Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The Wild, Wild World of Whitney
As far as the Globe headline goes, however, given all the promotion Whitney's family gave to her $500,000 worth of jewelry and designer burial duds, I am not surprised to read this. Globe goes so far to mention that an "insider" reports, "Whitney died owing drug dealers more than $1.5 million," so there is also the alert that her body might be snatched as ransom. Whitney Babylon!
In the article, "Whitney's Shocking Secrets," Globe references Kevin Ammons' blockbuster 1996 tell-all, Good Girl/Bad Girl. Ammons was the boyfriend of Regina Brown, Whitney's publicist. He was probably the first source to detail Whitney's lesbian relationships. Surprisingly, the latest issue of Rolling Stone dabbles in the same behind-the-scenes secrets in its cover article, "The Diva and Her Dark Side."
Afraid a lesbian "scandal" would ruin Whitney's career, her mom, Cissy, pushed her into relationships with men (Darryl Stawberry, Arsenio Hall, Prince). (Arsenio? Prince?) Apparently, this caused a great deal of animosity, on Whitney's part, toward her mother.
But godmother Darlene continues, "It was 'OK, now, go on back in the background -- this is Mommy's show. Ok, go sit down now. Don't be tryin' to take over.'" (Mama's doin' fine, Mama's gettin' hot!)
The Rolling Stone cover story talks about Whitney's relationship with one Robyn Crawford, since their teenaged years. Robyn became Whitney's assistant. According to Bobby Brown: "I believe [Whitney's] agenda in marrying me was to clean up her image.... The media was accusing Whitney of having a bisexual relationship with her assistant.... That would kill all speculation, whether it was true or not."
Globe says Whitney had at least two other serious, ongoing relationships with women during her lifetime.
In the official video for "I Will Always Love You," a strikingly butch Whitney conveys the song, perhaps with Robyn more in mind than Bobby (or Kevin Costner, whom the Globe says she despised). Note Whitney's look and posture, especially near end, and very much in contrast to her feminine side in the promotional "Bodyguard" clips seen in the video.
A DVD I bought this week, entitled Whitney: Greatest Hits includes 23 music videos and special features like Whitney on Merv Griffin and live at previous Grammy nights. Available from Arista. I hope to exorcise the whole Whitney feeding frenzy through it, and finally blast off Whitney World. At least for this voyage.
Meanwhile, here's a musical rarity for you: 15-year-old Whitney doing the solo diva vocals on Michael Zager Band's disco classic, "Life's a Party."