Many singers will attest to her being a major influence, and that her vocal skills were second to none. One of the top-selling recording artists of all time, and the most awarded female singer in history, she easily takes her place in the pantheon. Her death in a hotel bath reminds us, too, of another drug-doomed genius, Jim Morrison of the The Doors. Houston was so clean cut and ubiquitous in the 80s and early 90s that her downfall was upsetting and discomfiting. It was always hoped she would pull out of her death-descent.
This seemed possible, for, unlike Winehouse - a far less important musical figure in comparison - Houston did not seem totally self-destructive; she had friends such as Oprah, and a world of goodwill. It may be her death was an accident, brought about by an inadvertent overdose. The African-American Marilyn Monroe, in terms of cultural impact, this great beauty with the huge voice left the world stage too soon. She needed better bodyguards, perhaps.