Whitney Houston's music was the sound of my teenage years; she was an inspiration. I grew up in church and sang in the choir so I identified with her upbringing. Waking up to the news that she had died at just 48 years of age left me completely numb.
It just feels like there was no excuse for her untimely death. On paper all the right people were around her: world famous Gospel family, The Winans, Dionne Warwick, Patti Labelle and Kim Burrell to name a few. So what went wrong?
Reading through the papers and watching the reports on TV many blame her tumultuous 14-year marriage to Bobbi Brown as a key factor in her demise. They hold him responsible for her descent into drug addiction - which it seems was the cause of her downfall.
But can we really blame someone else for our own actions and the personal choices we make? I am not so sure. For those of us outside of Whitney's inner circle, which will probably include most of the people commenting on her death this week, all we really know is that she was a woman with an astonishing talent who received her first Grammy at the age of 21. That's a big deal for someone who just a few years before was singing in her local Baptist church. Perhaps the pressure of fame was just too much.
Rather than wonder about her relationship with her former husband, I can't stop thinking about the role of the record industry in lives of extraordinarily gifted people like Whitney. Do they not have some sort of responsibility to nurture young stars, warning them of the pitfalls of drugs and mixing in the wrong crowds?
People like Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson, rake in millions of pounds and make lots of money for the industry people around them. Are they pushed to far in a world where, at the end of the day, is simply about business?
I am not really pointing the finger, just raising questions that I know I would like to see answered. Because one thing is for sure - the obituary films of major stars on our news screens are becoming all too frequent.
Plus we're living in a world where increasingly young people aspire to fast-track fame via talent shows. The want the seemingly perfect lifestyle that people like Whitney had, quickly - as opposed to working hard towards any profession. They deserve to know the realties of showbiz.
Glossy magazines expose them to a world that appears to be glamorous, where everyone is happy and seems to have it all.
The images of Whitney that have been shown in the press over the last 48 hours paint a very different picture. As I mentioned earlier if someone makes a personal decision to continually press the self-destruct button, there's not much others can do. That said, I hope that after tragic events like these people in the music industry do ask themselves hard questions.
Today, I prefer to remember Whitney in her I Wanna Dance With Somebody prime, and one thing is for sure. We will always love her.