Tuesday Open Thread: Whitney Houston Week

More from Whitney Houston.

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1985–86: Rise to international prominence

With production from Michael Masser, Kashif, Jermaine Jackson, and Narada Michael Walden, Houston’s debut album Whitney Houston was released in February 1985. Rolling Stone magazine praised Houston, calling her “one of the most exciting new voices in years” while The New York Times called the album “an impressive, musically conservative showcase for an exceptional vocal talent.”[39][40] Arista Records promoted Houston’s album with three different singles from the album in the US, UK and other European countries. In the UK, the dance-funk “Someone for Me”, which failed to chart in the country, was the first single while “All at Once” was in such European countries as the Netherlands and Belgium, where the song reached the top 5 on the singles charts, respectively.[41]

In the US, the soulful ballad “You Give Good Love” was chosen as the lead single from Houston’s debut to establish her in the black marketplace first.[42] Outside the US, the song failed to get enough attention to become a hit, but in the US, it gave the album its first major hit as it peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and No. 1 on the Hot R&B chart.[36] As a result, the album began to sell strongly, and Houston continued promotion by touring nightclubs in the US. She also began performing on late-night television talk shows, which were not usually accessible to unestablished black acts. The jazzy ballad “Saving All My Love for You” was released next and it would become Houston’s first No. 1 single in both the US and the UK. She was then an opening act for singer Jeffrey Osborne on his nationwide tour. “Thinking About You” was released as the promo single only to R&B-oriented radio stations, which peaked at number ten on the US R&B Chart. At the time, MTV had received harsh criticism for not playing enough videos by black, Latino, and other racial minorities while favoring white acts.[43] The third US single, “How Will I Know”, peaked at No. 1 and introduced Houston to the MTV audience thanks to its video. Houston’s subsequent singles from this, and future albums, would make her the first African-American woman to receive consistent heavy rotation on MTV.[31]

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By 1986, a year after its initial release, Whitney Houston topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and stayed there for 14 non-consecutive weeks.[44] The final single, “Greatest Love of All”, became Houston’s biggest hit at the time after peaking No. 1 and remaining there for three weeks on the Hot 100 chart, which made her debut the first album by a woman to yield three No. 1 hits. Houston was No. 1 artist of the year and Whitney Houston was the No. 1 album of the year on the 1986 Billboard year-end charts, making her the first woman to earn that distinction.[44] At the time, Houston released the best-selling debut album by a solo artist.[45] Houston then embarked on her world tour, Greatest Love Tour. The album had become an international success, and was certified 13× platinum (diamond) in the United States alone, and has sold 25 million copies worldwide.[46]

At the 1986 Grammy Awards, Houston was nominated for three awards including Album of the Year.[47] She was not eligible for the Best New Artist category due to her previous hit R&B duet recording with Teddy Pendergrass in 1984.[48] She won her first Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Saving All My Love for You”.[49] Houston’s performance of the song during the Grammy telecast later earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.[50]

Houston won seven American Music Awards in total in 1986 and 1987, and an MTV Video Music Award.[51][52] The album’s popularity would also carry over to the 1987 Grammy Awards when “Greatest Love of All” would receive a Record of the Year nomination. Houston’s debut album is listed as one of Rolling Stone ’​s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and on The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Definitive 200 list.[53][54] Houston’s grand entrance into the music industry is considered one of the 25 musical milestones of the last 25 years, according to USA Today.[55] Following Houston’s breakthrough, doors were opened for other African-American women such as Janet Jackson and Anita Baker to find notable success in popular music and on MTV.[56][57]



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Whitney Houston

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23 Responses to Tuesday Open Thread: Whitney Houston Week

  1. So beautiful to hear a member of the Lakota tribe chant after the Keystone pipeline bill fail. I have tears. Holy! Yes it is!

  2. Keystone pipeline bill dies in the Senate. Salute to my Native American brothers and sisters.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Norfolk students protest principal’s offensive tweet

    by theGrio | November 18, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Virginia students walked out of Booker T. Washington High School on Monday to protest offensive tweets made by their assistant principal.

    Several of the students took a screenshot of Amy Strickland’s tweet in question, and the image quickly made the rounds through the student population. The tweet itself contains an image of students dressed up for the prom. All the girls are white and the males are black. The caption reads: “Every white girl’s father’s worst nightmare.”

    “I could have been any one of the boys in the picture,” said Michael LeMelle, a junior at the high school. “And I really don’t see myself, like I said earlier, as anyone’s worst nightmare.”


  4. rikyrah says:

    Tough As Nails11.18.14
    The Valerie Jarrett I Know: How She Saved the Obama Campaign and Why She’s Indispensable

    Her critics plainly do not know her. To work for Jarrett is to discover someone who listens and someone who expects nothing less than the very best.
    With all of the recent conversation about Valerie Jarrett, there’s an aspect of her work that still hasn’t received much attention: her impact on the next generation of Washington leadership. This is a critically important role, and something I’ve seen firsthand.

    In the second half of 2007, Valerie quite literally saved the Obama presidential campaign. We were hemorrhaging support in the late summer and fall of that year, and a sort of depression was settling in among some field and political staff in early primary states. We lagged far behind Hillary Clinton in many of those contests, even among black voters, who didn’t see the campaign making the types of decisions that indicated we wanted their support.

    The last straw was when Congressman John Lewis—the Civil Rights legend—came out in support of Hillary Clinton in October 2007. That announcement dealt a huge blow to our morale internally and to the case that we made to minority voters externally. It was hard to talk about making history when the real history-makers like Lewis weren’t backing you.

    One core problem was that our young, diverse campaign staff didn’t always feel heard by the powers that be. There were strategic recommendations, views on where the candidate should go, and political intelligence among these lower and middle ranks of staffers, but few places to send them. This resulted in missed opportunities, depressed morale—and declining poll numbers in states where the support of young people, African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities was key.

    That’s when Valerie stepped in. She had functionally been a volunteer and an occasional advisor up to that point, but after the Lewis disaster it was clear she needed to take a larger role. So she more formally joined the ranks of the campaign’s senior leadership. And as soon as she became a regular presence at our Michigan Avenue headquarters, things started to change.

    Young, black, Latino, women, and gay staffers felt like they had a listening ear and advocate in the upper tiers of the campaign—at times after making a quiet trip to Valerie’s office. The diversity of our endorsements started trending in the right direction, often after a phone call from Valerie to a key supporter. Then-Senator Obama began attending the types of base-rallying events that got people in the early states energized, often after a nudge from Valerie. And in states like South Carolina—which was so central to the campaign’s trajectory after the devastating loss in New Hampshire—Obama finally got his footing, and turned things around.

    Washington doesn’t long abide people that it can’t control, and Valerie is just a tad beyond the establishment’s reach.


  5. rikyrah says:

    Good comment from Balloon Juice:

    Sherparick says:
    November 18, 2014 at 7:38 am
    I think Chris Ladd misunderstands his own movement and what drives it. He might even misunderstand himself and why he is a Republican. He needs to read Corey Robin’s “The Reactionary Mind” and Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer.” The Conservative Movement, the mass movement that has captured the Republican Party, is a movement that at its heart driven by rage and resentment. Rage at the disruption of the former subordination of Black, Brown, and Red to White; rage at the disruption of subordination of women to men; the disruption of the subordination of Gay to Straight; and the disruption of subordination of workers to their employers, and all these relationships sanctified and justified by their own peculiar religious doctrine. The Movement seeks a restoration of all these old relationships, and when they speak of “liberty” and “economic freedom” they they mean the restoration of the liberty of private power to enforce these subordinate relationships, with violence both private and state sanctioned. However, problem for the American Conservative Mass Movement its Achilles heel is its Whiteness, particularly its mixture White Protestant Southern and White Roman Catholic male ethnic culture, both of which by definition excludes Yankees (northern whites of with a classic Protestant sensibility (not particularly religious, but rather the attitude of “dissent” and “protest”) across all class lines as much as it excludes Black, Browns, Asians, single women, and Gays. Hence the Blue Wall.

  6. rikyrah says:

    This column was the basis for a Larry O segment last night.


    The missing story of the 2014 election

    Posted on November 10, 2014 | By chrisladd

    Few things are as dangerous to a long term strategy as a short-term victory. Republicans this week scored the kind of win that sets one up for spectacular, catastrophic failure and no one is talking about it.

    What emerges from the numbers is the continuation of a trend that has been in place for almost two decades. Once again, Republicans are disappearing from the competitive landscape at the national level across the most heavily populated sections of the country while intensifying their hold on a declining electoral bloc of aging, white, rural voters. The 2014 election not only continued that doomed pattern, it doubled down on it. As a result, it became apparent from the numbers last week that no Republican candidate has a credible shot at the White House in 2016, and the chance of the GOP holding the Senate for longer than two years is precisely zero.

    For Republicans looking for ways that the party can once again take the lead in building a nationally relevant governing agenda, the 2014 election is a prelude to a disaster. Understanding this trend begins with a stark graphic.

    Behold the Blue Wall:

    The Blue Wall is block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. Tuesday that block finally extended to New Hampshire, meaning that at the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes without even trying. That’s 257 out of the 270 needed to win.

    Arguably Virginia now sits behind that wall as well. Democrats won the Senate seat there without campaigning in a year when hardly anyone but Republicans showed up to vote and the GOP enjoyed its largest wave in modern history. Virginia would take that tally to 270. Again, that’s 270 out of 270.


  7. rikyrah says:

    Republicans Have No Plan


  8. rikyrah says:

    CNN: You Just Can’t Hold Republicans Accountable For Their Own Actions

    By Steve M. November 18, 2014 5:00 am

    This CNN story acknowledges that, yes, it does seem quite possible that Republicans will throw sand in the gears of government in the next two years. But you can’t blame them, because it’s really not their fault:

    … Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham warned Obama could spark a backlash over immigration.

    “If he goes it alone he is going to run into the ire of the American people,” Graham said, though said Congress also had a responsibility to act….

    GOP leaders are already braced for pressure from the right for a tangible and not merely symbolic reflex when the president acts.

    “If the president moves forward and does his executive action, the Republicans have no choice but to respond,” said Dan Holler, communications director of Heritage Action for America, a conservative non profit group.

    “That response needs to be legislative. The vehicle that makes most sense is denying funding for the activity that they say is unconstitutional and inappropriate.” …

    Obama’s immigration move is certain to ignite a firestorm of grass roots conservative anger. That will in turn pile pressure on rank-and-file Republican House members who campaigned for office slamming what they see as an imperial president….

    Nothing worries Republicans in deeply conservative districts more than the prospect of a primary challenge, and many simply cannot afford not to mount the kind of rowdy response to Obama which will rock Boehner’s restive caucus….

    Executive orders on immigration will also detonate as the 2016 presidential race dawns, trapping Republicans between the party’s activist base and a desire to engage Hispanic voters vital to GOP White House hopes….

    Paragraph after paragraph of this story portrays Republicans, once again, as helpless prisoners of their voter base, of right-wing activist groups, and even of “the American people” overall. Republicans don’t want to be obstructionist — they have no choice! They’re “under pressure”! Left to their own devices, they’d make deals like crazy!


  9. rikyrah says:

    Michigan’s electoral-vote scheme, back from the grave
    11/18/14 08:38 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Early last year, Republican officials in a variety of states were pretty frustrated by the scope of President Obama’s re-election victory. They decided the electoral college might need a little touch-up, tilting the playing field in the GOP’s direction – if Republicans were losing, it was time to change the rules of the game.

    And so, a scheme was hatched: instead of allocating electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis, the way nearly all states have done throughout American history, several key states would rig the election by awarding votes based on gerrymandered congressional district lines. GOP operatives in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania Virginia, and Wisconsin immediately took up the cause.

    The push didn’t last long, and within a few months, as revulsion to the scheme grew, each of the states had effectively given up on the idea.

    And though Michigan, run by a Republican governor and Republican state legislature, backed off on the scheme, support for the idea lingered in the Wolverine State for quite a while. In fact, it’s back.
    Michigan would divide its electoral college votes in presidential elections rather than award them all to a single candidate under legislation being introduced Thursday in the state House.

    Sponsoring Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, says the bill would make Michigan more important in presidential elections, but Democrats argue it would only benefit Republicans, who haven’t won a presidential election in Michigan since 1988.
    Michigan isn’t entirely alone. Zach Roth reported last week that the scheme may rear its head in 2015 now that Republican control of state governments has grown, and National Review published a piece calling the election-rigging plan “pretty tempting,” largely because it would make it “nearly impossible” for the country to elect a Democratic president.


  10. rikyrah says:


    Sen. Sanders (I-VT) said, “It tells us that you have a program that is working well. That they have overcome the problems that they initially had. It tells me that about seventy-five percent of the people on the exchanges think that the healthcare they are getting is good, and I think this is making our Republican colleagues very nervous.”

    Later, Sen. Sanders explained why Republicans want to destroy the ACA. He said, “They want to destroy it not for what it is, but because it is the federal government doing something to protect ordinary people, and that is not what they like. These are the same guys who want to end Medicare as we know it. Convert it into a voucher program. Make massive cuts in Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs. Ultimately what they want at the end of the day is for all Americans to go into the private sector exclusively for their health care. If you don’t have any money and you can’t afford it, tough luck.”

    Sanders summed up the entire Republican philosophy, “What these guys want to do is to tell the American people,’Hey you think government can do something for you? It can’t. Only the private sector can do things for you, and you don’t even have to come to vote because government is irrelevant to your lives. That’s what this whole thing is about ideologically.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    When the Beltway media goes horribly awry
    11/17/14 05:11 PM—UPDATED 11/17/14 06:04 PM
    facebook twitter 4 save share group 16
    By Steve Benen
    There’s frequently a challenge associated with scrutinizing Ron Fournier’s columns. On the one hand, his commentary is often emblematic of a misguided train of thought that warrants a serious rebuttal, lest others take his analysis seriously.

    On the other hand, my fear is the political world’s near-constant exasperation with the rigid ideologue becomes self-defeating – people criticize Fournier’s persistently disappointing work, which draws attention to Fournier’s work, which leads to clicks and pageviews, which leads the editors and publishers at National Journal to think Fournier is doing a terrific job driving a spirited public conversation.

    Indeed, though I can’t be sure, I often wonder if the political columnist himself realizes at a certain level that that the more tedious his work is, the more attention he receives. It creates an unfortunate cycle: by highlighting Fournier’s errors of fact and logic, we indirectly encourage Fournier to make more errors of fact and logic through a twisted system of incentives and rewards.

    Having said all of that, let’s grudgingly consider his latest column, “The Extraordinary Smallness of Washington,” which includes what Matt Yglesias referred to as “the worst two paragraphs about American politics you’ll read today.”
    On health care, we needed a market-driven plan that decreases the percentage of uninsured Americans without convoluting the U.S. health care system. Just such a plan sprang out of conservative think tanks and was tested by a GOP governor in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

    Instead of a bipartisan agreement to bring that plan to scale, we got more partisan warfare. The GOP resisted, Obama surrendered his mantle of bipartisanship, and Democrats muscled through a one-sided law that has never been popular with a majority of the public.

    This is a classic of the genre. For Fournier, bipartisanship is always right, even when it’s wrong


  12. rikyrah says:

    Walker latest to talk up Hillary Clinton’s age
    11/18/14 08:00 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who’s made no secret of his national ambitions, sat down over the weekend with the Fox affiliate in Milwaukee, which asked him about his possible presidential campaign. The Republican governor’s response seemed noteworthy.
    “To me, I’m not going to run just because of the pundits or anything else like that. The closer you get to something like that the more you realize – and I say this only half-jokingly – that you have to be crazy to want to be president. And anyone who has seen pictures of this president or any of the former presidents can see the before and after. No matter how fit, no matter how young they are, they age pretty rapidly when you look at their hair any everything else involved with it.

    “Whether it’s two years, six years or 20 years from now – because I think of Hillary Clinton. I could run 20 years from now and still be about the same age as the former Secretary of State is right now.”
    In context, the question the reporter asked was, “Do you have a sense that this is your moment?” There were no previous references to Clinton or ages; it was just what Walker had on his mind at the time, and he felt inclined to share the thought, no matter how gratuitous it was.

    The Wisconsin governor’s comments come just a week after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was “none too subtly raising the issue of her age,” too.


  13. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  14. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone!

  15. Ametia says:

    Murderinng Joke is attacking Mccaskil about the life of Darren Wilson and his family. Asked if the leadership will tell the people of Ferguson to leave Wilsona nd his family the “HELL” alone if he is aquitted..

    Did you care about that interns’s family after she was murdered in your congressional office, JOe?

    Senator Claire McCaskill is on Murdering Joke making excuses for Gov Jay Nixon. Same old shit about we gotta change the racial make up of police force and the 70% black community of Ferguson.

    We already know this fact

    • rikyrah says:

      Bish, please.

      Sit yo azz down and STFU.

      as for Murdering Joe…..Karma will be a knockin’ for him.

      • Ametia says:

        LOL 3 hours in the morning of pure jibberish and bullshit on MSNBC. When are the ratings going to hit rock bottom for this circus of circle-jerking mealy-mouthed, self-righteous fools?

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