Whitney Houston was an American singer and actress best known for being one of the best-selling and most influential artists of all time. She was born on August 9, 1963, in Newark, New Jersey to John Russell Houston Jr. and Emily “Cissy” Drinkard. At the time of Houston’s birth, her mother was already a Grammy-winning singer and had sung background vocals for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, and Elvis Presley. With her artistic roots and incredible talent, it was already clear that Houston was destined for stardom.
At a young age, Houston was taught to sing by her mother alongside her equally talented cousins, Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick. After becoming part of the choir at her local church, the aspiring singer started recording background vocals for other artists including her mother’s studio albums. Houston also dabbled in modeling and became the first black woman on the cover of Seventeen in 1981. By the time the singer was 19 years old, she signed up with Clive Davis of Arista Records.
In 1985, Houston released her self-titled debut album to slow commercial response. However, by midyear, the album was gaining critical success and went on to dominate the Billboard 200 for several weeks. Houston’s second album, “Whitney,” was released two years later and was an instant hit. The album spawned several iconic singles including, “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All,” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”
There’s no doubt that Houston had an illustrious career as a singer and actress. At the time of her death in 2012, she produced seven studio albums and won two Emmy Awards, eight Grammy Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, and garnered 30 Guinness World Records. In fact, Houston is so embedded into pop culture that her personal life is discussed even up to this day. Among the many questions fans want to know is this: was Whitney Houston gay? Let’s find out the real answer below.
VOTE: What was Whitney Houston’s Sexuality?
Whitney Houston’s Relationships
Although Houston was only married once, she was closely associated with multiple partners throughout the years. From her short-lived affair with the King of Pop to her eyebrow-raising relationship with a young artist, the superstar was a magnet for interesting figures. Here’s a brief summary of all relationships, both confirmed and alleged, that Houston had throughout her life.
Whitney Houston and Eddie Murphy (1980-1983)
In 1980, Houston met Eddie Murphy and fell fast and hard for the comedian. According to sources, the two had a special connection. Unfortunately, while the singer was head over heels in love, her partner was more elusive. The pair had a hot-and-cold relationship for almost three years before they finally drifted apart. However, Houston and Murphy remained in contact with the latter phoning up the singer on her wedding day to Bobby Brown and telling her that she was making a “mistake.”
Whitney Houston and Randall Cunningham (1985-1987)
Before Houston settled down with Bobby Brown, the singer was first linked to Randall Cunningham. At the time, he was best known for being the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Not much is known about their relationship, but Houston spoke fondly of Cunningham when asked during interviews. According to the singer, the athlete was a “tall, fine, and good-looking man” and she had a lot of respect for him. They eventually split up in 1987, two years before Houston met her future husband.
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown (1989-2006)
During the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards, Houston met singer and dancer Bobby Brown when she sat behind him during the program. While they didn’t make the best first impressions, the duo got along well enough and became friends. After a few months of testing the waters, the pair finally went on their first date and quickly became enamored with each other. After three years of dating, the relationship started to get more serious as Brown joined the singer on one of her worldwide tours.
In 1991, Brown popped the question to Houston. Apparently, both had different recollections of the proposal. At one point, Houston opened up about the engagement and revealed that she had initially refused Brown before accepting his second proposal. On the other hand, Brown shared that he proposed when she came to pick him up at the airport and she went “crazy” with happiness.
Houston and Brown were married for 14 years before calling it quits in 2006. In hindsight, spectators would say that the marriage was doomed from the start. Years after their divorce, Brown revealed that he had second thoughts about the wedding and locked himself in a bathroom. It was only until his friend Alicia Etheredge talked to him that the rapper got out and pushed through the ceremony. Brown would later marry Etheredge in 2012 – the same year that Houston died.
The pair’s tumultuous relationship was also an open secret in Hollywood. Even a few days into their honeymoon, Houston and Brown allegedly got into a physical altercation. The fight resulted in a three-inch cut on the singer’s cheek. This wasn’t the first or last fight they would have. However, the couple’s biggest struggle was their joint drug addiction. Brown would face charges for drunk driving while Houston would enter rehab multiple times.
Despite their ongoing struggles and multiple miscarriages, the pair eventually welcomed their first and only child together, Bobbi Kristina Brown, in September 1992. Although there were strong reports in the press about their relationship, the duo continued to share only praise for each other. The truth was finally revealed in March 2004 when Brown was sentenced to 60 days in jail after being convicted of hitting Houston on one occasion.
The couple finally split in 2006 when Houston filed for divorce from Brown. Apparently, the latter’s alleged affair with author Karrine Steffans was the final straw. Although the divorce was settled fairly quickly, there were also subsequent fights for custody, child support, and spousal support. Houston and Brown didn’t stop the mudslinging either.
When Houston died in 2012, Brown attended her funeral and honored her onstage. Unfortunately, three years after the singer’s death, her only daughter would also pass away in a similar manner. Brown continues his love and praise for his ex-wife and daughter.
Whitney Houston’s Ex-Lover Confesses Affair
In 2019, Houston’s long-time assistant, collaborator, and best friend, Robyn Crawford, published her memoir, “A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston.” In the book, Crawford confirmed one of the most controversial rumors about the superstar: that she and Houston once had a romantic relationship. It has long been talked about that Houston was a closeted lesbian, but the singer has never openly talked about her sexuality. However, Crawford’s memoir seemed to be an indirect confirmation that Houston was bisexual.
The pair first met in 1980, years before the singer was launched into fame. Crawford maintained that they had a physical relationship until Houston signed her first record deal. While they were intimate, the former assistant also claimed that they had a strong friendship and deep bond. The singer’s family was also aware of the relationship and consistently discouraged it.
Although their affair ended as Houston’s career picked up, their friendship persisted. Crawford was even the singer’s maid of honor when she married Bobby Brown. Houston also hired Crawford as her executive assistant and became her closest confidant. Their professional relationship would last until 2000. Later on, Crawford would admit that she left because she felt that she couldn’t protect Houston from her husband or her spiraling drug addiction.
Crawford is currently married to her wife, Lisa Hintelmann, and they have two children together.
Was Whitney Houston Gay?
Yes, Whitney Houston was gay. Although she was married to Bobby Brown and shared one child with him, Houston has been linked to other women throughout her career. The singer’s closest friend and rumored lover, Robyn Crawford, confirmed that they had a romantic relationship at one point. With this new information, fans may safely assume that Houston was bisexual.