Whitney Houston would have turned 59 today (August 9).
The legendary singer tragically lost her life in 2012 after an accidental drowning in her bathtub that was the result of cocaine use and heart disease.
Whitney's battle with drug addiction was very public. She checked into a treatment centre at least three times, the last time being in 2011 before another relapse.
The singer, who was known for her performances of epic love songs, including I Will Always Love you and How Will I know, also had a public love-life.
Throughout the 1980s she was romantically linked to musician Jermaine Jackson, American football star Randall Cunningham and actor Eddie Murphy and her marriage to Bobby Brown was documented on a TV show.
However, there was one romance that Whitney kept a secret during her lifetime, her alleged relationship with her long-term friend and assistant Robyn Crawford.
Who was Whitney Houston married to?
Whitney Houston was married to fellow singer Bobby Brown.
The couple first met at the Soul Train Awards in 1989 and they married three years later in 1992.
A year later they welcomed their first child together, a daughter names Bobbi Kristina Brown.
Bobby and Whitney had a very public relationship, which was chronicled by Bravo for the reality show Being Bobby Brown.
The pair were married for 14 years, but according to Houston their relationship was plagued by drug abuse, infidelity and domestic abuse and in 2006 she filed for divorce.
A year later their divorce was finalised and Whitney was granted sole custody of their daughter.
Did Whitney have a relationship with Robyn?
Whitney and Robyn were long-term friends. The pair first met while working as counsellors at an East Orange summer camp in 1980, when Whitney was just 17 years old and Robyn was 19 years old.
For years, Whitney and Robyn were rumoured to be in a romantic relationship, but during her lifetime Whitney always denied the speculation.
However, in 2019 Robyn revealed the true nature of their relationship in her memoir, A Song For You.
She said that after meeting as teenagers, she and Whitney had gone on to have a sexual relationship that lasted for two years, but she also stressed that their romance wasn't just about sex.
She wrote: "It wasn't all about our sleeping together. We could trust each other with our secrets, our feelings, and who we were. We were friends, we were lovers.
"We were everything to each other. We weren't falling in love. We just were. We had each other. We were one: that's how it felt."
Despite this, they never put a label on their relationship, Crawford wrote: “We never talked labels, like lesbian and gay.
"We just lived our lives, and I hoped it could go on that way for ever.”
Why did Whitney and Robyn's relationship change?
When she was 19 years old, Whitney signed her first contract with Arista Records president Clive Davis and this changed the pair's relationship.
Whitney, who had grown up in a very religious household, reportedly went to Crawford's house and handed her a Bible as she told her that they had to stop having sex.
She apparently told Crawford it was “because it would make our journey even more difficult” and that, “if they found out – because her career was taking off – they’d use it against us”.
During her career, Whitney went on to deny that anything romantic had ever happened between her and Robyn as she continued to fear public exposure and backlash.
Why did Robyn leave Whitney Houston?
Despite the end of their alleged sexual relationship, Robyn and Whitney remained friends for decades.
As Whitney's success took off she hired Crawford as her assistant and they lived together for years.
Robyn was even Whitney's maid of honour at her wedding to Bobby Brown in 1992.
Describing their relationship after Whitney had allegedly ended their sexual relations, Robyn said: “The physical part of our friendship was no longer, but the intimacy… our friendship was intimate on all levels, that’s how deep it was."
However, Crawford claims that eventually people within Whitney's inner circle became increasingly hostile against her and ignored her suggestions that the singer needed help for drug addiction.
Twenty years after first meeting Whitney, Crawford quit her role as her assistant in 2000.
By this time, the star had been cancelling shows and missing recording sessions due to her struggle with addiction.
Robyn moved on from life with Whitney, and by the time of her death in 2012 she was living in New Jersey with her wife Lisa and their children and hadn't spoken to the singer in several years.
However, she maintains: “But I was always there for her.
“I kept feeling she was going to come, and I told Lisa, ‘When Whitney comes to our door, that door has to open.’”
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