Another Music Icon Dies Prematurely

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As of this writing, I don’t believe that the official cause of singer-actress Whitney Houston’s death has been determined.

But that really doesn’t matter. What really matters is that another human being, and in this case, another extremely talented music icon has tragically died well before her time. Her death has left many of us shaking our heads and wondering why. Just why do we so prematurely have to say goodbye to so many artists that we have grown to appreciate and love?

Whitney Houston was inarguably one of the biggest female pop stars of all time. Her accomplishments as a hit-maker were extraordinary. Her second release in 1985, “Saving All My Love For You” went to the top of the pop charts and started a string of seven consecutive number one hits, the first time that had been done in history.

Whitney’s 1993 “I Will Always Love You,” from the movie “The Bodyguard,” became nothing less than the biggest hit single in rock history, topping the pop charts for 14 consecutive weeks and earning her the Grammy Pop Vocalist of the Year award and her song the Record of the Year award.

Whitney had her roots in gospel music and was an extremely versatile singer. She was able to handle big adult contemporary ballads, effervescent, stylish dance-pop, and contemporary soul with equal dexterity, resulting in an across-the-board appeal that was matched by scant few artists of her era.

In addition to the richness of her voice, what has always impressed me the most about Whitney Houston was her elegance and class. When other female R&B singers in the 1990s began releasing songs with questionable lyrics, Whitney stood her ground and remained a class act. She will be missed.

This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the female singer who originally wrote, recorded and scored a 1974 number one hit with her song “I Will Always Love You,” which was so brilliantly covered 19 years later by Whitney Houston?

Is this artist A) Carole King, B) Dolly Parton, C) Karen Carpenter or D) Linda Ronstadt?

This week, if you are the seventh caller and have the correct answer, you’ll win two great prizes — two complementary tickets (a $70 value) to next Tuesday’s “American Spirit” concert, courtesy of the Tonto Community Concert Association, and a Whitney Houston “Greatest Hits” CD. Good luck!

Now, let’s check out how we did with last week’s music trivia question: Can you name the female vocalist who recorded the 1986 hit “Read My Lips?” Among her other top hits were “There’s No Stopping You Heart,” “You’re Still New To Me” and her number 1 hit, “Paper Roses.”

Was this “Read My Lips” music trivia artist A) K.T. Oslin, B) Crystal Gayle, C) Marie Osmond or D) Kathy Mattea?

The correct answer was Marie Osmond.

Congratulations to this past week’s first-time music trivia winner, Kay Chasse, who won a $15 gift certificate to Loot Resale, courtesy of owner, Liz Nordquist. Not only is Kay a patron of Loot Resale, she also is a consignment contributor to the store.

A little about Kay. She was born, raised and spent the first 39 years of her life in the central Maine twin cities of Lewiston-Auburn. She has always worked in the nursing profession. Kay and her husband, Bob (a multi-time music trivia winner), have been married for 38 years and have two adult daughters who live in the Valley. It was during a late-1990s trip to visit one of their daughters at ASU that the Chasses explored different areas of Arizona as possible relocation sites. “After visiting Payson,” Kay said, “we knew this was the place for us.”

Now, when Kay isn’t fulfilling her duties as the Wellness Director at the Powell House, she volunteers for the Soroptimist Club, pours herself into books, kayaks on the Rim Country lakes and is a self-proclaimed garage sale junkie. She told me, “I can hardly wait for the new season to begin!”

Kay enjoys listening to contemporary country music and says her three favorite artists are the Beatles, Garth Brooks and Faith Hill.

Two last things. A big thumbs up to all the middle and high school students who participated in last week’s Lip Sync Concert. You really put on a great show! Congratulations to the two division winners — Traditional Division winner Tyler McMinimy, who lip synced Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5” and Comedy Division winners Brooke Collins and Melissa Shannon, who lipped ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”

Also, just a reminder that the Tonto Community Concert Association Board is encouraging all who attend next Tuesday’s “American Spirit” concert to show their national pride and come dressed in red, white and blue. How fun!

DJ Craig - Phone (928) 468-1482 - www.DJCraigInPayson.com.

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