By: Historical Boxing Writer, Scott Canipe

Real Combat Media would like to pay a special tribute to Whitney Elizabeth Houston. On Saturday, February 11, 2012, the world lost this tremendous talent that contributed much to society through the medium of music. Houston was 48 years old. She was beautiful, had an angelic voice, and was a musical icon of unparalleled proportions.

She is noted to have performed at a few boxing events. On January 15, 2000, she effortlessly sang “God Bless America” just before Roy Jones, Jr. defended his IBF, WBA, and WBC light heavyweight world championships against David Telesco. It was vintage Whitney Houston. She was regal, classy, and her vocal range was unparalleled as she was multifaceted, unique, strong, and fierce seuging into an elegant flow hitting both high and low notes.

But who could ever forget the performance that she gave when she sang “The Greatest Love of All” to Muhammad Ali on his 50th birthday. This birthday bash was a gala event that had in attendance a “who’s who’s” of celebrities. Dustin Hoffman, Dan Aykroyd, Billy Crystal, Sugar Ray Leonard, Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone, Larry Holmes, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc. and a myriad of other individuals of notable entertainment and sports status were there.

Dustin Hoffman commences by stating, “We have one of the few people in the world that even Ali acknowledges is prettier than he is, Ms. Whitney Houston.” Just before her song, Ms. Houston, stated, “When I was a young teenager, I saw a movie called, The Greatest. It was about the life of Muhammad Ali.” She turned to Ali and proceeded with, “I thought you were the most marvelous man that I had ever seen, and in this movie was a song. The song was an inspiration as you are.” Ms. Houston continued, “I love this song as I love Muhammad Ali, and a few years later I had the opportunity to record it. I’ve sung it many times, in many places, to many people. But this is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to sing it to one of the greatest men of all. I love you.”

It was a heartfelt performance as Whitney began slowly. Then after a few moments into the song, with her mezzo-soprano spectacular voice, she begins to sing louder hitting many chords and notes with her incomparable singing ability. Her tonal purity and vocal fluidity fueled by genuine passion obviously touched Muhammad Ali in a deep way. When she finished, Ali immediately jumped up on the stage and gave her a warm embrace as if to say more than just a “thank you”. You could detect just how Ali was moved by this song. It was one of Whitney Houston’s most riveting performances.

Whitney Houston was such an incredible talent and in the forthcoming weeks and months she will be mourned with great sadness. She will forever be missed but never forgotten. R.I.P. Whitney Houston.

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