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By Miguel Lloyd
Over the course of the last week and a half, the media has gravitated to the easy answer to why Whitney Houston is now deceased. All roads point to her history of substance abuse and her ex-husband, Bobby Brown. Well, lets keep in mind that the autopsy has not been released, so we still don’t know her cause of death. Also, according to industry veteran Jennifer Holliday, Whitney was introduced to illicit narcotics long before she met the New Edition veteran front man.
Well lets fast forward to 2012. Whitney and Bobby were divorced for 5+ years, Bobby has moved on and seems to be focusing on his fiancée, new baby, his other children, all while he is rekindling is music career with New Edition. He seems to have pulled his life together. In a media world that seemed to know “everything” about what Whitney was doing, they never seemed to be able up to drum up any stories of Whitney and Bobby doing any “partying” together since the demise of their nuptials. So we are to assume that it didn’t happen. So then, what is Ray J’s role in this?
For some who don’t know Ray J is an on again off again music artist, reality TV star and actor. At one time, he was more popular for simply being musical artist, Brandy’s brother. At this point with the popularity of Kim Kardashian, he is better known as the guy in the explicit video that raised her to prominence, through that “private” tape being leaked to the public. The bottom line is, he is more popular for who he is associated with, than what he has accomplished personally.
Even following, the long relationship with Bobby Brown, the community still seemed a bit surprised when news surfaced that Whitney and Ray were in an on again off again relationship. Despite the fact that he was 17 years younger than her, he wasn’t the “A-lister”, that people wanted to associate her with. Clive Davis and his team did such a great job at creating Whitney’s persona, that, her public never wanted to accept her Newark, NJ, roots which included her attraction to men who hail from places like Newark or Compton or the rough streets of Boston. Well, if we didn’t learn anything from Whitney, it was she was going to do what she wanted to do and live with the results of the choices she made. Her choice after Bobby, was Ray J.
Here is the most disturbing revelation. Beyond, Ray J being a bad clone of Bobby Brown’s bad boy image of 20 years ago, it has been long speculated and chronicled that Ray J, at minimum is a drug user, quite possibly a drug abuser. In September of last year, in an incident that occurred between him and Rapper Fabolous, many in the industry, including Fab himself, believes that Ray J was under the influence of more than a couple of bottles of Cristal at the bar, when the argument occurred.
So why was Whitney, someone who was a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser, associating herself with someone who was battling similar demons? I’m sure there are some in her inner circle that will help answer that question in the years to come.
Just as people are addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, women, men, money, etc, quite simple addiction is addiction. It is something that is stronger than the people it afflicts.
Whitney was not stronger than her addictions. Her addictions to the lifestyle, that included the adoration of her many fans, the ability to provide for the many that depended on her and on the people that she gave her heart to. People like Ray J. People that despite the common knowledge that Whitney was addicted to substances, was quick to turn a blind eye to her constant self-destruction and probably contributed to it.
Well let’s look at the Clive Davis and her staff. Why would Whitney be advised to come to Hollywood the entire week leading up to the Grammy’s? She wasn’t the type of person who could control herself, so God help the people who were trying to control her. Her own brother-in-law/bodyguard spoke during her funeral of his concern with how mad she would be if he entered her hotel room, even though he knew something wasn’t right. Only to soon find her lifeless body.
Even though, she was working on a comeback through her movie projects, Sparkle and the sequel to Waiting To Exhale, let us not forget that she lost relevance not as much as a due to her lack of talent. I am sure despite her struggles with her voice, people would still file into many venues to see her, even if she had to resort to lip syncing and other creative means of production. No, her biggest problem was the lifestyle. In order to save her, she should have only been in that environment when she was “needed”, not when she “wanted” to be there.
When they “needed” her to sell to the public she was back, she could have accomplished that by simply sitting in a seat a the Grammy’s. Possibly giving out an award. I’m sure she “wanted” to be there for all the partying. Somehow, someone should have kept her out of Hollywood as much as they could. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
So unfortunately, like some of the other “greatest” of all time, her body and soul are now gone. We won’t have those pictures of a gracefully aging Whitney. What we will have are images of the youthful, beautiful smile that was the gate to that amazing voice. I think eventually we’ll learn to appreciate that. The same way we appreciate the many like, Tammi Terrell, Tupac, Minnie Ripperton, Aaliyah, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and many others who died to young.
However, in addition to our wonderful memories of her, what else remains is her catalog of music. But of course her handlers know that.
Miguel Lloyd is a blogger, radio host and Media entrepreneur. He hosts a weekly talk show called Life Full Circle Radio. The show includes super producer, Nikkia Ganey with hot topics, Seshmi Robertson with Entertainment, Elton Gumbel with Sports and Alton Drew with the Politics365.com Politics segment. Join us this and every Wednesday night for the lively conversation by clicking HERE!