It’s been seven years since her death, but her legacy lives on. She has over 11 million monthly listeners on Spotify and her single “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” has been streamed over 306 million times.
It’s undeniable that Whitney Houston’s astounding talent and persona has been larger than life.
A singer, actress as well as daughter, wife and mother, Houston is dearly loved by women all over the world, both for her professional successes and tragic personal life.
As a tribute to Houston and all women like her, who soldier on through life with their chins up, a concert called “Remembering Whitney” was held at Istana Budaya from March 22-23 in conjunction with International Women’s Day.
There to sing a string of Houston’s classics was Trina Johnson Finn from Las Vegas, a highly acclaimed artiste in her own right who has been labelled the “soulful mirror of the world’s greatest diva”.
The 90-minute concert was exhilarating at times and deeply emotional at others.
Finn did an excellent “Houston”, capturing the artiste’s soulfulness while infusing her own interpretations into the melodies, all much-loved classics that have dominated the airwaves and earned strings of music awards for both Houston and her recording label.
A seasoned performer, Finn instantly connected with the crowd, putting them at ease with a story of her own first encounter with Houston when she was just a teen.
She said she remembered hearing the most beautiful sound coming from the radio, and asked her mother who was singing.
“Baby, that’s Whitney Houston,” her mother said. And Finn was hooked for life.
Finn opened the concert with the powerful “I’m Every Woman” and followed this with one Houston hit after another – “How Will I Know”, “I Will Always Love You”, “I Have Nothing”, “Million Dollar Baby”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” besides many more – 19 to be exact.
She also sang “Greatest Love of All” as a special tribute to Bakasa, a non-profit organisation dedicated to working with underprivileged children, families and communities. Proceeds from the royal charity concert were channelled to Bakasa to help curb poverty.
Meanwhile, as a precursor to the evening’s nostalgia Roy Wong, 13 and Tria Aziz gave a heartfelt rendition of the all-time favourite “Greatest Love of All” while Sera, 15 sang “Run To You”.
The trio had auditioned for the opportunity to perform as part of the opening act at this prestigious event.
The royal charity concert was co-presented by Milestone Production Sdn Bhd and Bakasa. It was graced by former Sultanah of Pahang, Sultanah Hajah Kalsom.