Wednesday, 22 August 2012
HOUSTON -- Whitney Houston's death continues to make headlines yet the media often ignores one part of the iconic star's life -- her faith.
Houston grew up in the church and is the daughter of the legendary singer and choir director Cissy Houston. Cissy Houston returned to the recording studio after her daughter's death to put the finishing touches on "Walk on By Faith," her newly released gospel CD.
Whitney Houston's faith is the side of the star that gospel singer Kim Burrell knew best. The longtime friends bonded the moment they met outside Houston's childhood church in Newark, N.J. The Houston family had invited Burrell to sing at Whitney's father's funeral.
The two talked nearly every week after that first meeting. Their last phone conversation was just hours before Houston died at hotel in California. Burrell was preparing to fly to Los Angeles to attend a Grammy party with Whitney and her daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
Burrell recalled some of the details of that conversation in an interview with CBN News at her offices in Houston, Texas.
"Bobbi Kristina listens to me every day in her iPod and so Bobbi Kris was on the phone saying, 'Aunty Kim, mommy is just trying to be too hard on me right now,' and I say 'It is going to be okay,'" she said.
"But that was our last conversation one on one. But of course, her voice is on my phone that day," she said.
"She lost to struggle," Burrell said, recalling the moment she learned her best friend died. "Some people live with them for a long, long time. And at times, I am just so glad that she is out of that. I miss her calling to get advice and pray for it."
Cocaine use was a contributing cause to Whitney Houston's accidental drowning. The coroner's report was possibly the last public display of her battle to beat drug addiction.
Burrell was by Whitney's side after some of those early struggles. She even moved in with Houston in Atlanta following a stay in a rehabilitation facility.
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