The untimely death of Whitney Houston on Saturday was so sad but not all shocking given her long history of drug abuse. Having one of the most amazing voices the world has ever heard ultimately means zero when drugs take over, but Houston tried her best to be as professional as she could a couple of years back when her “comeback” tour was scheduled for a stop in Dublin.
You likely remember when the Icelandic ash cloud wreaked havoc on flying into and around Europe a couple of years ago, and Houston was one of the millions who experienced travel disasters. She had performed in the U.K. and was due in Dublin for three shows in April of 2010, and could have canceled the performances because air travel was blocked.
But she proved to be a trouper, and traveled several hours by land and sea to fulfill the engagements.
"When Whitney was made aware of the airport closures due to the volcanic ash, she made the decision to drive from Birmingham to Dublin via the ferry so that she would not disappoint her Irish fans," promoters said at the time. “She is delighted to be in Ireland and is very much looking forward to performing.”
The shows, unfortunately, weren’t vintage Whitney. You can see several clips on YouTube, but by that point her career was already on a severe downswing.
“There are slivers of the super-talented young Whitney -- a high note here, a spine-tingling pause there on 'I Will Always Love You' -- but they arrive so infrequently it hardly matters,” wrote the critic from the Irish Independent.
Her problems were so well documented when she arrived in Dublin that Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was offering odds on various Whitney possibilities during her time on Irish soil – 10-1 that she’d spit on stage at any of her shows (as far as we know, she didn’t), 5-1 that she’d forget any of the words to her songs, and 2-1 that fans would boo her off the stage.
Sharon McHugh of Paddy Power said, “Those of us that grew up listening to Whitney will be willing her to give a fantastic concert this weekend but the latest reviews haven’t been kind and it’s been more ‘Houston we have a problem’ than ‘Houston sensation’ these days!”
Houston’s voice, and her life, were in much better shape back in 1999 when she visited Dublin for the MTV Europe awards. She performed live, and was accompanied by her then-husband Bobby
Brown, a huge talent in his own right who many blame for leading Whitney down a dark path which she was unable to escape.
Whitney Houston - Dublin O2 arena April 20: