Whitney Houston has passed away from causes as-yet unknown.
Whitney's use-by date had passed a long time ago, due in large part to her self-destructive lifestyle. But this is incredibly sad on any level. She first came out when I was in 9th grade. I didn't care for her first two hits, which were romantic ballads, but her third, "How Will I Know?" got me hooked. She had the best singing voice of the 1980's (even better than Cyndi Lauper, who was pretty damn good in her own right), and has only been matched since then by Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera (who I remember singing the National Anthem at Pittsburgh Penguins playoff games in 1991 and 1992 when she was, like, 12; makes it so ironic that she messed it up during last year's Super Bowl) and -- maybe -- Amy Lee. Whitney Houston was like a singing companion for me during high school and college.
I hope Whitney has now found peace from the demons who haunted her in life.