GARY, INDIANA (AP) ‒ Like many other people stunned by Whitney Houston’s sudden death last week, Lavonne Pierce reacted to the singer’s demise with an outpouring of emotion.
“Whitney has meant so much to me over the years,” Pierce said as she fought off tears. “Her music has touched my life so deeply, I can’t go a single day without it coming through me in some way. And now she’s gone. I just don’t know how I’m gonna deal with it.”
When asked about her favorite Whitney moments, Pierce, a grade school substitute teacher in the Gary School District, took a deep breath and composed herself. After a moment, a wistful, peaceful look came to her face, accompanied with a hint of a smile.
“I suppose my favorite thing of Whitney’s is the same as a lot of people’s,” she answered, “I mean, ‘My Heart Will Go On’ is such an iconic song, it’s hard to name anything better. Whitney really knocked it out of the park on that one.”
As she continued to discuss the fallen pop icon, it became clear that Lavonne Pierce had confused Whitney Houston with Celene Dion.
This reporter attempted to clarify the error, but Pierce refused to listen. “No! Whitney starred in Titanic, and she sang the theme song, too! Kevin Costner had to save her from an iceberg that was stalking her and sneaking into her ship’s quarters on the Titanic while she was out singing! Billy Zane tried to shoot her with a gun hidden in a videocamera, the jerk!”
“That rendition of ‘I’m Every Woman’ that Whitney sang with the iceberg, wow!” she added. “What a scorcher!”
Pierce went on to misremember other highlights in Houston’s career, crediting the achievements of many prominent female singers to her. “Those pet adoption commercials she made were really heartbreaking, but they really opened my eyes to the suffering of animals. That song she sang about partying on Friday was a real hoot, too! And that book she made with Anne Geddes and all those sleeping babies was a Total Cute Overload!”
When asked if she had learned any lessons from Whitney’s troubled times, Pierce nodded solemnly. “Yeah. She never should have dated that Lance Armstrong. He was no good to her. I don’t care how many times he’s won the Tour de France; if you don’t have love in your heart, it ain’t gonna work out!”
This Friday, Pierce plans to mourn privately with a few girlfriends. During the gathering she plans to play Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” to commemorate the life of Whitney Houston. “I know that Elton wrote this song right after Princess Diana died,” Pierce noted, “but it’s so touching and timeless that I don’t think he’ll mind.”
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