Whitney Houston’s valuables to be auctioned in Dallas

MIKE McGEE | 6/16/2016, 9:34 p.m.
During Whitney Houston’s 30-year career the singer earned numerous Grammy awards, an Emmy and took home multiple platinum albums. Her ...
From left: Whitney Houston toured so much that her passport had to have pages added to it; A pair of game-worn shoes that Michael Jordan presented to Whitney Houston; and leather jacket personalized with Whitney Houston’s nickname, Nippy (Screenshot from auction website). Mike McGee

The Dallas Examiner

During Whitney Houston’s 30-year career the singer earned numerous Grammy awards, an Emmy and took home multiple platinum albums. Her path from being a backup singer for Lou Rawls and Chaka Kahn to stardom was boosted by her upbeat personality and youthful beauty – timely assets in a period when the visual appeal of music videos made them the latest form of mainstream entertainment. By the time the entertainer died in 2012 at the age of 48 she left behind a worldwide fanbase and a vast array of personal property.

Yet just as the talents of Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson carried their artistry beyond their foreshortened lives, so too did Houston in the hearts of many. So much so that locally based Heritage Auctions has been tasked by the Houston family to represent her distinctive items in their current auction, The Whitney Houston Collection, explained consignment director Garry Shrum.

“It was the family and one of the friends that we’ve worked with before, David Guest, that contacted the president of the company,” he explained.

Soon after, Shrum and a colleague flew to California to meet the family.

“We saw what they had and what their ideas were and right away we were just going, ‘My gosh, these people really have it. They’re really together, they’re really smart, they have an array of things. It’s not all clumped into one era,’” he stressed. “It told a story.”

Amid the collection are items both iconic and unique to the performer, with artifacts as varied as the United States Marine cap she wore during the 1991 HBO special Welcome Home Heroes, her 1998 MasterCard or her Marc Bouwer wedding gown.

“It’s a story and a tribute of her career and her life,” Shrum noted. “It can make you smile and it can make you cry; just going through there is so moving.”

In all, 120 pieces of memorabilia that were owned, worn or otherwise in the songstress’ possession are in the auction. A bidder could choose from her personal Waiting to Exhale script or the Herve Ledger dress she wore on the cover of her final album, I Look to You.

The lots can be viewed on http://www.ha.com, and those interested in participating can bid as long as they have registered for free with the auction house online or by calling their customer service department.

Shrum found it difficult to choose the auction’s singular highlight. He did note that a pair of Michael Jordan game-worn shoes, owned by Houston and displayed with a photo of the singer and the athlete, was especially unique.

“She was always mentioned on the news ‘There’s Whitney Houston. There’s Whitney Houston on the floor,’” he recalled about her love of basketball and her court-side seats.

“I think that’s such a personal thing, and so cool, and so intimate and different,” he remarked on the Nike display. “With the photo of them together, you can tell, the love they have in their eyes for each other is just so cool because they’re such good friends.”