Pop Icon, Whitney Houston Dies at 48

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Local Radio DJ Remembers Whitney

[UPDATE] - Tallahassee -

Today we talked to a DJ in Tallahassee who had a professional history with Whitney Houston. He helped us remember her through what she did best, her music.

DJ and program director, Joe Bullard with 96.1 Jamz not only knew the legendary voice of Whitney Houston by playing her hits on the radio, he also worked with her.

He used to work as a promotional director for Columbia Records. There one of the artists became the band director for Whitney Houston.

He says, "That put me on front street with a pass that says all access, and as Whitney would say back then, wherever he wants to go."

Since the news of Houston's death broke Saturday night, 96.1 has been one of several local stops on the radio dial for your favorite Whitney hits.

Bullard says, "Face it, you will always know a Whitney song, who doesn't know the words to 'I Will Always Love You' ?"

And for the man behind the music, even one song for him stands out.

He says, "'I Wanna Dance with Somebody', that one is special cause that song was debuted in Miami, at a Dolphins game and the Miami cheerleaders danced to that,, the announcer came up and he said we have a new song from Whitney Houston. And imagine being, from radio, I was in the record industry then, and that's how I first heard that song."

While Bullard mourns the death of a woman he got to know through her music. He says that's how people should remember her best.

"Just think Whitney, think hits and know that heaven has a big choir now. She's joined Etta James, Luther, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Barry White. They're all smiling. Their sister is now home."


Tallahassee Remembers:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
5:00 p.m.— 10:00 p.m.
Featuring music, videos & tributes.
(upbeat casual attire)
Hear the music, celebrate the life and musical legacy
along with other Whitney Houston fans!

NOTE** Flyer attached

AP: Whitney Houston's Body to be Taken Home to NJ
by Beth Defalco and Dave Porter, AP

Newark, NJ (AP) - Whitney Houston's body was set to be flown home to New Jersey late Monday for a funeral to be held at week's end, said two people who have spoken with her family.

The two people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak for the family and because funeral arrangements hadn't been completed.

Houston's family raised the possibility of holding a wake Thursday and funeral Friday at Newark's Prudential Center, an arena that hosts college and professional sport events and seats about 18,000 people.

The 48-year-old pop star was found dead in a bathtub in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California on Saturday, hours before she was supposed to appear at a pre-Grammy Awards gala.

Funeral arrangements were being made by Newark's Whigham Funeral Home, which handled the 2003 funeral of Houston's father, John Houston, according to the two people who spoke to the AP.

A woman at the funeral home, where several police officers were stationed Monday afternoon, said she could neither confirm nor deny reports that it would handle the arrangements. A white tent was set up leading into the funeral home's rear entrance.

The Los Angeles coroner's office said Houston's body was released to the family late Monday morning.

Houston was born in Newark and was raised in nearby East Orange. She began singing as a child at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music program for many years. Her cousin singer Dionne Warwick also sang in its choir.

On Monday, mourners left flowers, balloons and candles for Houston at the wrought-iron fence around the tall brick church, which sits near the edge of an abandoned housing project near the train line leading to New York City.

"She was an inspiration to everybody," said Gregory Hanks, a 26-year-old actor who grew up in the neighborhood and who dropped off a bouquet of flowers.

Hanks said he saw Houston perform at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center years ago.

"I grew up listening to her as a little boy, and to hear her sing, you knew she was special," he said.

Sandy Farrow, a technology consultant from Mitchellville, Md., who was in the area visiting relatives, said she was a senior at Clifford J. Scott High School in East Orange when Houston was a freshman.

"We felt like she put East Orange on the map," she said.

Farrow said Houston's death came as a shock.

"We lost somebody who I thought, after all her troubles, was coming back," Farrow said.

Across the street from the church, Bashir Rasheed set up shop with a duffel bag full of T-shirts reading "In Memory of Whitney Houston 1963-2012." He said he had sold 24 shirts at $10 apiece within a few hours.


Associated Press writer Chris Hawley contributed to this report.


President Obama's Prayers with Whitney Houston's Family

Washington, D.C. (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama's thoughts and prayers are with Whitney Houston's family, especially her daughter.

Press secretary Jay Carney says it's hard not to be an admirer of the singer's "immense talent." And, he says it's a tragedy to lose somebody so talented at such a young age.

Carney said he wasn't sure if Obama and Houston ever had met.

The 48-year-old singer died Saturday.


Pop Icon, Whitney Houston Dies at 48

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- February 11, 2012

Police in Beverly Hills, Calif. say singer Whitney Houston died this afternoon in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Police Lt. Mark Rosen said in a news conference that the 48-year-old's body is still in her fourth-floor hotel room while detectives investigate her death.

He says police received a 911 call shortly before 4 p.m. local time, and paramedics who were already at the hotel quickly went to her room, but couldn't resuscitate her.

Houston's death comes on the eve of the Grammy Awards. A representative says she was to appear at tonight's annual concert and dinner for her longtime mentor Clive Davis.

A person who had been at rehearsals for the show, says on Thursday Houston appeared disheveled and was sweating profusely as she coached R&B singers Brandy and Monica. The person also says liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on Houston's breath.

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