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Obituary

讣告
Whitney Houston
惠特妮•休斯顿
Whitney Elizabeth Houston, pop singer, died on February 11th, aged 48.
流行歌手惠特妮•伊丽莎白•休斯顿于2月11日逝去,享年48岁。
THE year was 1985, the scene Whitney Houston's second sellout concert in Carnegie Hall in New York.
那是1985年,惠特妮•休斯顿在纽约卡内基音乐厅第二场座无虚席的演唱会。
There were almost 3,000 in the audience, and from somewhere among them, as she launched into “I am Changing”, a voice rang out: “Sing it, Whitney honey! Sing us the truth!”
当她开始投入演唱歌曲“我在改变中(I am changing)”时,突然,不知从全场近3000人中的哪个角落里,跑出一个声音,喊道,“尽情唱吧,惠特妮•休斯顿!为我们唱出真实的自我!”

But what was the truth? Apparently it blazed before them, a huge, pure, beautiful voice from an impeccably poised young woman who had strode out in an evening gown, radiating self-confidence.

但是,真正的惠特尼•休斯顿是怎样的呢?表面上,这把声音在观众面前熊熊燃放着自己的光芒。这把强大的,纯净的,美妙的声音,是从一个无懈可击的,蓄势待发的,浑身散发着自信光芒的,正大步流星走向晚礼服世界的年轻女人发出来的。
She didn't move much on stage: every ounce of power was reserved for filling the hall with spine-tingling ballads of longed-for love.
在舞台上,她没有怎么移动。是因为她蓄发着全身的力量,只为了用让人惊叹喜爱的歌喉,为观众演唱那些表达对爱情极度渴求的歌谣。
Her fans could see that this was God-given, a gift hauled up from deep inside,
粉丝们会认为,惠特妮•休斯顿是上帝赐予的礼物,一个他们从内心深处渴望的礼物。
as when the little girl in the New Hope gospel choir had closed her eyes tight and soloed“Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah” in church,
正如当年在纽霍普福音唱诗班,那个小女孩惠特妮•休斯顿紧闭双眼,在教堂里,独唱着“引导我,哦伟大的耶和华”时,圣灵在信众上空涌动一样。
and the Holy Spirit had rolled out over that congregation. Others, though, could see she was a product of careful packaging by Clive Davis of Arista Records,
然而有些人,却认为她是爱丽丝塔唱片公司(Arista Records)的克莱夫•戴维斯(Clive Davis)精心包装的产品。
who had spotted her in a New York night club, signed her at 19 and then waited two years for the right string-lush ballads to come along;
克莱夫•戴维斯在纽约的夜总会发掘了惠特妮•休斯顿,并在她19岁那年与其签约。直到两年后,那些为惠特妮•休斯顿量身定造,荡气回肠的音乐作品面世后,
who had cut back the frizzy hair, lightened the make-up, changed the dress, and launchedher on the world so perfect hat by 1986 she was Billboard artist of the year, an instant sensation.
她削减了鬈发,换上了夺目的妆容,穿上连衣裙,登上了世界的舞台。她是如此完美以至于在1986年成为了公告牌(Billboard)的年度艺人之后,瞬间轰动世界。
Like Cinderella, she said. And, like Cinderella, she claimed her ambitions were small.
我就像灰姑娘,她说。同样,就像灰姑娘一样,她声称自己野心很小。
All she wanted was to go to the mall and find true love, like any other 21-year-old.
她所有的愿望不过是去购物广场购物,还有找到真爱,就像任何一个21岁的年轻人那样。
But as a soul singer her heritage was already royal rather than rags: daughter of Cissy Houston of the Sweet Inspirations,
但作为一个灵乐歌手,她已经继承了一流的遗产宝藏而非一无所有。她是“甜美灵感”乐队茜茜•休斯顿的女儿,
cousin of Dionne Warwick, god-daughter of Aretha Franklin (“Auntie Ree”), all of whom she'd learned from when her braids still got in the way of the microphone.
是狄昂•华薇克的堂妹,是艾瑞莎•弗兰克林(又称安蒂娜•雷)的教女。小时候,她们都是她的学习对象。
Hard-headed, she had chosen to build her career the way Mr Davis advised her: “Longevity,that's what it's all about.”
头脑冷静的她已经选择了戴维斯先生建议的事业路线。“做乐坛的常青树,这就是一切。”
Besides, she enjoyed being a princess—possessor of multiple platinum discs, holder of six Grammys, earner of more money and seller of more records than any female star before her.
除此之外,她享受成为一名公主—拥有多张白金唱片,拥有六座格莱美大奖,从音乐事业赚取更多的金钱,以及成为有史以来销量最好的女歌手。
She would order her entourage around and sack them repeatedly, trusting only her mother not to “talk shit to my ear” or “blow smoke up my ass”.
因为相信只有母亲不会骂她,骗他,她会对随行人员发号施令,以及多次解雇他们。
Fame brought her a five-bedroom house in the New Jersey countryside, with a built-in recording studio and an Olympic pool.
名声給她带来了一幢坐落在新泽西乡村,拥有五间卧室的住宅。住宅里面还有内嵌式的录音室以及一个奥林匹克规格的游泳池。
It also brought a train of big-voiced imitators, from Mariah Carey to Celine Dion to Beyoncé;
名声也带来了一众拥有浑厚嗓音的模仿者,从玛丽亚•凯莉,席琳•迪翁到碧昂斯。
she never worried about any of them, because “whoever comes got to come after me”.
对此,她从来都不担忧,因为她说“我被模仿,却从未被超越。”
Even after 1992, when she took to disappearing for years at a time, her giant voice went on reverberating.
甚至1992年之后,有一次她在公众面前消失了数年,但她那突出的嗓音却仍然绕梁三尺,余音不绝。
Songs such as “I Will Always Love You”, “I'm Every Woman” and “One Moment in Time”so long in the charts and in wine-bar Muzak that they seemed to get into the bloodstreamof the world.
歌曲诸如“我将永远爱你(I Will Always Love You)”, “我也如普通女人(I'm Every Woman)”和 “在那一刻(One Moment in Time)”在排行榜以及白葡萄酒吧的助兴音乐中占据了如此之长的时间,以至于这些歌曲就好像融入了世的血液之中。
Sweetheart dethroned
甜心陨落
For some years she held the post of America's Sweetheart, pretty, God-fearing and patriotic.
曾经有许多年,她是美国人心目中的甜心。她美丽动人,虔诚爱主,忠诚爱国。
She went to the White House to discuss youth projects, and set up a foundation to fight illiteracy.
她曾在白宫讨论过青年计划,也曾建立以消除文盲为目的的基金会。
Her rendering of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Superbowl in 1991,
她曾在1991年的超级碗上演唱美国国歌。
during the Gulf war—cuddly as a teddy-bear in a white tracksuit—was so joyously rousing that it was reissued in the wake of the September 2001 attacks.
当时正值海湾战争期间,她穿着白色运动服,就像一只可爱的泰迪熊。她当时如此欢快地歌唱致使这场演唱的唱片后来被重新发行,以唤醒2001年9•11袭击过后美国人的活力。
But she was bad, too. She liked to shock and cuss, saying that anyone who claimed that recording songs was creative, rather than commercial, was a fucking liar.
但她那时也不好过。那时候的她时有惊人之举,偶尔还爆粗口,她说任何声称灌录歌曲是为了创造,而非为了商业的人,都是该死的大骗子。
Her private life grew raunchy, with marriage to bad-boy Bobby Brown in 1992 propelling her into a whirl of boastful sex, violent rows and cocaine.
1992年嫁给坏男孩鲍比•布朗,促使她陷入了自我夸张的大量性爱,暴力般的争吵,以及可卡因之中,她的生活变得荒淫无度。
Her sequinned act was just a performance, she said; Bobby, by contrast, she could be real with. As for what “real” meant,
她说,她那光彩熠熠的演出只是一个表演。而鲍比,却不一样,和他在一起,她可以释放真正的自己。
she was either her own best friend or her worst enemy, she said once. “The biggest devil is me.”
至于“真正”意味着什么,她曾经解释过,那就是她可以是自己最好的朋友,或者是最糟糕的敌人。“最大的魔鬼是我自己。”
Through it all, there remained an anodyne constancy about the songs.
经历过风风雨雨,音乐始终是惠特妮•休斯顿永恒不变的止痛药。
Miss Houston had placed herself—or been placed—so solidly in the mainstream that she could not easily wriggle out of it.
休斯顿女士已经把自己摆放在,或者说被别人摆放在一个如此坚定的主流想法中,那就是她无法轻易找借口与音乐摆脱关系。
There was a point to this: it allowed her to break onto MTV and the late-night chat shows, forging a new path for black women as Michael Jackson had done for the men.
有这样一件事实验证了这个观点。正如迈克杰克逊(Michael Jackson)为黑人男子所作出的贡献一样,在音乐的世界里,惠特妮•休斯顿也为黑人女子锻造了一条新的道路,不管是在音乐电视里还是在深夜谈话节目的突破。
It also proved, to many blacks, that she was not black enough, showing none of their fury and very little of the soulful gospel depths of Auntie Ree and Cousin Dionne.
在许多黑人看来,音乐同样暴露了她不是一个合格的“黑人”。她没有展现黑人的暴怒,也很少像其教母安蒂娜•雷(Auntie Ree)和堂姐狄昂(Cousin Dionne)那样展示福音歌的灵魂深度。
The cutting urban hip-hop of the 1980s she found ugly, like listening to her brothersboast of the women they'd laid. (It's not Right But it's Okay)”。
她觉得80年代用语尖刻的城市hip-hop粗俗难听,就像听她的兄弟在吹嘘他们睡过的姑娘那样。后来她开始尝试演唱那些愤怒的歌曲(事实上,她并没有如此愤怒),诸如在1998年演唱的“不对但是没关系
When she tried angrier songs herself—as in “It's not Right But it's Okay”, in 1998— they still seemed as cool and glossy as her blue sheath dress.
这些歌曲听起来仍然像她那件蓝色女紧身连衣裙那样,冷淡而又大气。
The scratchy defiance of later albums (such as “I Look to You”, her last, in 2009), owed more to the drug-ravaged thinness of her voice than the miseries of her recent life.
她后来的专辑(诸如她在2009年推出的最后一张专辑“我看着你”(I Look to You)中透出的嘶哑叛逆感,更多是因为她那被毒品摧毁而变得细弱的声音而非她近期痛苦生活的感悟。
Who she was, and what she really wanted, remained as unclear as her bathtub death in a Los Angeles hotel on the night before the Grammys,
她是怎样的人,她真正想要的是什么,正如她在洛杉矶酒店浴缸里的死那样,仍然扑朔迷离。
at which Adele, another big belter in the Houston style, carried away most of the prizes.
她死去的那一天正值格莱美颁奖的前一天,隔天,另一个休斯顿风格的巨星阿黛儿(Adele),
She needed the give and take of an audience, Miss Houston said. Besides, God had given her this gift to use.
休斯顿女士曾经说过,她需要观众的互敬互让。此外,上帝赐予了她天赋以供她发挥。
Yet told by Oprah Winfrey in 2009 that her voice was a national treasure, and that some people thought she had squandered it,
然而,奥普拉•温弗瑞曾于2009年说过,惠特妮•休斯顿的嗓音是国家的财富,而有些人觉得她浪费了这个财富。
she could only whisper, terror-struck, “That's heavy.” Too heavy, was perhaps the truth.
对于这些言论,惠特妮•休斯顿受宠若惊,她只能低声耳语地说,“这,很沉重。”太沉重了,也许这就是惠特妮•休斯顿的真正境遇。

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multiple ['mʌltipl]

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adj. 许多,多种多样的
n. 倍数,并联

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urban ['ə:bən]

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adj. 城市的,都市的

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creative [kri'eitiv]

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adj. 创造性的

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boastful ['bəustfəl]

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adj. 自夸的,自负的,喜夸耀的

 
unclear

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adj. 不清楚的;不易了解的

 
foundation [faun'deiʃən]

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n. 基础,根据,建立
n. 粉底霜,基

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violent ['vaiələnt]

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adj. 暴力的,猛烈的,极端的

 
microphone ['maikrəfəun]

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n. 麦克风,扩音器

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illiteracy [i'litərəsi]

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n. 文盲

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liar ['laiə]

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n. 说谎者

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