Whitney Houston – All at Once & Didn’t We Almost Have It All

My Comments:

Whitney Houston, one of the greatest singers of all time, passed away on February 11, 2012. Normally I’d stay away from clichéd celebrity farewells, because few celebrities have such a great impact. But this is different.

Whitney’s death is immensely saddening to the world and her fans, and especially to me. Whitney’s music was so important to me, a part of me. Her music cheered me, made me laugh, reassured me, motivated me, invigorated my soul. If only I knew I’d be saying goodbye to Whitney so soon.

So today there will be two videos in memory of Whitney Houston and the amazing legacy she’s left. The lyrics (especially the bolded below) that I listened to so often are eerie and depressing now. R.I.P. Whitney, you were truly a blessing. We’ll always love you; I’ll always love you.

Lyrics:

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Brandy Norwood

brandy-norwood
Brandy Norwood, better known as simply Brandy, is an American singer and actress. She is one of the best-selling female artists of all-time and of the 1990s.

Brandy was born on a full moon in small town Mississippi, but grew up in Southern California with her parents and brother Ray-J. Brandy’s singing career began early — she was a back-up singer at 11 (for R&B group Immature), won a recording contract at 14, and released her first album, Brandy, at 15. Her acting career was similarly successful with Brandy securing her own sitcom Moesha; the most watched show in UPN history.

Brandy’s self-titled debut album released in 1994 has sold over 7 million copies worldwide and features the hit singles, “I Wanna Be Down” and “Brokenhearted”. Her raspy alto is widely praised, with former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist John Frusciante describing it as, “multi-dimensional… you have to hear her voice with your subconscious.”

But her much-awaited second album was put on hold while Brandy focused on acting. In addition to her role as Moesha, she played Cinderella in a television remake of the classic fairytale in 1997. Singer Whitney Houston, who helped produced the film, starred as her fairy godmother.

brandy-norwoodWhen Brandy finally released her follow-up album it was an even bigger success than her first. 1998’s Never Say Never features the well-known duet, “The Boy Is Mine” with singer Monica and songs “Have You Ever?” and “Almost Doesn’t Count”. The same year she appeared in the film I Still Know What You Did Last Summer alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt, and worked as a CoverGirl.

After her sophomore album, she took another break from singing, returning in 2002 with Full Moon and a daughter, Sy’rai, from her relationship with producer Robert Smith. Her pregnancy was documented on the MTV reality TV show Diary Presents Brandy: Special Delivery. She later worked as a judge on the first season of reality talent show America’s Got Talent, but left the show after being involved in a fatal multi-car accident.

Her last two albums Afrodisiac and Human highlighted her journey from a young, inexperienced star to a multifaceted woman who has lived a life speckled with trials and triumphs. On the difference between her first albums and her later albums Brandy says,

“I just wanted to sing my heart out and connect with people. I wasn’t old enough or mature enough before to get into people’s hearts. Now I am.”

Brandy cites Whitney Houston as her number one musical inspiration — Whitney’s music video for, “How Will I Know” spurred Brandy to pursue a professional music career. She is planning on releasing a joint R&B album with her brother Ray-J.

Brandy is first cousin of rapper Snoop Dogg and close friend of tennis player Serena Williams and fellow R&B singer Kelly Rowland.

She was NBA star Kobe Bryant’s high school prom date and former fiancée of NBA guard Quentin Richardson.

singer-brandy  brandy-singer  brandy-singer  brandy-norwood

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Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox – Same Script, Different Cast

My Comments:

“Same Script, Different Cast” is a 2000 duet featuring R&B great Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox. It appears on Whitney Houston’s Whitney: The Greatest Hits, but no official video was ever made. It was well-received by R&B fanatics, but surprisingly never too popular on the charts (like the unknown great Deborah Cox, besides her one hit).

This duet is probably not as catchy as “The Boy is Mine”, but it’s more powerful in its message, and even moreso when delivered by powerhouse singers like Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox. If I were Deborah, I’d listen to Whitney!

(Unfortunately it must be played via dailymotion with ads.)

Lyrics:

[Spoken]

Whitney Houston: Um? Hey Deb.
Deborah Cox: Uh, huh?
Whitney: Thank you for being woman enough to come.
Deborah: Whitney, what’s this about?

[/Spoken]

Whitney: I know he’s leaving me for you

Deborah: Who said that? Who told you? That is true

Whitney: What is he tellin’ you? Could it be the same things that he told me?

Deborah: He told me that he loved me

Whitney: I heard that

Deborah: He told me I was beautiful. How did you know? How did you know?

Whitney: ‘Cause I played that scene before

Chorus (Whitney):
This is a retake of my life
I was his star for many nights
Now the roles have changed
And you’re the leading lady in his life

Lights, camera, now you’re on
Just remember you’ve been warned
Enjoy it now, ’cause it won’t last
Same script, different cast

Deborah: What you’re saying could be true. But how can I take advice from you?

Whitney:  I’m not hating. But I wish the one before me would have warned me too, babe

Deborah: Don’t say no more. (lalalala)

Whitney: Uncover your ears, girl

Deborah: I’m not listening (lalalala)

Whitney:
But I know you hear me
Maybe my reasons are wrong,
But I know that you believe me

Chorus (Whitney):
This is a retake of my life
I was his star for many nights
Now the roles have changed
And you’re the leading lady in his life

Lights, camera, now you’re on
Just remember you’ve been warned
Enjoy it now, ’cause it won’t last
Same script, different cast

Deborah: It’s your fault you didn’t love him enough

Whitney:
That’s the problem
I loved him too much
And when you love him
He becomes unattracted to you

Deborah: Oh no, he’s changed and I’ll prove you wrong

Whitney: No, you won’t

Deborah: So, go away. Leave us the hell alone! He loves me

Whitney: He’ll hurt you

Deborah: He’ll stay with me

Whitney: He’ll leave you

Whitney and Deborah: For sure! For sure!

Chorus (Whitney):
This is a retake of my life
I was his star for many nights
Now the roles have changed
And you’re the leading lady in his life

Lights, camera, now you’re on
Just remember you’ve been warned
Enjoy it now, ’cause it won’t last
Same script, different cast

Deborah:
This is a retake of my life
You were his star for many nights
But now the roles have changed
I’m the leading lady in his life

Lights, camera, now you’re on
Just remember you’ve been warned
Enjoy it now, ’cause this will last
I’m the future, you’re his past

Whitney:
This is a retake of my life
I was his star for many nights
Now the roles have changed
And you’re the leading lady in his life

Lights, camera, now you’re on
Just remember you’ve been warned
Enjoy it now, ’cause it won’t last
Same script, different cast

Whitney and Deborah:
Lights, camera, now you’re on
Just remember you’ve been warned

Whitney: Enjoy it now
Deborah: Just watch us now
Whitney: It won’t last
Deborah: I know it will last
Whitney and Deborah: Same script, different cast

Best R&B Singers of the ’90s

The 1990s was my all-time favorite period for music. And it was a great period for R&B. The best-selling female R&B group of all time, TLC, were at the height of their career in the ’90s, and the longest-running #1 Billboard hit was a R&B song released during the same period. ’90s R&B continues to be one of my favorite types of music.

This is my personal list of the top 10 best R&B singers and group of the ’90s. The list is based on vocals (range, rhythm, etc) as well as style and quality of music. As always, feel free to make any suggestions.

brandy-norwood

1. Brandy Norwood is an American singer, actress, and songwriter. She is best known as Moesha from the TV show of the same name, and for her hits “The Boy is Mine” and “Have You Ever?”

Brandy has one of the most unique voices and a wide range — she is irreplaceable. She isn’t a soprano like others, but she doesn’t need to be — her raspy voice has just as much power and feeling.

mariah-carey

2. Mariah Carey is an American singer best known for her wide vocal range and series of hit singles, including “Hero” and “One Sweet Day”, a duet with Boyz II Men and the longest-running #1 single in American history.

Mariah’s “My All” is of my favorite songs ever and a classic, like so many of her ’90s ballads. Mariah was at her peak in the ’90s but hasn’t been the same since.

boyz-ii-men

3. Boyz II Men is an American male group and best-selling R&B group ever. Their hits include “End of the Road”, “Four Seasons of Loneliness”,  and “One Sweet Day” with Mariah Carey.

There will never be another Boyz II Men. The amazing combination of their voices, lyrics, and production contributed to making nearly every one of their songs historic. Favorite Boyz II Men song? All of them.

whitney-houston

4. Whitney Houston is an American singer and actress and one of the best music artists of all time, based on sales and awards. She covered Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”.

Whitney has the classic “singer’s voice”; her songs will be listened to for generations. If you haven’t heard of her, you haven’t been alive for the past few decades.

babyface

5. Babyface, real name Kenneth Edmonds, is an American R&B entrepeneur: prolific singer, songwriter, and producer. In addition to his own hits (including “When Can I See You” and “Every Time I Close My Eyes”), he wrote “End of the Road” for Boyz II Men and “Let It Flow” for Toni Braxton.

It is not an overstatement to say that ’90s R&B would not have been without Babyface.

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