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Area residents reflect on Whitney Houston's life

February 13, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Chrisi McKnight
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Reporter

When she was a young mother, Linda Madden of Hagerstown listened to Whitney Houston.

“I loved listening to ‘I’m Every Woman,’” she said. “That was a wonderful song for mothers and women everywhere.”

Madden was among area residents who talked Monday about their memories of the singer, who was found dead Saturday in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Houston was 48.

Madden talked about Houston’s well-documented struggles with drug addiction.

“We need to find out how to help people like her who had such problems,” she said.

No cause of death has been released. Coroner’s officials have said they will not release any information on an autopsy performed Sunday at the request of police detectives investigating the singer’s death.

Chrisi McKnight, 38, of Hagerstown said she thought Houston’s death was a tragedy.

“It’s a voice that was wasted,” she said. “She took you to places that were unimaginable. She was so awesome at the beginning.”

McKnight said she was a fan of Houston’s music.

“I think ‘The Bodyguard’ stuck with everybody because of her singing and acting,” McKnight said. “It’s hard to believe that we grew up with her, and now she’s just gone. It’s a shame.”

Deshaun Madison of Hagerstown said Houston will be remembered not just for talent but for the number of fans she reached.

“She gave a lot of independent women hope, and she put a lot of spirit in people’s hearts,” he said. “Everybody is hurting because of her death.”

Madison, too, was a fan.

“I’ve been listening to her all day,” he said. “My whole family loves her. She is a legend.”

Erica Valentine of Baltimore, who was spending Monday in Hagerstown, said she grew up listening to Houston.

“I graduated to her song (‘The Greatest Love of All’),” she said. “It’s tragic that she died. She was a hero, and my heart goes out to her and her family.”

Eric Kauffman of Hagerstown said he was also a huge fan of Houston when he was growing up because of her great voice.

“Whitney was the best singer that I ever heard,” he said. “Each song that she sang made me cry, but Whitney’s death was the saddest part of all because she was a very lovely lady.”

Raynelle Watson, 19, of Hagerstown said she was upset by the news of Houston’s death.

“I feel bad for her,” she said. “When I was a kid, I was worried about her, and I was crying and angry (when) she died.”

Watson said she was always a fan, though, and remembered listening to Houston when she was younger.

“I loved ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ with her, Faith Evans and Kelly Price, and then I saw that she was on stage with Price two days before,” she said. “It was just very sad when she died.”

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