Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: Findings on Whitney Houston death)

The results are finally “in.” The L.A. coroner has “officially” confirmed that Whitney Houston’s cause of death was “accidental drowning.” On the “surface” this sounds like a terrible misfortune that could possible happen to “anyone.” However, when reading on the report notes that Ms. Houston had indeed used cocaine immediately before her death, leading to a “cardiac event.” If you are having a cardiac event while in the bathtub, accidental drowning is likely to occur. I do believe that most people wanted drugs to have “no part” in her untimely death. We all wanted her to be drug free and hoped that somehow she passed on “naturally.” We now need to come to the conclusion that she lived an addict… she died an addict… All the positive praise that was showered upon her after her passing was truly genuine and warranted, but a lot of it was based on the “belief” that she had finally “gotten her act together.” Now we have to accept the fact that she contributed to her own demise, much like Curt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Janis Jopln, Jimi Hendrix, Rick James and Michael Jackson. All of these legends might still be around today if they had been able to conquer their own drug demons. It is important to note that there are still questions around Whitney’s circumstances. If there was cocaine in her room, then someone must have removed it. Does this now mean that there should be “criminal charges” on the horizon for “removing evidence?’ Does the “coroner’s findings” now “close the book” on Whitney? It depends on your own interpretation. There were 2 sides of Whitney that the public got to see. There was the young, beautiful singer with a voice of gold that “lit” up the charts with her music and then there was the other woman who was a drug ridden, often inebriated, fraction of the woman she once was. As sad as this is to say, “both” of these women were “Whitney.” While it is admirable to focus on the “former” we should by “no means” forget the “latter.”  No matter what the coroner’s findings, I hope that her life is used as a “measuring stick” for the “next” upcoming musical sensation brought up in Whitney’s shadow. If we cannot learn from her life then to focus on it now would be “meaningless.” People need to know “both extremes” of Whitney Houston. There is another upcoming voice superstar out there somewhere who will need guidance to help make it. I only hope that those who take “him or her” under their wings develop her “musically” AND “responsibly.” A tragedy will always be a tragedy, but if we can somehow come up with a “positive” resulting from that tragedy then all doesn’t have to be in vane… “Life is what we make it.” “Thank you, Ms Whitney, for sharing your vocal talents with the world, and may you now “rest comfortably in God’s hands…


Johnny Gill, Brett Jolly and Bobby Brown



Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: AFTER Whitney’s funeral”)

Now that the Whitney Houston funeral service is over, it should be time for us to pick up the remaining pieces and move on. A lot of people watched the event over the weekend and many were emotionally touched by the services (and understandably so). I could go over it all, but what would that really accomplish? While Whitney’s life touched a lot of us we need to realize that at “some” point we “have” to “get on with our own lives.” Just like Ms. Houston, our own quality of life depends on how we plan to live it. I have heard a lot of commentary about what a beautiful church raised woman she was, and that is by far an admirable trait. However, there was another side to her that exhibited a totally “different” picture of Whitney Houston (and we should never lose track of this). If you compared your life with hers, what do you think you would have done differently? Would you have been able to deal with the pressures of fame and success better than she did it? Would you be able to resist the temptations of the devil’s gold (drugs) to live a “clean” career in such a “tainted” industry? While we all wanted the best for Whitney, we need to keep in mind that she “had choices.” SHE was the one who chose to marry Bobby Brown. SHE was the one to jump into the abyss of drug use. SHE was the one who threw it ALL away for a habit that she couldn’t conquer. Now that she is gone, what choices do YOU have? Can you improve your quality of life by striving for higher levels? Can you get along better with people who may not agree with you? Can you improve your education? Can you forgive? Can you take the risk on investing in something that means a lot to you? Can you find love with the “right person” and not just settle for the “one you will make yourself love later on?” Amy Winehouse, Don Cornelius, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston’s troubles are all over on “this” realm. They lived their lives of fame and fortune and then life changed for them. They left us with sorrow and sadness, but if we cannot learn anything else from their departures then what good is it to focus on their lives? Death is absolute! Until “our time” comes we still have the opportunity to make the changes that can alter our lives “significantly.” If you knew you were going to die next week, would you still continue to live life the same way you are living it now? Would you try to make your last days fulfilling or would you just “go peacefully?” Should you wake up tomorrow it will always be your “next chance” at life. Your goals, your thoughts and your progress determine the value of your life day. You can no longer help Whitney, but you can surely help yourself… In life we often encounter many obstacles and deterrents in our endeavors to improve. It is how we deal with these barriers that determine our life’s destiny. If you want to have a greater existence to your own life then forget about playing the lottery and pursue your dreams through your own hard work and dedication. That way when you finally obtain “success” it will be so much more fulfilling… Whitney no longer has any second chances, but “you” do… “Take control… and rise…” “Today is the very FIRST day of the rest of your life.” For your future visions, I hope you will be able to “dream it, pursue it, and then hopefully one day achieve it.” This is Brett Jolly, and I endorse this message…


Remember “Wonder Woman?” This is Linda Carter and Brett Jolly before a performance (she sings country music now)Image

Brett Jolly’ Daily Thought (Topic” Whitney Houston)

I’m sure this shouldn’t surprise anyone, but today’s Daily Thought is in reference to the legendary singer Whitney Houston. Although I have never had the honor or privilege to perform onstage with her, she and Bobby Brown were once in attendance when I performed a special award show years ago (I was playing for Usher and a group called Da Youngsters).  I can remember looking at her and noticing how thin she was (and how big her bodyguards were). Bobby was hugging her around the knee and acting like he was in love while it seemed like he was scouting the legs of all the other women sitting in the same row. Bobby later came up to me and told me that we were jamming and if he can manage to get a couple more “brews” in him that he will probably join me onstage. On that note I kept conspicuously quiet (smile). I also noticed that while Whitney was enjoying the music her hair shifted, and she took her hands to each side of her face to straighten it. That was when reality hit me and I deduced that “Whitney wore a wig.” This past Saturday I was performing at a local gig when the manager of the place came in to tell us that Ms. Houston had passed away. I was shocked, but then again I actually wasn’t.  Tabloids had been predicting her death for a long time. Some may actually argue that she had been “technically dead” for the past 10 years. Her passing is yet another chapter for famous artists whose deaths generated controversy. While the cause of her death is yet to be determined many have already “speculated” that drugs were at the center of it. When you mention the name of Whitney Houston 2 distinct visions should come to mind. One is the vibrant young pretty woman who sang effortlessly and “thanked God” when it came to receiving her many musical awards. The other is the strung out crack addict who looked disheveled and sang like someone had just performed surgery on her throat. Unfortunately “both” visions were “Whitney.” No matter which “Whitney” comes to mind no one can argue that her life story will make for a great movie epic (and I bet someone has jumped on this bandwagon already). “IF” by any chance it is determined that drugs played a part in her demise then her story will fall into the same categories of such great legends as Amy Winehouse, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Rick James, and Michael Jackson. I remember years ago when I played for the memorial service of the late Phyllis Hyman. Her life mirrored Whitney Houston’s in certain ways, and at her service I noticed that there were not a lot of positive things mentioned on her behalf. The people at the service instead brought up how difficult she was to work with, and how the drugs she used took control of her life. They talked about her troubles, and how she needed help. It was so sad, especially for an artist who brought so much joy to everyone through her music. Whitney was not a great dancer. Whitney was not someone who had to gyrate sexually or go barely dressed onstage. This woman was a pure singer who did not need to rely on “tape” or any gimmicks to perform. Even during the bad times you still heard Whitney “as is.” As I listened to a lot of the new artists on the Grammy’s last night I marveled at how many of them lip synced through their own songs. This would NOT have been Whitney. Is there anything that can be taken from her life for the rest of us? Hopefully we can learn that being in the limelight doesn’t guarantee that you will be “trouble-free.” It doesn’t mean that you can’t have responsibilities that are tough to handle. It doesn’t mean that happiness will always come easy… It doesn’t excuse you from being “human.” How can we stop other up and coming artists from following her path into destruction when a little bit of stardom hits him or her? We have to “pay attention.” Right now Whitney’s music is being played all over the world and those people who are due royalties from her music are getting paid. Clifton Davis, the actor who played the preacher in “Amen” actually wrote Michael Jackson’s hit song “Never can Say Goodbye.” After Michael died, I asked him about his royalties now that Mike’s music  had been revived. He said “The checks are coming in like crazy.” I am sure the same thing is now happening for all of Whitney’s writers and producers. I just hope that the world pays homage to the “early” Whitney. While we cannot shake the other images of her we should never lose track of the fact that she DID perform miracles with her music. She deserves our love and recognition and I only hope that the rest of the world acknowledges her for the true blessing she was, and not the devastation she eventually became. May she now be at peace with herself and  may she forevermore rest comfortably in God’s hands…
Johnnie Gil, Brett Jolly, and Whitney’s former husband, Bobby Brown





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