The passing of pop music superstar Whitney Houston was a sad loss for everyone, including members of the Broadway community. Two-time Tony nominee Gavin Creel (Hair) posted this song on YouTube and it struck a chord. Here’s how Creel explains the positive influence Whitney Houston had on his life: :
She was my absolute favorite singer growing up, and I used to be made fun of for that. In 1987, an 11-year-old boy was supposed to have pictures of cars or baseball players on his bedroom wall…not a huge poster of Whitney Houston. Last summer while I was writing songs for my next record, I kept hearing about all these young boys who were getting pushed around, like I had been, for liking things ‘boys weren’t supposed to like,’ but I was also hearing that some of those boys decided life wasn’t worth living anymore.
I wanted to write a song to tell those kids about the woman who helped me through my tough time as a fruity little dude… about the woman who sang me through those crap junior high school years…a song about the music that made me feel happier, fuller, better. And, as I wrote it, I dreamt of getting to play it for her one day.
I never in a million years thought we would get the news we got yesterday. I just can’t believe it. It’s so heartbreakingly tragic that someone so iconic and inspiring to so many, was also so tortured.
We wrote and recorded this song last year to honor Whitney. I hope now it can serve as my own tribute to her memory.
I was a fruity little dude, too. I knew every word of “How Will I Know” and had mastered the choreography in the video. So, when the Princess of Pop covered “I Know Him So Well” from the musical Chess on her second album, it made me feel like maybe even my music theater loving side could be cool, too. How could show tunes be bad if Whitney loved them?
So, thank you, Whitney. Here’s a video of her performing that song with her mother, Cissy Houston: