dr david bull

Death of a legend

In Opinion Pieces on February 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm

You can never predict the future. We’re always told “Expect the unexpected” and last night was testament to that.

I was sitting at my desk in Los Angeles just a couple of miles from the Beverly Hilton when I received a text message from a friend telling me that Whitney Houston was dead.

I was absolutely stunned and immediately went on-line to check the veracity of the claim. There in black and white was confimation. Dead at the age of 48 . Found in her hotel room.

I never met Whitney Houston but for some reason I was really shocked and extremely saddened by the news. I’ve always admired her extraordinary talent. Just six years older than me, her music has defined my adult life. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say she was unbelivably gifted with an extraordinary vocal range. And she proved it by becoming one of the world’s best-selling artists.

Lots has been written about her; how she rose to fame and fortune and then crashed to Earth spiralling out of control in a cocktail of drink and drugs.

And yet recently it seemed that she had pulled herself through her darkest hours. Her first album in 7 years was critically acclaimed and went platinum, she was making a movie and had been rumoured to be a new judge on the X factor.

Last night that recovery ended.

The post-mortem has not revealed any suspicious cause but it will take six to eight weeks for the toxicology results to come through. Until then, her cause of death is pure speculation.

Her death has been playing on my mind all day. I keep wondering if she knew quite how much she had achieved and how fortunate she’d been. I also mused about whether she had enjoyed the journey to the top.

Fame brings with it incredible pressure. And many stars find it hard to cope turning to drugs and alcohol. She herself said that she was her own worst enemy.

Life is incredibly short and having had two near-death experiences myself, I can honestly say it changes your outlook forever. I am so grateful to still be alive and to be doing everything I love.

Every day is a blessing. We really do need to be grateful for everything we have – our families, friends, laughter and above all our good health.

And that’s the conclusion that I have come to about this tragic turn of events. Today shows once again that  despite amassing fame, fortune and fans – without your health you have nothing.

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