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July 28 2014

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1 posts tagged "Clive Davis"

Whitney Houston, RIP

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A pall was cast over fashion week last night, as the news quickly spread from showgoer to showgoer: Whitney Houston, the wildly talented and later wildly troubled pop star, died in Los Angeles at 48. The cause of death is not yet known. Houston was in Beverly Hills preparing for a pre-Grammys party, hosted by her mentor, Clive Davis, and the awards themselves, taking place this evening. At tonight’s show, Jennifer Hudson will perform a tribute in her honor.

Houston came from a family of singers—including mother Cissy Tyson, cousin Dionne Warwick, and godmother Aretha Franklin—and by 19 was playing Manhattan venues, where Davis discovered her. She released her smash-hit debut album, Whitney Houston, in 1985, and continued to follow it with success through the eighties and nineties. She starred in several films, including The Bodyguard (for which she recorded an inescapable version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”), Waiting to Exhale, and The Preacher’s Wife. She recently completed the filming of Sparkle, a remake of the 1967 film of the same name loosely based on the lives of the Supremes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures will release the film as planned on August 17.

Houston’s style tended toward the ultra-glamorous, though she once told Rolling Stone, “I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody’s angel,” an allusion to her troubled marriage to Bobby Brown. But she was a great beauty, and by high school, was modeling for the likes of Seventeen and Glamour.

As the musicians in Los Angeles for the Grammys reflected on the fallen star, in New York, the fashion world felt her loss, too. Sebastien Perrin, who creates runway soundtracks for many of the week’s shows, including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rachel Zoe, Catherine Malandrino, and more, as well as many in Milan and Paris, sadly recalled using Houston tracks to score a presentation for Chanel at the label’s Rue Cambon store. And at the after-party for Joseph Altuzarra’s show—news of the singer’s death broke just before the first models hit the catwalk—songs from Houston’s eighties halcyon days had the entire room on its feet.

Photo: David Corio/Redferns/Getty Images