When the Music Stops, Who is Walnita? is a blog about music, life, and everything in between. Follow us for posts on new music, interviews with up-and-coming artists, and more.
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Who is Walnita?
Walnita Decosta-Howard is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She is best known for her work as a member of the girl group TLC, with whom she achieved massive success in the early 1990s. Following the group’s disbandment in 2002, Decosta-Howard released her debut solo album, titled Who Is Walnita?, in 2003.
Why the music stopped for her
It was a hot, humid day in August when the music stopped for Walnita. For years, she had hustled and grinded, making a name for herself as one of the most promising young rappers in the game. But on that day, everything changed.
How she is adjusting to a new life
After a decade of being in the music industry, Walnita is now adjusting to a new life. The music stopped for her when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“It was like, all of a sudden, the party was over,” she said.
Walnita was always the life of the party, but now she has to take things one day at a time. She is determined to not let her diagnosis define her.
“I am still me,” she said. “I am still Walnita.”
How her family is coping
Walnita Decuir-Gunther was born with a love for music. It fills her soul and has led her to a career as a singer, songwriter, and producer. But nine years ago, she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, at the age of 54, Walnita is losing her ability to speak and write songs. She can still sing, but the words often don’t make sense. Her husband, Michael Gunther, is her primary caregiver. He quit his job to care for her full time.
“It’s very hard to watch someone you love deteriorate in front of your eyes,” Michael said. “But I’m grateful that I can be there for her.”
Walnita’s children are also helping to care for her. They say it’s been difficult to watch their mother decline, but they are thankful for the time they have with her.
“She’s still our mom,” said daughter Whitney Decuir-McCarthy. “We love her no matter what.”
The family is coping the best they can, but they worry about the future. They hope that by sharing their story, they can raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and help others who are going through similar experiences.
What her friends think
The question of who Walnita is when the music stops, is one that has been asked by her friends for years. Some say she is a free spirit, always looking for the next adventure. Others say she is a homebody, content to stay in one place and build a life there. But the truth is, Walnita is both of those things and more.
Walnita loves music and dancing, but she also loves the stability of a good home and community. She thrives on new experiences, but she also knows how to find joy in the simple things in life. Her friends know that no matter what happens, Walnita will always be there for them – just as they will always be there for her.
What her enemies think
Her enemies think that Walnita is: two-faced, backstabbing, and untrustworthy.
How she views her future
Walnita Decosta-Johnson is a woman who knows what she wants. The 51-year-old educator recently retired from her position as a school administrator in order to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time writer.
“I’ve always loved writing, but I never had the time to really dedicate myself to it,” she says. “Now that I’m retired, I finally have the time to focus on my writing and other creative pursuits.”
Decosta-Johnson is currently working on a young adult novel, but she’s also interested in writing non-fiction and poetry. She’s also planning on self-publishing some of her work in the near future.
“There’s no need to wait for someone else to give me the green light,” she says. “I’m going to put my work out there and see what happens.”
Decosta-Johnson is hopeful that her writing will inspire others, particularly young people of color.
“It’s important for young people of color to see someone like them succeeding in a non-traditional field,” she says. “I hope my story can show them that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”
8 ) What advice she would give to others
“You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. You have to be willing to change and adapt to new situations. That’s how you grow.”
What she has learned from this experience
Walnita Decosta-Johnson was born with a hearing disability, and music has always been an important part of her life. When she was growing up, her family would often sing together. Even though she couldn’t hear the music, she could feel the vibrations and the emotion in the voices of her loved ones.
Now, Walnita is a professional musician and has performed all over the world. She recently had an experience that has changed her life. She was performing on stage when suddenly, her cochlear implant battery died and she couldn’t hear anything. It was a very frightening experience for her, but it also taught her a lot about herself.
She realized that even though she couldn’t hear the music, she could still feel the vibrations and the emotions in the voices of the people around her. She also realized that she didn’t need to hear the music to enjoy it. She could still feel the joy and the beauty of it with her heart.
This experience has taught Walnita a lot about herself and has given her a new appreciation for music. Even though she can’t hear the music, she can still feel it with her heart.
What she still struggles with
Walnita Decuir-Dixon still lives with the memory of what happened to her son, Andre University. The 55-year-old was fatally shot in the head by an unidentified assailant while he was sitting on his porch in New Orleans on June 18, 2006.
“I struggle with it every day,” she said. “I don’t know why it happened. I’ll never know why it happened.”
Decuir-Dixon said that her son was a talented musician who played the trumpet and loved to sing. He was a member of the church choir and often performed at local clubs.