Didn't We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston

(Author) (Foreword by)
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Product Details

$28.00  $26.04
Abrams Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Gerrick Kennedy is an award-winning journalist, cultural critic, and author based in Los Angeles. Kennedy is the author of Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap. His writing has appeared in GQ, WSJ. Magazine, NPR Music, Spin, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Shondaland, Cultured Magazine, Men's Health, and the Los Angeles Times.


"In this stirring work, journalist Kennedy reexamines 'all that Whitney was and all that she was never able to be'...the author both celebrates the legendary singer's inimitable talent and offers a rousing critique of oppressive systems still at work today. This is a must-read for fans."
-- "Publishers Weekly, *starred* review"
"A collection of unsparing, deeply personal essays on the singer's life and career that arrives 10 years after her death...Kennedy's book, unlike so many before it, is not a gossipy biography but a collection of often powerful meditations on Whitney's life and the culture that failed her".
-- "The Washington Post"

"A decade after Houston's death, journalist Gerrick Kennedy celebrates the music legend's triumphs in a judgment-free exploration of her life following a foreword by Brandy."

-- "InStyle"
"A candid exploration of Houston's talent, dysfunction and fame beyond the tabloid headlines...It seriously considers her impact on music, pop culture, race and the author's own life as a queer Black man."
-- "Los Angeles Times"
"By contextualizing her career, this book is far from a simple biography or tell-all, and feels like, what Wills described as 'a collective apology' to a beloved icon."-- "The Grio"
"The great strength of this book is that Kennedy--who sees Houston through the lens of the Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and LGBTQ+ movements o f the last decade--refuses to pass judgment. Instead, he seeks to understand Houston's struggles as evidence of a woman who shouldered an enormous burden--not just as a pop icon, but as a deeply devout queer Black artist forced to inhabit an unforgiving premade identity...Thoughtful reading for Houston fans and music historians alike."
-- "Kirkus Reviews"
"Kennedy's winning argument invites readers to focus on Houston's triumphs: the ceilings she broke and the pathways she paved. Particularly impactful is Kennedy's work to locate Houston's legacy in a historical-cultural context, retrieving, for example, the no longer-sung, racist third verse of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'--which she breathtakingly performed in 1991--and contemplating the meaning of a Black woman performing the national anthem at such a profound level."-- "Booklist"
"Tackle Didn't We Almost Have It All...and you can expect to see things you already know, but you can also expect to be delighted. It's a fan's book, for sure, and reading it might be the greatest love of all...There's a lot of introspection in it, as well as a shift in how we think about our celebrities."-- "Jacksonville Free Press"