Whitney Houston is heralded as one of the greatest vocalists of the past 30 years, but Madonna doesn’t seem to think so, according to a letter that’s going on the auction block.
In an early 1990s note provided to Gotta Have It Rock and Roll auction by Madonna’s art consultant and former long-time friend Darlene Lutz, the star describes both the “I Will Always Love You” singer and the actress Sharon Stone as “horribly mediocre.”
“Now I have made so many people angry that I’m being punished and basically made to be quiet and sit in a corner while other less interesting and exciting people are reaping the benefits of the roads I’ve paved,” Madonna wrote in a letter addressed to “J,” someone auctioneers believe refers to actor John Enos, whom she briefly dated. “Maybe this is what Black people felt like when Elvis Presley got huge. It’s so unequivocally frustrating to read that Whitney Houston has the music career I wish I had and Sharon Stone has the film career I’ll never have.
“Not because I want to be these women because I’d rather die but they’re so horribly mediocre and they’re always being held up as paragons of virtue and some sort of measuring stick to humiliate me,” a seemingly irritated Madonna wrote. “Everything I do is so original and unique and I put so much of myself into it like my book and my record and it’s only brought me heartache and pain and I don’t think I can play the game to be accepted.”
Madonna and Houston were considered rivals when they spurred pop hits in the 1980s. As Madge’s star grew, so did her taste for stirring controversy, as evidenced by her book “Sex” and album “Erotica,” both of which she appears to refer to in her letter. Houston was venturing into film with 1992’s “The Bodyguard,” and the soundtrack, which she lent her vocals to, spurred a hit single with a cover of the Dolly Parton song “I Will Always Love You.” The soundtrack stayed in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart for 20 weeks.
Madonna’s persona has largely been notable for her appearance and penchant for reinvention, while Houston, who died in 2012, remains known for her vocal range.
The pop culture artifact, which is officially up for auction beginning Wednesday, July 19, has an opening $1,000 bid. It’s the second Madonna-related letter to make headlines in the past week after Tupac’s break up letter to the singer, which is also being auctioned off by the same website.