One Tough Cookie...
[From New York Post]
WHITNEY HOUSTON: ONE TOUGH COOKIE
June 17, 2003 -- 'WHEN I GET to heaven, I'm going to tell them; 'I'm only
here to audition,' " says the iconic Eartha Kitt to the readers of Essence.
This July edition features a glorious cover of another great star of song -
Whitney Houston. And there is an excellent piece by Isabel Wilkerson. Both
the writer and star make the point - and it's a valid one - that Whitney's
fans were originally lulled into thinking of her as some soft-spoken
princess; young royalty with a killer voice.
In fact, Whitney was a Newark-raised tough cookie who can give as good as
she gets. Her tempestuous marriage to Bobby Brown, and its endurance, make
far more sense when you factor in her real personality, instead of the p.r.-one.
Many years ago, I interviewed Whitney and she came across as a sweet-talking
very normal acting all-American girl. So, go figure; was this manufactured?
There was no p.r. person around. Speaking about her to the press rep of the
moment, I later commented on her increasingly salty and wild image. I
wondered if she had "changed" and asked, was it Bobby's fault?
"Oh," came the reply, "you just don't know Whitney. She can take care of
herself and nobody tells her what to do. You wouldn't want to be in Bobby's
shoes once she gets going." (Several weeks back, at the VH1 "Divas" TV event
in Las Vegas, Bobby was asked why his wife qualifies as a diva? He said,
"She knows when to be a bitch.")
Still, for all of Whitney's fire and ice, she doesn't see herself as being
forever wedded - to her career! "I'm going to be on a porch somewhere,
rocking with my children and grandchildren . . . no records . . . or movies.
I see me being myself, relaxing without anybody watching me, looking at me,
seeing what I'm doing."
This seems to be the eternal dream of all public people! Do Wilkerson and
Whitney go into her drug use in this piece? Whitney disposes of the matter
by relegating drugs to a two-year period of her life, after which she went
into re-hab of sorts - several months at the palatial home of her friend,
the R&B singer Pebbles, and now all is well. She says it is God, "definitely
God" to whom she turns during times of trouble.
Liz Smith, Syndicated columnist.
17 JUNE 2003