Inside Whitney Houston’s last ever performance and troubled final days

15 July 2022, 14:49

Sadly, Whitney Houston's personal issues would overshadow her incredible talent in the later stages of her career.
Sadly, Whitney Houston’s personal issues would overshadow her incredible talent in the later stages of her career. Picture: Getty

Without doubt, Whitney Houston had one of the greatest voices in pop music history.

Not only did she have a phenomenal singing voice, her beauty and “girl next door” charm won the hearts of millions around the world.

Even now when you hear Whitney Houston classics ‘Saving All My Love For You’, ‘I Have Nothing’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’, it immediately sends shivers down your spine.

There was a reason she was nicknamed “the voice” after all, and became one of the best-selling pop artists of all time.

But despite her enormous acclaim and astronomical success, she had her demons.

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Her battles with substance abuse and a turbulent relationship with her husband Bobby Brown was well-documented.

Sadly, her personal problems began to overshadow her incredible career in the latter stages of her life, which led to her taking a six-year break from music.

After her show-stopping return which saw Whitney top charts around the world in 2009 with her final album I Look To You, her personal and health issues continued.

Tragically on February 11th 2012, Whitney Houston died, her great talent would never to be heard again.

Whitney's behaviour leading up to her death was a major cause for concern for her loved ones.
Whitney’s behaviour leading up to her death was a major cause for concern for her loved ones. Picture: Backgrid

Leading up to the moment she passed away, Whitney’s behaviour was erratic and was pounced on by the media.

When she arguably needed stability and support, it was clear that was not what she was getting.

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Only days before her death, Whitney intended to attend the annual pre-Grammy Awards party hosted by her long-time mentor Clive Davis at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles where she was staying.

A couple of days before the event, Whitney dropped into rehearsals to speak to the artists who were set to perform on the night.

With her hair in curlers and dripping wet, wearing mismatched clothing, onlookers were slightly worried about her dishevelled appearance despite her warm smiles.

According to a local newspaper, Whitney was seen skipping around a ballroom and doing handstands near the hotel pool.

Later that night however, she would duet with singer Kelly Price on stage at her pre-Grammy Award party, which would turn out to be her final ever performance.

Clearly enamoured by Whitney joining her, Kelly Price gushed: “You are a class act, you are an icon.”

Whitney’s voice sounded on point too, in what was a beautiful and impromptu moment between the two divas.

Once she stepped away from the microphone however, Whitney appeared to get in an altercation with X Factor contestant Stacy Francis, which ended the evening on a sour note.

The last song anyone would ever hear Whitney sing was “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”, and she had reportedly told a close friend that night that “I’m gonna go see Jesus … I want to see Jesus.”

Her worrying behaviour was a major cause for concern for her friends and family, given she was seen drinking numerous tequilas throughout the evening.

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During her impromptu - and final ever performance - with Kelly Price, Whitney Houston seemed in good spirits.
During her impromptu – and final ever performance – with Kelly Price, Whitney Houston seemed in good spirits. Picture: Getty

The day before Whitney’s death, she spoke to her cousin Dionne Warwick from her hotel room who had wanted to sit next to Whitney at Clive Davis’ party to watch over her.

Later in the day and in a cheerful, Whitney picked up the phone to chat to her mum Cissy Houston whilst she was preparing herself for the party that night.

But it was only a matter of minutes later that Whitney’s security guard found her unresponsive in the bathtub filled to the brim with water.

Shockingly, she was pronounced dead soon after, with several unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate her.

Her loved ones said their conversations with Whitney leading up to her passing indicated no signs of what would happen, with Cissy calling the loss of her daughter “an unimaginable tragedy”.

Cissy Houston, pictured here with Whitney and Dionne Warwick, called her daughter&squot;s loss "an unimaginable tragedy."
Cissy Houston, pictured here with Whitney and Dionne Warwick, called her daughter’s loss “an unimaginable tragedy.”. Picture: Getty

At the age of 48, Whitney Houston’s loss sparked a collective mourning and an outpouring of grief for a singer whose star burned too bright and faded too soon.

Despite the devastating loss, Clive Davis’ annual party went ahead in tribute to Whitney, where a moment of silence took place.

In a gorgeous tribute on the night, Davis said: “Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare”.

“She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on, and her family asked that we carry on.”

Her imprint on pop and R&B will remain forever, and even though she wasn’t able to overcome her personal issues, her pure talent will always shine through.

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