While Whitney Houston is sadly no longer here to tell us how she might feel about being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the man who made her a star is quite sure she’d be thrilled at the news.
Clive Davis, the record executive who signed Whitney and guided her career, tells Billboard that he’s “ecstatic” that the late superstar will be inducted in Cleveland this May.
“It’s very important to Whitney’s legacy and fully deserved. She and Aretha Franklin have influenced more young artists than any other artists I know,” Davis tells Billboard. “She’d be touched, grateful. There’s no question.”
As Davis notes, “[Whitney] never took anything for granted. I always asked her, ‘Are you pinching yourself?’ She truly would be touched by this unique and special recognition. It would be very important to her.”
In addition to her sheer commercial success, Davis also points to the fact that Whitney was a trailblazer in other ways.
“She was more than an incredibly successful artist — she had a unique role in breaking down the barriers at MTV,” he explains. “She was really the first female black artist that MTV embraced and was consistent in the devotion they had to what she did.”
Davis tells Billboard he’ll attend the induction ceremony with Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and the executor of her estate.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will air live on HBO May 2. Others being inducted along with Whitney include The Doobie Brothers, synth-pop pioneers Depeche Mode, British glam-rockers T. Rex, Nine Inch Nails, and The Notorious B.I.G.
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