Didn’t We Almost Have It All by Gerrick D. Kennedy audiobook

Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston

By Gerrick Kennedy
Foreword by Brandy
Read by Leon Nixon

Blackstone Publishing 9781419749698
9.25 Hours 1
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A candid exploration of the genius, shame, and celebrity of Whitney Houston a decade after her passing On February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. In the decade since, the world has mourned her death amid new revelations about her relationship to her Blackness, her sexuality, and her addictions. Didn’t We Almost Have It All is author Gerrick Kennedy’s exploration of the duality of Whitney’s life as both a woman in the spotlight and someone who often had to hide who she was. This is the story of Whitney’s life, her whole life, told with both grace and honesty. Long before that fateful day in 2012, Whitney split the world wide open with her voice. Hers was a once-in-a-generation talent forged in Newark, New Jersey, and blessed with the grace of the church and the wisdom of a long lineage of famous gospel singers. She redefined “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She became a box-office powerhouse, a queen of the pop charts, and an international superstar. But all the while, she was forced to rein in who she was amid constant accusations that her music wasn’t Black enough, original enough, honest enough. Kennedy deftly peels back the layers of Whitney’s complex story to get to the truth at the core of what drove her, what inspired her, and what haunted her. He pulls the narrative apart into the key elements that informed her life—growing up in the famed Drinkard family; the two romantic relationships that shaped the entirety of her adult life, with Robyn Crawford and Bobby Brown; her fraught relationship to her own Blackness and the ways in which she was judged by the Black community; her drug and alcohol addiction; and, finally, the shame that she carried in her heart, which informed every facet of her life. Drawing on hundreds of sources, Kennedy takes readers back to a world in which someone like Whitney simply could not be and explains in excruciating detail the ways in which her fame did not and could not protect her. In the time since her passing, the world and the way we view celebrity have changed dramatically. A sweeping look at Whitney’s life, Didn’t We Almost Have It All contextualizes her struggles against the backdrop of tabloid culture, audience consumption, mental-health stigmas, and racial divisions in America. It explores exactly how and why we lost a beloved icon far too soon.

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Summary

Summary

A candid exploration of the genius, shame, and celebrity of Whitney Houston a decade after her passing

On February 11, 2012, Whitney Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. In the decade since, the world has mourned her death amid new revelations about her relationship to her Blackness, her sexuality, and her addictions. Didn’t We Almost Have It All is author Gerrick Kennedy’s exploration of the duality of Whitney’s life as both a woman in the spotlight and someone who often had to hide who she was. This is the story of Whitney’s life, her whole life, told with both grace and honesty.

Long before that fateful day in 2012, Whitney split the world wide open with her voice. Hers was a once-in-a-generation talent forged in Newark, New Jersey, and blessed with the grace of the church and the wisdom of a long lineage of famous gospel singers. She redefined “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She became a box-office powerhouse, a queen of the pop charts, and an international superstar. But all the while, she was forced to rein in who she was amid constant accusations that her music wasn’t Black enough, original enough, honest enough.

Kennedy deftly peels back the layers of Whitney’s complex story to get to the truth at the core of what drove her, what inspired her, and what haunted her. He pulls the narrative apart into the key elements that informed her life—growing up in the famed Drinkard family; the two romantic relationships that shaped the entirety of her adult life, with Robyn Crawford and Bobby Brown; her fraught relationship to her own Blackness and the ways in which she was judged by the Black community; her drug and alcohol addiction; and, finally, the shame that she carried in her heart, which informed every facet of her life.

Drawing on hundreds of sources, Kennedy takes readers back to a world in which someone like Whitney simply could not be and explains in excruciating detail the ways in which her fame did not and could not protect her.

In the time since her passing, the world and the way we view celebrity have changed dramatically. A sweeping look at Whitney’s life, Didn’t We Almost Have It All contextualizes her struggles against the backdrop of tabloid culture, audience consumption, mental-health stigmas, and racial divisions in America. It explores exactly how and why we lost a beloved icon far too soon.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A collection of often powerful meditations on Whitney’s life and the culture that failed her.” Washington Post
“A candid exploration of Houston’s talent, dysfunction, and fame beyond the tabloid headlines…It seriously considers her impact on music, pop culture, race, and the author’s own life.” Los Angeles Times
“Explores the context and complications of the most gifted voice of our times.” Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
“A riveting treatise and a cautionary tale that allows the reader to have a glimpse behind the curtain while also taking a look in the mirror.” Tarana Burke, “me too” movement founder and New York Times bestselling author
“Kennedy has gifted her—and us—with a poignant, essential cultural study of a global icon that we lost far too soon.” Dr. Yaba Blay, scholar, activist, and author of One Drop
“Kennedy allows Whitney to be present in this moment, a time when there is a broader reexamination of gender and sexuality, addiction and mental illness, a time when it’s possible to imagine Whitney freer in her whole self.” dream hampton, award-winning filmmaker and writer
“Fusing biography and cultural criticism, this consideration of Whitney Houston is also a study of reputation…Sexual abuse…and an important same-sex relationship—made living in the public eye fraught…Kennedy, however, highlights her ‘sisterhood’ with younger Black singers, including Faith Evans and Monica.” New Yorker
“It’s a fan’s book, for sure, and reading it might be the greatest love of all…There’s a lot of introspection in it, as well as a shift in how we think about our celebrities.” Jacksonville Free Press
“Kennedy celebrates the music legend’s triumphs in a judgment-free exploration of her life.” InStyle
“The book reframes the singer’s life and legacy through a lens of compassion, grace and dignity. It also serves as an examination of how society and the press mistreated her in life and after death.” WBUR
“[Kennedy] is resolute on one point: A lot of us owe Houston an apology.” TheUndefeated.com
“Telling Houston’s story alongside those of contemporary Black celebrities including Beyoncé…the author both celebrates the legendary singer’s inimitable talent and offers a rousing critique of oppressive systems still at work today.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Kennedy’s winning argument invites readers to focus on Houston's triumphs: the ceilings she broke and the pathways she paved. Particularly impactful is Kennedy’s work to locate Houston's legacy in a historical-cultural context.” Booklist
“Kennedy—who sees Houston through the lens of the Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and LGBTQ+ movements of the last decade—refuses to pass judgment. Instead, he seeks to understand Houston’s struggles.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Gerrick D. Kennedy

Author Bio: Gerrick D. Kennedy

Gerrick Kennedy is an award-winning journalist, cultural critic, and author based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston and Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap. His writing has appeared in GQWall Street Journal, NPR Music, SpinPlayboyTeen Vogue, Shondaland, CulturedMen’s Health, and the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, he was named Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 9.25
Audience: Adult
Language: English