Since , she has skyrocketed from an unknown church choir and backup singer to a bona fide superstar with 32 million record sales, three multiplatinum albums and nine consecutive No. But the acclaim, fame and wealth that have made Whitney Houston a household name have been laced with biting criticism, lies, insults and rumors. One week the tabloids raise questions about her sexual preferences; the next week they say she is pregnant by Eddie Murphy, while the third week they report she is marrying star quarterback Randall Cunningham.
Black disc jockeys have chided her for "not having soul" and being "too White," while other critics say she is "too distant" and "impersonal.
Though it hurts her deeply, she handles it all with aplomb. During a candid, wide-ranging interview in her 26th floor, north Miami Beach condo overlooking the Atlantic, she talks - and laughs - about success and the pain of fame.
Someone always is looking for something - somebody, somewhere is speaking your name every five seconds of the day, whether it's positive or negative. Like my friend Michael [Jackson] says, You want our blood but you don't want our pain. Not in a million years. How could I come from where I've come [from] and be rhythmless? I was raised in a Black community with Black people, so that has never been a thing with me.
Yet, I've gotten flak about being a pop success, but that doesn't mean that I'm White Pop music has never been all-White.
It was felt that I was making myself more accessible to Whites, but I wasn't. No, it does not make you feel good," she adds. So I figured that since people didn't know who I was sleeping with, they just assumed I was sleeping with Robyn. They [other girls] always wanted to whip me for no reason. So once Robyn became my big sister, all that ended.
But I've never been one to have five relationships at the same time. I get no enjoyment out of that. You know, I was raised as a Christian, and my mother was very strict with me as far as boys were concerned. She told me that the way to a man's heart is not by opening your legs. You let him get to know you first.
To the media she declares: So how can you say that this is what I am or what I do? Among the many celebrity guests was Eddie Murphy, long rumored to be her heartthrob. When asked if the rather large diamond ring 5. The baguette diamonds sparkle in the sunlight. Because of my career and his career - I'm here and he's there; I'm there and he's here - it's hard to establish a relationship.
Even when you have two people who have the money, the fame and the same kind of status. It's the time factor - having the time to establish a relationship and to try to keep it. We have a different kind of closeness than Eddie and I. He's still just a man! You put Eddie Murphy aside, you'll find a man. You put Arsenio aside, you'll find a man.
All that other stuff is just the gravy' we have become. But before we were this, we were humans. That's the bottom line. I have a lot of respect for him, because it's very hard to get out there and bang heads, and get banged. He's somebody I can talk to. He's a good person. I don't want to get hurt; nobody does. Hitmakers Narada Michael Walden and Michael Masser also contribute their talents, as they did on the first two albums.
People love me because I can sing, and that is what I concentrate on. And I have found that to be a little more lasting. I would rather sing than be able to do the running man. I take this [she gently caresses her long slender throat] very seriously, because this is my life. I have no problem with that. I'm a public servant in that sense. Proceeds from the sale of the CDs and videos will benefit the Red Cross' fund to help military families.
With her recording career continuing on track, Whitney is now pursuing another interest: Kevin Costner, one of Hollywood's most unforgettable hunks, used his clout to insist that Whitney star opposite him in Body Guard, in which she will portray a singer whose life is threatened. I want you,'" she says.
And she is grateful for the support she is getting from some of Hollywood's most respected talents. I have so much respect for the lady. Working with her is a group of talented and enthusiastic young musicians, singers and crew some of whom have known her since childhood , including brothers Gary, who sings backup, and Michael, assistant road manager.
Whitney's father, John Houston, runs her New Jersey office and management company. Among the hard lessons that this talented diva says she's learned during her brief career in the limelight are: You can't change people; you just accept them for the way they are. Working with your family and being the boss is a difficult though not impossible undertaking, and 3. Men are a trip. So I get mad. I fire everybody, then hire them back. You still got problems.