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Cissy Houston Once Opened up about Her Last Call with Daughter Whitney Houston

Manuela Cardiga
Feb 17, 2020
09:30 A.M.
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Cissy Houston recounted the last conversation she had with her daughter, Whitney Houston, the day before her death in 2012. Here's what happened.

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When Whitney Houston passed away on February 11, 2012, family, friends, and fans from worldwide were left speechless. Whitney was just 48, and her death would hit her Grammy Award-winning mother, Cissy Houston, hardest of all.

In 2013, Cissy penned a book recounting her daughter's life, with the telling title, "Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped."

Whitney Houston and Cissy Houston during a taping of an MTV show, New York, New York, 1989. | Source: Getty Images

Whitney Houston and Cissy Houston during a taping of an MTV show, New York, New York, 1989. | Source: Getty Images

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THE NIGHT THE MUSIC STOPPED

Cissy recalled the devastating night when she was home alone, and she received a frantic phone call from her son Gary Houston. All she could make out was "Nippy," her family's nickname for Whitney.

Cissy confessed that she was annoyed with Gary for blabbering and told him to get to the point. It was then that he told the news that broke Cissy's heart into a million pieces. Whitney was dead. Cissy remembered:

"I was a wreck, just a wreck. And just like that, my heart broke all over again."

The "I Will Always Love You" songstress was discovered face down in a bathtub filled with water with drug paraphernalia within arms reach.

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Whitney Houston at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 32nd Annual Awards in New York in 2001 | Source: Getty Images

Whitney Houston at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 32nd Annual Awards in New York in 2001 | Source: Getty Images

According to the report, Whitney died of accidental drowning at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. In her toxicology report, examiners found traces of cocaine and that she was a "repeated cocaine user."

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Cissy confessed that she had been aware of her daughter's struggle with substance abuse and had not been surprised by the revelation that cocaine and prescription drugs had been detected in her toxicology report.

Cissy revealed that her daughter had been fighting for sobriety in her last days and believed that she would succeed. Cissy said:

"That was my hope, and my prayer, and [Whitney] promised me that she was doing it."

Whitney Houston performs on "Good Morning America" in 2009 | Source: Shutter Stock

Whitney Houston performs on "Good Morning America" in 2009 | Source: Shutter Stock

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CISSY HOUSTON'S LAST CALL FROM WHITNEY

The evening before her passing, Cissy had received a call from Whitney, who was in Los Angeles to attend the Grammys. Whitney told her mother that she loved her and that she would be coming to see her as soon as she returned from L.A. It was to be her last call from her only daughter.

When paramedics found Whitney, their efforts to revive her failed. The Medical Examiner would rule her death as an accidental drowning due to the lethal combination of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.

Whitney, who had been scheduled to attend Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party on February 11, was described by those who had contact with her in those last days as tired and "erratic," perhaps the first warning signs of the heart condition that would lead to her death.

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On February 9, Whitney visited record producer and former head of Columbia Records Clive Davis and joined Kelly Price on stage to sing "Jesus Loves Me." It was to be Whitney Houston's last performance.

Cissy Houston and Whitney Houston at the 2010 Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball | Source: Getty Images

Cissy Houston and Whitney Houston at the 2010 Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball | Source: Getty Images

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The following day, Whitney reportedly drank with friends at the Beverly Hilton Hotel's bar. She was checked in at the hotel to attend music executive Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party.

Sadly, she never made it to the event and died in the afternoon. Davis' party went on as celebrities were shocked to know about Whitney's death while on the red carpet.

CISSY HOUSTON OPENS UP ABOUT DAUGHTER'S DRUG USE

Friends of Whitney revealed that the singer had never fully recovered from the effects of her disastrous marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown, who had been physically and emotionally abusive.

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15 years of marriage to Brown had left Whitney devastated and with her self-esteem in tatters. Whitney would reveal in 2009 that Brown had even spat on her while their daughter watched.

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CISSY HOUSTON SPEAKS ABOUT DAUGHTER'S MARRIAGE

Cissy admitted that she had had no idea before the divorce in 2007 that Brown mistreated Whitney. She had always hidden the sordid details of her married life and her unhappiness from her mother. Her only consolations had been her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, born in 1993, and her music.

In a memoir published in 2019, Robyn Crawford, Whitney's friend and one-time lover, revealed that she had distanced herself after witnessing several vicious incidents and recounted how Brown treated Whitney.

When Oprah questioned Cissy about Whitney's relationship with Robyn, Cissy told her she was not aware of it, but would have been adamantly against her daughter having a same-sex romance.

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Cissy admitted that she had not been fond of Robyn, even though she had been a good influence on Whitney.

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A SECOND BLOW SHATTERS CISSY HOUSTON

In 2013 a second blow fell on Cissy when Whitney's only child, Bobbi Kristina, was found face down in her bathtub in Atlanta.

In a previous interview, Bobby revealed that Nick Gordon, Bobbi's boyfriend, caused his wife and daughter's deaths.

The 22-year-old was in a coma from which she would never recover. Her death in July 2015 was an eerie reprisal of her mother's. Like Whitney, traces of marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, and morphine were detected in her body.

Bobbi Kristina was the sole heir to Whitney's estate, and on her death, as stipulated by the singer's will, the estate passed to her two brothers and to Cissy.

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The clause provided for the eventuality that Bobbi Kristina might die without children of her own or without a will, making sure that Bobby, who was his daughter's natural heir, wouldn't get a cent.

In a previous interview, Bobby revealed that Nick Gordon, Bobbi's boyfriend, caused his wife and daughter's deaths. He believes that Gordon's presence in both deaths and the fact that Whitney and Bobbi died similarly were no coincidences.

He further revealed that Gordon was the one who provided the drugs to his family and was therefore liable for what had happened. Unfortunately, Gordon died on January 1, 2020, from a heroin overdose.

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