebrity, I was loving every minute. I was pretty psyched about Dr. Dre, given my Thursday night routine in college included a STUNNING rendition of 'Forgot About Dre' at The Cellar. I'm not tooting my own horn (actually, I am) but I could be Eminem's female protege. Also, I know everyone is sick of the Kardashians... and while I see Rob everywhere and have seen Kholé before, I've never seen Kim. Point blank: she is mesmerizing. She might wear too much makeup to same people, but girlfriend is gorgeous. She has curves, but in person she looks like a perfect hourglass shape -- not too big or anything, and she's very petite. We knew she was short but she's thin, too. She looked gorgeous and came with Serena. Her, Kelly Rowland and Serena all chatted before hitting the carpet together. I couldn't help but laugh when my mom sent me this text: "Did you tell her you were sisters from another mister?" Apparently anyone else with a booty is my sister now, even though I have not once ounce of Armenian blood. Love you, Mommis.

Still, there was an eerie aura in the hotel. Nobody talked about the GRAMMYs. Everyone just talked about Whitney.

I think one thing we should take from this is this: don't do drugs. Don't do them. Please, I beg you all. When you think about it, it's truly not worth it. So many have been lost from accidental overdoses: Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, the 27 club... and while we don't know what's behind Whitney's death, and we all might be stunned, can we say we're surprised? She's struggled with addiction (thanks to Bobby Brown) for awhile now, and tonight a daughter has lost her mother.

Prescription drug overdoses (and drug overdoses in general) have become prevalent, it seems, since I've gotten older. Maybe I didn't recognize them all as a child. Regardless, it's clear these people with great gifts are suffering from something: loneliness, depression, a need for validation; something is missing, and they're not getting it from fame and fortune. What does it say about our society that we're losing people who seem to have the world at their fingertips to something like prescription drugs (or any kind of drug)? These deaths can be avoided, the obviously most disappointing fact. 

A few years ago, I thought Britney Spears would be in this type of mess. But I'm glad she's turned things around for herself, thanks to people who love her. And I truly fear for Lindsay Lohan. I hope, from human to human, that she gets someone in her life to help and care for her.

Who hasn't been influenced by Whitney, somehow? I mean, even I get on the treadmill and have little fantasies in my head to "I Want to Dance With Somebody," involving 80s costumes and choreographed dance moves (TMI)?

Anyway... such a bizarre night. It's hard not to be sad, with a loss of such a huge talent. Sad that we've lost two (three if you include Amy) music greats in a matter of two-and-a-half years. Here's one of my favorite songs of hers.

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