“…and as always in parting, we wish you peace, love, and soul!”

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Those were Donald Cortez Cornelius’ parting words on the famed Soul Train. For many years, Soul Train was a Saturday staple in my household; before there was cable (and it was a while before cable made it into my household), the videos, the steps, the songs serenaded the walls of my home. It was a show unlike none other–it was not a show just for Blacks, it had crossover appeal and a lasting one indeed. Soul Train was on air for some 35 years. Don Cornelius died on February 1, 2012 at the age of 75.

Jamesetta Hawkins, or one Etta James, was born with a very special insight to soul. She revealed herself; her vulnerabilities and shared with all of us her at times raw, yet pure emotions through song. Miss Peaches exuded confidence, dignity, and grit. Etta James died on January 20, 2012 at the age of 73.

I have three music idols: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and Whitney Elizabeth Houston. I grew up expressing myself through words and song (never mind that I could not sing), rather through songs and words I could reveal that inner part of me, the most vulnerable parts effortlessly. Whitney Houston was a songstress like none other; truly, her singing appeared to be effortlessly. My three idols grew with me, as I with them. And Whitney and I had a very special bond–one Christmas my mother bought me a beige and red tape recorder with a microphone. I did every Whitney Houston song imaginable and awful renditions, but I poured my heart out as I felt she did. Whitney Houston died February 11, 2012 at the age of 48.

These three lived life and the things that may have come with it. Through the fortune and fame, they struggled in some form or fashion. These struggles have been played out, written about, and discussed at nausea. These struggles were apart of who they were, these struggles, in a way, were the basis of their art–and in so, they revealed themselves through music, song, or dance. And I hope in their next life, they find that love that they showered me with, the peace that they brought through a few comforting lines, and the soul that they helped me to find…I hope they find the art of living without torment and know what it feels like to “get a good feeling…get a feeling that I never, never, never, never had before” and just dance with somebody.


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