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In a blog entry at the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart offers up three cheers for New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie not only for ordering state flags to be flown at half-mast on Saturday in honor of Whitney Houston but also for vigorously defending that controversial decision.

Yes, ok, fine. The chanteuse’s rocky personal life made her a questionable role model. And her destructive choices put a blemish the size of a Garden State tomato on Christie’s honor. Still, the governor did the right thing. For the one thread that ties all of the tributes to the Jersey Girl’s career together is the awe over her extraordinary voice. When Houston sang, you paid attention.

I remember first seeing Houston on Friday Night Videos in 1985. The song was “You give good love.” There were no dancers. There was no elaborate storyline or special effects. Just a beautiful young woman singing into a microphone. If you were watching that night you knew you were witnessing the birth of a STAR.

The entire nation paid attention when Houston sang the Star-Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl. Maybe it was because we were a nation at war, but there was something about her beautifully effortless performance of the national anthem that filled you with pride. If only it were sung that way every time: With grace, passion and undeniable strength.


Read Jonathan Capehart's entire blog entry at the Washington Post.