An Open Letter to Whitney Houston
You're among the planet's most celebrated entertainers. You're a peerless vocalist capable of rattling the rafters with your range and thrilling the very air with your passion.
Fulfilled both in your career goals (chart-topping power, Hollywood cachet) and your personal life (superstar spouse, beautiful new baby), you continue to push the envelope of earthly fame. And though naysayers insist there are others in your class, you and I know that's not the case.
I heard a little joke that's been going around and I'd like to share it with you:
Q: Did you hear that Mariah Carey got married?
The humor, Whitney, as you no doubt realize, arises from the very absence of a punch line A we are all so secure in your dominance that we hardly need to take catty swipes at lesser talents. In the presence of a supernova, dim stars inspire only indifference.
I hope you agree.
However, there's just one small matter I must bring to your attention.
As you are certainly aware, much of your recent success springs from one particular song. Written by Dolly Parton, concerning matters amorous, appears on the soundtrack to the movie in which you dance with the guy who danced with wolves A you know the one I mean, don't you?
Well, don't sing it.
Don't open with it. Don't use it to counterbalance an uptempo number. Don't insert it into a medley. Don't encore with it. Simply put, do not include that song in your show.
Whitney, I understand this is an unorthodox request. And consequently I want to reassure you that this entreaty does not in any way compromise my passionate devotion to your career and my indefatigable sponsorship of your megastardom.
You're the best, Whitney. (Don't sing the song.) The best! (Don't sing it!)
The absence of the Parton composition may very well disrupt the carefully calibrated architectonics of your live show, and for that I'm deeply sorry. But, once again, let me stress that it is absolutely imperative that you avoid the song. Restructure your set list if you must. Add an extended melismatic outro on "Saving All My Love for You." Truck out your early-Eighties work with Bill Laswell. Take a stab at the libretto to Pal Joey, or cook up a Florence Ballard tribute. Anything, Whit, anything you like. Except that song.
Your managers and tour personnel will probably object. Your long-time associate Robin Crawford may attempt to sway you. Perhaps the capacity crowd at the Arena will even beg you for those soaring notes. Forgive them their weakness. But don't give the people what they want. When the urge arises, shut it down.
Then, dear sweet Whitney, we will always love you.
Hugs and kisses,
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