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A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston

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As the documentary illuminated, Houston remained caught between two worlds when it came to race: for her sophomore album, she posed with her natural hair, only to be criticized by members of the black community because her skin appeared lighter in the studio portrait. Once a year or so, I fall down a serious Whitney Houston rabbit hole: rare tracks, YouTube videos, documentaries, articles… so reading Robyn Crawford’s memoir was a no-brainer. Part of Crawford’s purpose in writing the book – apart from to deliver a cautionary tale to her kids about drugs, and to arm them against all the gossip – was to redeem and celebrate something of the original energy between the two women, when “we were young, and fearless, and free”. Another thing; when Robyn stopped working for Whitney in 2000 that is when Whitney's life and drug use just spiralled out of control.

I hope writing this book was cathartic for her as she too needed a hug or two after witnessing all that was revealed in this book. For years, Houston and Crawford effectively functioned as a couple, living together, occasionally (and chastely) sharing a bed, and remaining emotionally close. This book is an author telling us about herself in attempts to regain the narrative of her life after decades of the media spreading lies about her. For Houston, that meant coming of age in the church, as the daughter of pop gospel great Cissy Houston. Viewed from the outside, the confusing thing about all this is that, for much of the time, the relationship appeared to be starkly uneven.These ladies were thick as thieves for 20+ years, but she doesn’t dish on Houston’s worst behaviors, and she doesn’t even bash Bobby Brown very much, which would have been easy to do, because Bobby Brown is an absolute piece of garbage. The warping effect of denial isn’t easily shrugged off and there is an overwhelming sense, both in the book and in person, of someone running a gamut of internal barriers. Their romance took off just as Crawford was exiting Houston’s orbit, and Lisa told her she needed to get help. Whitney and Robyn's love was hidden and although people around them were happy to "allow" Robyn to be openly gay, they would not extend that "permission" to Whitney - oh no, the record company and her Mother would not permit it. It’s partially clear that they drifted apart because honestly, in the later years, she has few encouraging things to say about Whitney—this seems particularly critical given their *joint* drug use for so many years!

The only thing she thinks about now with regret is a phone message Houston left not long before her death, that Crawford accidentally deleted after a few seconds, before she had a chance to hear it play out.I just wish she’d stuck to the 7-or-so-year run when it seems they were incredibly close, instead of reaching and regurgitating and hypothesizing to meet the page requirements of her book deal. After a long career in the music industry, Robyn Crawford is now focused on mental and physical wellness and writing.

The decision Crawford made to resign her position working for Houston was rough, she had spent all her adult life with working with and for Whitney. By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. Which explains Bobby's behaviour at the time, which I don't condone or really feel there was an excuse for.I'm a Whitney Houston fan and it pained me to see her in the state she was in during her final years, particularly in the early 00's.

After Jermaine Jackson, Houston was largely single until she married Bobby Brown, although famous men often asked her out. Meanwhile, Crawford was harangued, marginalised, and allegedly threatened with violence by the singer’s family. Crawford and Houston were teenagers when they met at a community centre in East Orange, New Jersey, the singer the younger by three years. Despite our understanding of what religion might say about our love, neither of us expressed any guilt or judgment; we were immersed in getting to know each other.For me she is the voice of triumph which is why, as a fan, I was angry about her downfall and death. She replied, “Look, I don’t have to tell you anything,” a response that infuriated Houston when she found out. To break any silence is difficult – never mind one enforced over decades, at the risk of huge commercial damage to a brand as valuable as Houston’s. A Song for You gives an insight into Whitney and Robyn's private friendship, from two young girls to Whitney's rise to fame and downfall into drugs. There is no real attempt to try and see some of the positive moments she may have had despite her struggles with addiction, and maybe this is just because Robyn was no longer around to witness those positive moments.

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