The Greatest Love of All has always been one of my favourite songs. It was written by song-writer Linda Epstein and originally recorded by George Benson for the movie biography of Muhammad Ali. At the time that she wrote the song, Ms. Epstein was suffering from breast cancer. She wanted to express her feelings about dealing with challenges in life and being strong, and passing the strength on to children. Linda Epstein died of breast cancer at the age of 36, just as Whitney Houston made the song an international hit.
When my daughter and I were in New York, Whitney Houston was very popular and her music was playing everywhere. I remember being in a taxi on the corner of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue, near the Plaza Hotel, and this song came on the radio. Occasionally there is a song that almost transcends reality for a moment, and that is what this song did for me. I looked around at New York and the wonderful buildings, with Whitney’s beautiful voice filling the air, and for me it was almost a surrealistic moment. Whenever I hear this song, I am back on the corner of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Whitney Houston had one of the most beautiful, pure, clear voices of any singer. She never had to resort to warbling, but could belt out the song with strength and power. It’s beyond tragic that that beautiful voice has been silenced at the age of 48. I hate substance abuse. With a passion. It robs and it kills.
Rest in peace, Whitney. We will still have your music.