When Whitney Houston died a year ago today, it wasn’t easy to know what her legacy would be. She left us too soon — not just at a tragically early age, but also at a middle chapter in a comeback story that everyone wanted so badly for her. We watched for years as erratic behavior and tabloid rumors tore away at her reputation, obscuring the Whitney we used to know: a singer so universally adored and limitlessly talented that she could perform feats of magic like turning “The Star Spangled Banner” into a Top 20 single 1991 or dusting off Dolly Parton’s cozy “I Will Always Love You” as a blockbuster, record-shattering hit. It felt impossible for a talent as big as hers to suddenly, silently disappear without one last burst of glory. And yet, when Houston was found dead in the Beverly Hilton at age 48 on February 11, 2012, that’s exactly what it seemed to do.
But a year after her death it’s clear that Whitney didn’t — and never will — just disappear. Not in the music industry that she helped shape, breaking boundaries as an African American, as a woman, as a crossover star, as a voice awe-inspiring enough to redefine what pop itself could sound like. (Singers from Beyoncé to Alicia Keys to Adele owe her a debt for blazing the trails they walk on.) And certainly not in the hearts of her fans, who still celebrate her music and her memory.
For those fans (and really, isn’t that all of us?) we’ve created a Whitney Houston hub here on EW, collecting all our best coverage of her career and legacy, from playlists to galleries to news coverage. Check it out now, and come back for updates as we continue to shape our tribute to the Whitney we’ll never forget.
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