Monday 13 February 2012

Whitney Houston - Why do stars fall?

You are going to 
  • discuss fame and celebrity
  • listen to a radio interview and do a gap-fill

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American recording artist, actress, producer and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time. Her awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards in her lifetime. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide.

News 11th February 2012
American singer and actress Whitney Houston has died in Los Angeles at the age of 48.
The mother of one died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she had been staying as a guest.
The singer had battled substance abuse in recent years.

They have talent, money, looks, fame... everything.
  • Why do some stars lose it all? 
  • Can you think of any other stars who have come to a tragic end?
  • What goes wrong?

Listen to this interview with music journalist and presenter Paul Gambaccini on the Stephen Nolan Show

  • What does Paul think was special about Whitney Houston?
  • What does he think went wrong in Whitney's life?

Listen and find out

Listen again and read the summary of the interview below. 
Fill in the gaps with words from the list.
  • Feet on the ground = a realistic understanding of your own ideas, actions, and decisions
  • Going south = failing

What do you think?
  • Are some stars so powerful that no one ever says no to them?
  • Would it be better if celebrities kept their problems private?
  • Should the media be more responsible when it reports on celebrities?
  • Why are we so interested in celebrities' private lives?


  1. Is there any option to download get a mp3 file of this? I'd like to present it to my class as a listening comprehension exercise...

  2. Hi, here is the page on audioboo

    Certain brwsers like firefox or opera can have plug-ins which will let you download them. You could try that.

  3. Got it with Zamzar. This will be a splendid basis for my next lesson.

    Thanks alot!

  4. Great! Hope it goes well!

  5. To end the lesson using the music video, "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" I'm going to have my student go to and do the activity while listening/watching the video.
    Thanks for a great lesson!

  6. Brilliant idea Rachel! Thanks for posting!
    The link to the song is here