Tributes to Whitney Houston from music’s biggest superstars have poured in since the singer was found dead Saturday in her Los Angeles hotel room but for one of her fellow pop icon divas, Houston’s tragic death is a cautionary tale.
“That’s why I don’t do parties and I don’t hang out,” she said. “That’s why I’m not part of show business. We have to be afraid.”
Dion’s comments came during a phone interview on “GMA” in which the singer acknowledged the impact Houston’s music had her own career and spoke of the hold drugs now have on entertainers and the music industry.
“When you think about Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse, to get into drugs like that, for whatever reason,” she said. “Is it because of the stress and bad influence? What happens when you have everything? What happens when you have love, support, the family, motherhood? You have responsibilities of a mother and then something happens and it destroys everything.”
Houston was found dead Saturday in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, where she had spent the week preparing for Sunday’s Grammy awards. The 48-year-old was discovered with her head submerged in the water of her hotel room bathtub.
Family sources who were briefed by L.A. County Coroner officials say Houston, who had a history of drug and alcohol addiction, probably died from a combination of the drug Xanax and other prescription medication mixed with alcohol, according to TMZ.com.
“Whitney has been an amazing inspiration for me,” Dion said on “GMA.” “It’s just really unfortunate that drugs, bad people or bad influence took over. It took over her dreams. It took over her love and motherhood.”
Dion, 43, is the mother of three sons and herself the youngest of 14 children who has long credited her family with keeping her on track.
Her husband has managed her career since she was 12 years old, and her brother is her stage manager. Her stepson is her road manager, and her sister is the family’s live-in babysitter, she told “GMA” in an interview earlier this year.
Houston leaves behind a daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina, with her ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown, who was in Los Angeles with Houston at the time of her death.
She was also close to her famous family, one that lays claim to deep musical roots. Her mother is gospel singer Cissy Houston, her cousin is singer Dionne Warwick and her godmother is singer Aretha Franklin.
“She’s had a family. So what happens?” Dion said today. “How come it’s stronger than all that? Stronger than family, than motherhood, than love itself? What’s going on?”
“Taking pills to go perform and taking pills to wake up and taking pills to go to bed. It’s so unfortunate,” she said. “I’ve always said you have to have fun and do music and you can never be part of show business because you don’t what it’s going to get yourself into. You have to do your work and get out of there.”