Whitney Houston Was in a Good Place 48 Hours Before Her Death, Producer Says
Clive Davis opened up about his last moments with her in a new interview.
Music legend Whitney Houston died tragically in 2012 at the age of 48. The "I Will Always Love You" singer drowned in a bathtub, with both heart disease and cocaine use determined to be contributing factors. In a new interview, producer Clive Davis, who essentially discovered the superstar, revealed that he was shocked by the artist's passing because of how she seemed the last time he saw her. Davis was with Houston two days before she died, and he recently told Page Six that she was celebrating the progress she had made in her "valiant attempt" to get sober at the time. Read on to find out more.
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Houston died at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Houston was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Feb. 11, 2012. As reported by The New York Times, the cause of death was not immediately apparent, but the paper noted that "authorities said there were no signs of foul play."
The singer was scheduled to attend Davis' annual pre-Grammy Awards party in the hotel the following day. (It was the now-90-year-old producer who signed her to her first recording contract in 1983.) The event was still held and turned into a tribute to Houston, with artists including Tony Bennett and Alicia Keys performing songs in her honor.
Not everyone approved of the decision to move forward with the party, however.
"I don't know what could motivate a person to have a party in the building where the person whose life he had influenced so enormously—and whose life has been affected by hers," Houston's friend Chaka Khan said in an interview with Piers Morgan, as reported by CBS News. "I don't understand how that party went on."
She had struggled with substance abuse and in her marriage.
Houston married former New Edition member and R&B solo artist Bobby Brown in 1992. By the early 2000s, her appearance and behavior became major subjects of conversation in the industry. The singer was noticeably thinner, and she began to build up a reputation for arriving late and unprepared for commitments, as well as canceling shows and even reportedly being cut from planned performances by frustrated collaborators. In 2000, officials found marijuana in Houston's bag at a Hawaii airport; though those charges were dropped, the incident further fueled speculation that the artist had a drug problem.
In 2003, as reported by ABC News, Houston called 911 to report that Brown had struck her, an accusation he later admitted to be true. The couple divorced in 2007, after starring in the reality show Being Bobby Brown, which Today complained "rob[bed] Houston of any last shreds of dignity."
Houston opened up about her drug use and journey toward sobriety, which included a rehab stay and family interventions, in a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
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Davis says Houston was making progress when she died.
"I never would have thought 48 hours before her death, that she would pass, that there would be that horrendous, premature end to her life," Davis told Page Six in a recent interview.
The producer recalled his last moments with Houston, which took place two days before she drowned.
"She was showing me what she had done in rehab," he explained. "How she had given up smoking, how she had cleared her throat of nicotine. And she was wanting to start going in the studio."
Davis stressed that The Bodyguard star "was making a valiant attempt during that period to give up drugs and rehabilitate herself."
A new biopic about Houston is in theaters now.
Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) stars as Houston in the new movie I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which arrived in theaters on Dec. 23. Davis is one of the film's producers, and he's portrayed in the movie by Stanley Tucci.
In the same Page Six interview, Davis claimed that I Wanna Dance With Somebody will fill in the blanks about Houston's life for fans. "Whether it's her sexuality, whether it's how she reacted to any innuendo that she was not singing Black enough, or whether it was the impact of drugs, or whether it was recording with me," the producer said.