Hoosiers react to news of Whitney Houston's death

The death of singer Whitney Houston has been a hot topic around Indianapolis.

Joe LePage

6:14 PM CST, February 13, 2012



The death of singer Whitney Houston has been a hot topic around Indianapolis.

"Granted, if she died in a car wreck I could see people being upset or something like that but with her being, with her history and the probability of what it was that killed her, aren't we celebrating her a little bit too much?" said a caller to the Smiley Morning Show on WZPL 99.5.

"Whitney Houston was a gift to us from God," said another ZPL caller. "Her voice surpasses everyone's, just like Michael's, and her gift was given to us."

ZPL on-air talent "Hunter" said everyone has an opinion, and they have not been afraid to call in ever since word of Whitney's death surfaced.

"Just because she is not necessarily relevant to our listeners," said Hunter. "The listener still knows the music, they loved the music, they loved her. They just do not love her as much as they did."

Houston was a big name when ZPL first came on the air 30 years ago, not long after she headlined a show at Clowes Memorial Hall on Butler University's campus.

"She had two shows that we know of where she was the sole headliners and one of those was at Clowes," said Josh Lingenfelter, Director of Marketing. "Right after that was The Greatest Love of all Tour."

Lingenfelter said both of Houston's 1985 show times at Butler almost sold out.  Tickets were pretty affordable, $15.50 would get you a spot up close, $13.50 for farther away.

On that October night Houston made a little less than $63,000 between the 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. shows.

"Whitney was almost an overnight success," said Lingenfelter. "It was our theater and boom, playing in arenas."

"Hunter" said almost as unheard of as her rise to fame was her fall from the airwaves.

"As sad as it is, it was kind of cut and dry, and it may be gone sooner than later," said Hunter.

Whitney Houston returned to the Circle City in 1987. She played a show at Market Square Arena in front of more than 14,000 people.