Cissy Houston speaks about ‘the real Whitney’ one year after star’s death

Whitney Houston: To be buried in her hometown.
Still grieving: Whitney Houston's mother Cissy spoke about the star (above) who a year agoRex Features

Almost one year after the shock death of singer Whitney Houston, her mother Cissy has spoken out about her daughter’s untimely passing, and how she wants the star to be remembered.

Raised as the youngest child of Cissy and John Russell Houston Jr, Whitney was brought up in a relatively simple manner, spending most of her spare time singing in church in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey.

But with such a voice, young Whitney was destined for great things and she was soon catapulted into a life of showbiz.

She soon became a global singing sensation, working with everyone from Mariah Carey to George Michael, but secretly yearned for a more simple life, her mother told Daybreak in an exclusive interview today.

Speaking from New York, Cissy said: “She was everything to me, a wonderful giving person.

“She wanted the life of a normal person, that’s what she wanted really, but it happened that she became a star.

“She always said ‘all I wanted to do was sing,’ but God blessed her and she was happy about that, but only sometimes.”

Whitney was found dead, face down in the bathtub in her hotel room in the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on February 11, 2012, the day before the annual Grammy Awards.

Her death was later recorded as accidental drowning caused by heart disease and cocaine use.

In the years before Whitney’s death, her behaviour became more and more erratic, including her disastrous performance on X Factor in 2009, which had at the time been tipped as her big comeback, but ended up highlighting just how far the singer had fallen. Read more.

Her turbulent marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown, whom she was divorced from at the time of her death, was often blamed for the star’s decline and drug use.

Speaking about her union with Brown, Cissy said: “She happened to fall in love I guess with someone who wasn’t really for her… they came from two different worlds.”

And asked how she’d like the world to remember her daughter, Cissy concluded:

“She was one of the greatest singers that ever lived... she was a wonderful person… she gave to charity."

Cissy added: “I’d just like for her to be remembered for the songstress she was.”

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