A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston

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A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston

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Viewed from the outside, the confusing thing about all this is that, for much of the time, the relationship appeared to be starkly uneven. I think she slapped my face because she felt that I had done something, and she wanted me to know that I’d earned that slap. By “something that happened”, Crawford is referring to the years immediately after meeting when the two women were sexually involved. I remember how excited I was the Christmas I got a pink, dual cassette boombox with a microphone and the Whitney album on cassette tape.

It's hard to review and rate memoirs, because of their personal, unique nature, but this was one of the most moving memoirs I have ever read. It’s an extraordinary response to an alleged threat of physical violence: that no one was thinking of Houston.

I believe that this book will provide Whitney Houston fans with the knowledge and understanding of maybe the reasons why Whitney chose to use drugs at such a young age and was never able to quit. 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! Houston became mega-famous when she signed with Arista Records: with a string of number one hit records and sold out concert tours world wide-- her relationship with Crawford was constantly scrutinized by the press. In 1988, when Crawford suggested to Cissy that the singer needed help for her drug addiction, she was given short shrift.

Whitney, the fascinating 2018 documentary that unpacked much of the complexity behind Houston's pristine (until it wasn't) image, made clear that Crawford was a crucial person in the star's life, but Crawford declined to be interviewed for that film and thus remained an enigma.In her long awaited memoir she finally shares her side of all the stories we’ve heard from so many others. Crawford and Houston shared a few more moments of connection after the author quit the business of Nippy, but they were increasingly far between. I came in thinking it was a biography of Whitney Houston, but it was actually Robyn Crawford’s biography that included her memories of her time with Whitney. It’s refreshing to hear the story of Whitney’s rise and fall from a different perspective other than that of her family. When she finally accepted, Crawford could see why Costner related to Houston and knew the star had to be her.

She also told Crawford that, “if they found out – because her career was taking off – they’d use it against us”. Whitney ended her physical relationship with Robyn but still needed her close, but eventually Robyn was driven out. I had heard the name Robyn Crawford associated with Whitney Houston, mainly for the close and often controversial friendship the two women shared. For years, Houston and Crawford effectively functioned as a couple, living together, occasionally (and chastely) sharing a bed, and remaining emotionally close. The people that ultimately loved and had her best interest at heart were tossed aside as she spiraled down.Crawford was there to answer the phone time and again, over the course of a decade, as Kevin Costner tried to talk Houston into doing The Bodyguard. Strangely enough, Crawford’s loving yet honest portrayal of her friend cured me of feeling sorry for Houston, which I’ve done for years.

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. Many have assumed that their sexual relationship continued on a non-exclusive basis throughout Houston's career, but Crawford has the real story.A Song for You describes the understandable challenges of working for your former lover: Crawford was devastated when Houston, with whom she shared an apartment, took up with Jermaine Jackson. According to multiple witnesses, Brown allegedly continued to be violent towards Houston and her drug use accelerated. Finally, on an aircraft carrier in 1991 during a performance for the troops, Crawford got to hear Houston sing it. I can’t imagine how brave it was to put it all in words, but I’m confident it is going to bring her the peace she deserves.

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