Whitney Houston: First Interview Since Entering Rehab...

Soul Diva Whitney Houston in the BamS exclusive interview:
Only now I have really a life


Of ILKA PEEMOELLER

In the last couple months Whitney Houston has had a difficult time: a lot of stress with husband Bobby Brown and her alleged drug problems.

But exclusively for ''Bild am Sonntag', Whitney interrupted her rehab program to give an exclusive interview in Atlanta. It's her first interview for a newspaper since 1992. She want to prove to everyone that she is still capable of reaching the top.

Interviewer: In March you decided you wanted to change your life and voluntarily entered into a rehabilitation hospital.

Whitney Houston: It was time: I decided to get some unnecessary things out of my life.

You have fulfilled a part of the therapy so far - How are you doing now`?

I am happy, I feel whole now. I'm finally completely ME again. I feel much stronger then ever before. (She starts to sing "...Stronger now...'', afterwards she smiles).

Who gives you the power/strength in these difficult times?


My mother Cissy Houston. And Krissie - I completely trust my daughter Bobbi Kristina. It's an incomparable love. Bobbi Kristina is the highlight in my life, not in my career. When I first saw her I knew: It was all worth it! And when I see her now, I know that I can go through/overcome all the highs and lows just for her.

You had a lot of them (highs and lows). How hard is it to be Mrs. Whitney Houston?

Well my mom is Mrs. Houston, I am Mrs. Bobby Brown. I had a wonderful/blessed career, I enjoyed the fame and all the opportunities that were offered to me. But believe me: I don't not want to go through all that again.

Please explain....

Sometimes I just felt it was too much. My life was taken away, my privacy was taken away. I was 20 years-old and I wasn't able to do the normal things. I couldn't go to the clubs, I couldn't date guys or just go for a walk without being observed.

You weren't prepared for it?

I am a singer and a performer/entertainer. I have always asked myself: Does my private life have anything to do with my the music that I make? I needed to understand that you cannot separate those two.

And now (these days)? Are you still under a lot of pressure?

I'm still under huge pressure, but not that huge compared with before. The reason is that there's a lot of young singers out there - like Beyonce, Missy Elliot and Alicia Keys.  I pray for them, because I know how brutal/hard it is, if you want to try to stay at number one.

If you look back these days - How did you feel you have changed?

I am wiser. (she takes a break and starts to sing: "...Im not the foolish girl you used to know so long ago... she laughs). Age is a wonderful thing. I love to be 40 years-old - really! I don't want be in my 20's and 30's again. When I look back now, I ask myself whether or not I really had a life.

And - did you have one?

No, I didn't. I had a career - I only really have a life now.

What are your plans for the future?

I don't have any plans for the future, my motto is: ''Live day by day.''

But you already have a plan - You will tour in Germany in July.  Will you bring your daughter with you?

Yeah, I would love to do that.

Recently, you said that you were pregnant again...

I am not pregnant, otherwise you would see it. But I would like to have one more child. (I would like to become mom again)

[Interviewer] gives Whitney Houston a picture, that shows her with her daughter on stage during one of her concerts 10 years ago.  Tears fall from Whitney Houston's eyes while she looks at the picture, her chin is trembling [with emotion].

Thanks, that's very nice of you - May I still look at it for a moment? Wow, what a touching picture! Children are the best thing.

Your father died last year. When do you miss him the most?

When I sing. He used to be with me when I sang concerts. He loved seeing me on stage. There were days where he called me and say 'Do you still remember this and that song? I love it, when you sing it.'

Which songs did he like most?

Songs like 'The Greatest Love of All', 'All At Once', or 'My Love Is Your Love'.  If I sing those songs these days I miss my dad like crazy.  He was there for me to give me some some suggestions. I could lean on him.

Do you believe in God?

He is very, very important for me (she gulps). I would not be here today, if he didn't exist. He was and always will be there for me.

Do you go to church and pray?

You don't need to go to the church to let God into your life, you carry your church in yourself. My life is a creed. I survived 40 years,20 years on stage. I always knew that I am strong enough.

You had an awesome stage presence in the 1996 movie ''Preacher's Wife''.  Why haven't you done any movies after that?

I have noticed that the filming takes a lot of time out of you. I am a stage performer. I need the immediate satisfaction coming from the audience. You can call me selfish (she's clapping, laughing loud). But I need an immediate feedback, so that I know that I did my job well.

So does that mean no more Hollywood?

I received some scripts have have been offered some roles.  Hollywood is a unique place, but you need to be well prepared. I have survived it: I have made 3 successful movies. That should be enough.

So you say NO forever?

Well if I should get a nice offer  - a dream offer - that I really like and which is suitable for me then I would make it. But for that I must still be well prepared.
 

NEWSFILE: 3 MAY 2004

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