With the much anticipated film about music icon Whitney due to release in the UK and Ireland today 6th July, you can only imagine my ecstatic reaction when fellow BBC 1 TV Judge and friend, the fabulous Choir Director and West End Star Nathaniel Morrison put me on the Guest List to attend the exclusive screening.
I was like “I will Run to you, like the Queen of the night singing I will always love you” to quote Some of Whitney’s hits.Whitney was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (MARLEY, TOUCHING THE VOID) and from two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (MAN ON WIRE, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN). Distribution is done by Altitude Film who the same guys behind the compelling Amy film tribute.
Whitney alongside music icon Prince who left us too soon has always been a huge music influence on me and my life journey as a singer and artistc choir director.
Whitney is a compelling film, with a very honest and open insight into the life of Whitney otherwise known to many off stage as Nippy from her family friends and people she worked with in the music industry.
Listening to the deep and yet touching account from family members and friends, you learn a great deal more about Whitney. The film will have you questioning some preconceived notion we all had of Whitney.
They say behind every man is a strong women, in Whitney’s case there was her mother Cissy and friend Robyn. What we don’t hear is Robyn’s account but learn very quickly that even though she was a rock to Whitney, she was not welcome by the Houston family in general. As a singer and choir director myself, I have always seeked my mothers approval. Always wanting my talents to be accepted. My mother has always wanted nothing but the best. However, somehow like Whitney at times I felt I never measured up to her expectations.
One particular section of the film which had me it fits of laughter reminded me of conversations I had with my mother. Who lets say humour was her forte. Was is a very honest unseen conversation between Whitney and Cissy referencing Janet Jackson’s voice, and Whitney calling Paula Abdul out of tune. You must hear it to believe it. A fabulous moment that had the whole cinema in laughter. You also learn some shocking facts that will have you sit back and re-evaluate what can psychologically lead to someones future behaviour stemmed from childhood.
My heart went out for Whitney and her brothers when I learnt that their cousin singer Dee Dee Warwick, sister of Dione Warwick sexually abused them as children. It breaks my heart to think that anyone can pray on innocent children which clearly explains the deep rooted psychological issue they must have been fighting, trying to understand their existence in their pursuit to happiness.
I had the great opportunity speaking to a few people after the screening and this was their reaction:
I was filled with much excitement and anticipation for the first screening of the new Whitney Movie in the Regent Street Cinema. I have to say as a huge Nippy fan, the viewing in my humble opinion over delivered on my expectations, as without going into too much detail, the film really goes behind the scenes of Whitney’s troubled and tragic life, even more so than the previous documentary, Can I be me. There are revelations that had people gasping, cursing, as well as crying and feeling so aggrieved at what this poor woman had had to tolerate and accept throughout her entire life! We were all blessed with an angel, but it appears that most of her family members and people very close to her were only concerned about how much money she could make them and few actually gave a damn about her or her daughter’s well-being and personal happiness. At one point someone mentions that Bobby Kristina didn’t stand a chance, well I feel strongly that neither did Whitney. For anyone wishing to know the uncompromising truth behind Whitney’s tragic demise, then this film is the one to watch.
(Singer & Whitney Tribute Act) ☆☆☆☆☆
The film shows us a deeper look into her life very few knew. The high and low points of her life/career are beautifully portrayed through the words of her family and friends. A truly unforgettable experience. Recommended prop: tissues
Chris Groom (Celebrity Stylist) ☆☆☆☆☆
A great compelling account of Whitney’s life.very informative and moving
David Anthony (TV Personality) ☆☆☆☆
A very emotional & honest look into Whitney’s life.
Dr Giorgia Ratta (Harley Street) ☆☆☆☆☆
How amazing is this feedback. In my humble opinion Whitney is wonderfully crafted. The film takes you through the highs and low moments which as artists we all get and to some degree understand the sheer approval work and commitment that is required to keep your audience happy, in Whitney case the world.
In 1991 at the age of 13 my love for Whitney cemented when I heard ‘I will always love you’. It is the fifth-best-selling single worldwide by sales (20 million) which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. With the soundtrack, which received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1994
Her rich tone and voice like silk captivated the world and I was hooked on her vocal acrobatics and wanted to learn how she did it. But as you learn more about Whitney you realise, her vocals were not acquired, she just had it. She was blessed and it was only a matter of time before she took over the world and our hearts. She paved the way, for many including world acclaimed artists from the likes of Mariah Carey, Beyoncé to Adele. The only solo female artist to chart seven consecutive US No. 1’s.
Whitney Houston was not only an iconic singer, she was also a wonderful actress, producer, and model.
In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time.
She already came from a esteemed family tree of great singer’s. Through her mother, Houston was a first cousin of singers Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick. Her godmother was Darlene Love and her honorary fabulous aunt was Aretha Franklin.
In the early 1980s, Houston started working as a fashion model appearing in Seventeen and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of the magazine.From a young age she was set for world domination.
Whitney without a shadow of doubt was not only the queen of the night, she was the queen of music and our hearts.
On 11 February 2012, in Beverly Hills, California, United States Whitney passed away, taken to soon, but now at rest and looked after by the heavenly angels
Whitney the film is released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland today the 6th July.
I highly recommend everyone to see this amazing, true, compelling account of Whitney’s life.
I leave you with one line from her greatest hits.
“I will always love you”