The Price Of Fame. How Do You Know When It Is Time To Quit?

whitney houston


Release Date

Friday, November 29, 2013


What happens when your adrenaline goes into overdrive and you cannot relax or sleep? Do you take drugs -prescription or other? Or do you just simply QUIT? A lot of debatable issues have risen from the recent death of Ms. Whitney Houston, all too serious to ignore.

But at the end of it all, we are all human and know not when or how we will go, so without blaming anyone, it is good to learn from the discussions, what is harmful and how to protect -if not ourselves- someone else. There are contrasting circumstances surrounding Ms. Houston's untimely death and that of another icon, Mr. Michael Jackson but what we know for sure is that both wanted to make a 'comeback' if not as good as they once were, surpassed anything they have ever done!

When news broke of the death of 48 year old Whitney Houston February 11, 2012, stories of her addiction to hard drugs surfaced almost immediately. Whitney Houston was to make an appearance at a pre-Grammy Awards gala put on by her mentor, Clive Davis that day. She was also trying to get back in shape for a major 'comeback' in August 2012 (Clive Davis disclosed in a tribute at her funeral) when she would appear in a movie titled Sparkles. As new information surfaced as to the cause of her death, her timeline revealed that she had been disheveled, and her behaviour erratic. Such behavioral patterns are closely associated with being high, and to add to that, she was said to have consumed 'too much booze.'

June 25 2009, the world was almost brought to a standstill, Facebook and twitter jammed when news broke of the death of 50 year old pop icon Michael Jackson (MJ). Michael was preparing for a big night, a night those around him felt would have been the epitome of a 'come back' to reclaim his position as the World's Greatest Performer ever; one entertainment news media summed it all up by stating With his then-concerts came approaching, Michael Jackson apparently didn't want to let down his fans, and had a rehearsal session for the gig on the night before he passed away on June 25. The show at the Staples Center was amazing. Michael rehearsed 10 or 11 songs." his manager told Billboard Magazine.

Michael Jackson was loved worldwide, he was an icon because the world has never seen another like him. But there was a time in his life when he became the most 'troubled' icon; One scandal after the other rocked his world and became the nightmare of a man whose life's work touched millions across the world like no one else has ever done. He was the subject of several entertainment talk shows and comedy shows and it was not about his 'golden voice' or majestic performances. Some said Jackson was a pedophile and he was even brought before the court to answer to such charges. The intense public pressure soon took its toll on Mr. Jackson's life and leads him to literally vanish from the public for a while.

Both Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, after their untimely deaths, are heralded as the best the world has ever seen in their lifetime. Some say he is the King of Pop and her, the Queen of Soul. In an interview with ABCs Diane Sawyers, Whitney confessed that though she always loved music at one point it was 'fun no more' and spoke of not dating in her 'twenties.' This it would seem, have left Ms. Houston longing, longing to live a normal life, do things normal people do or recapture some youthful moments she never had. This type of wanting and desire had also been for years, all Michael Jackson spoke about on interviews relating to his personal life. He blamed his dad for not allowing him to be a child and created a sense that his desire to recapture those moments contributed to his constant need to be around or spend time with kids. Michael Jackson died in his home.

In his defense, lawyers brought into evidence tapes that recorded a disoriented Michael Jackson telling his doctor (Dr. Conrad Murray a Cardiologist sentenced to 4 years in prison for killing Jackson) that he wanted to sleep because he had these 'rehearsals coming up' and that he wanted to put on show "when people leave my show I want them to say I have never seen nothing like this in my life" he was heard saying on tape during the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. It was also disclosed in the court hearing that Jackson consumed several different types of prescription drugs to help him sleep; two anti-anxiety benzodiazepines: lorazepam and midazolam and propofol. He died as a result of propofol intoxication. Michael Jackson's doctor admitted to administering a total of 225 bottles or 4 gallons of propofol in 30 days to the superstar to help him sleep.

People in the public eye usually have more traumas which often times drive them to get high. Though awaiting a toxicology report in the case of Ms. Whitney Houston; there are wide speculations surrounding the circumstances under which she died. She was found unresponsive Saturday afternoon in the bathtub of her suite in the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Anti-anxiety medication Xanax, antibiotic Amoxicillin for an upper respiratory infection and Ibuprofen for pain was found in her room. Speaking with Anderson Cooper on CNN 360 Dr Sanjay Gupta - Chief Medical Practitioner and Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN'S argued that Ms. Huston could have died from a dangerous combination of mixing drugs with booze click to watch discussion

Both Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson were taking anti-anxiety medication, these drugs aided in helping the icons to relax, sleep or keep calm. Both wanted badly to make a comeback and suffered at the time of their deaths from intense public pressure. Would they both be alive today if they had bowed out gracefully from the 'world of entertainment' to focus on being who they really wanted to be in private? How does one know it's time to quit, giving it all up before self-destruction? Or is quitting an option at all?

Editor-in-Chief's Note: This article is being republished on MNI Alive as it first appeared in Caribbean Entertainment Magazine

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