N.Y. Times music critic Jon Pareles and Billboard‘s Danyel Smith spoke about Whitney Houston on Charlie Rose last night. The only stab at explaining what caused Houston’s tragic drug habit and death came at the 11-minute mark, when Smith said that Houston had all this responsibility to be great and maybe in the midst of this “she just wanted a cigarette, and maybe something else.” Okay, but what about other superstar entertainers who’ve dealt with this kind of pressure and who haven’t become cokeheads or died?
Smith also vaguely attributed some of Houston’s difficulties to her having grown up in Newark, New Jersey, which, she said, can be a “rough and tumble” environment. Except coming from a tough neighborhood tends to toughen you up and make you stronger, no? “That which doesn’t kill you”…right?