Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped
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Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped

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by Cissy Houston

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Honest and heartbreaking, a mother's story of tears, joy, and her greatest love of all—her daughter, Whitney

On the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, the world learned of a stunning tragedy: Whitney Houston, unquestionably one of the most remarkable and powerful voices in all of music, had been silenced forever. Over the weeks and months that followed, family, friends, and fans alike tried to understand how such a magnificent talent and beautiful soul could have been taken so early and so unexpectedly. Glamorous and approachable, captivating and sweet, Whitney had long ago won the hearts of America, but in recent years her tumultuous personal life had grabbed as many headlines as her soaring vocal talents. Her sudden death left behind not only a legacy of brilliance, but also painful questions with no easy answers.

Now, for the first time, the beloved superstar's mother, Cissy Houston—a gospel legend in her own right—relates the full, astonishing scope of the pop icon's life and career. From Whitney's earliest days singing in the church choir to her rapid ascent to the pinnacles of music stardom, from her string of number one hits to her topping the Hollywood box office, Cissy recounts her daughter's journey to becoming one of the most popular and successful artists of all time. Setting the record straight, Cissy also speaks candidly about Whitney's struggles in the limelight, revealing the truth about her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, her public attempts to regain her celebrated voice, and the battle with drugs that ultimately proved too much.

In this poignant and tender tribute to her "Nippy," Cissy summons all her strength to reveal not only Whitney the superstar, but also Whitney as a sweet girl, a bright-eyed young woman, and a deeply caring mother. Complete with never-before-seen family photographs, Remembering Whitney is an intimate, heartfelt portrait of one of our most revered artists, from the woman who cherished her most.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Whitney Houston may have belonged to the world, but “Nippy” belonged to her mother. Grammy Award?winning gospel singer Houston, with coauthor Dickey (Happy Accidents), writes of the joy of discovering and nurturing her daughter’s talents and the sorrow and anger accompanying her premature death. Starting with her own fascinating career, Houston discusses how she revolutionized the background singing industry working with Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, and others. Her life changed with Nippy’s birth, and when 12-year-old Whitney decided she wants to sing professionally, Houston helped guide her daughter’s career, which included modeling and acting. Houston talks about her efforts to warn her daughter of the dangers of the music industry and to keep her grounded, especially in faith, but this fiercely protective mother could only do so much. Whitney’s career is celebrated, and her close relationship with her family is on display, both in text and in accompanying photos.

Verdict Whitney Houston was a megastar and fans will appreciate this honest, dignified, yet emotional account of her life from her mother. Those looking for lurid details, especially about Whitney’s relationship with ex-husband Bobby Brown, will be disappointed by her mother’s high-road approach. With photos, an index, and a discography for mother and daughter, this book is highly recommended.—Terry Bosky, Madison, WI
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
A talented, flawed artist, seen through the eyes of a loving, forgiving mother. Considering what her daughter put her through, most readers will be impressed by Cissy's patience and unconditional loyalty. Cissy, a well-respected yet underappreciated vocalist herself, relates Whitney's highest highs and lowest lows with honesty, but not much in the way of introspection or insight. The narrative proceeds in a this-happened-then-this-happened-then-this-happened fashion, readable and breezy but lacking depth. Cissy all but glosses over her own impressive career, which is unfortunate, since she recorded as a background vocalist for Wilson Pickett, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Gregg Allman, David Bowie, Diana Ross and many others. Still, there is plenty of material that Houston devotee's will find fascinating: Young Whitney's (aka Nippy) childhood thrall with music and her speedy ascension up the music-industry ladder; the insider view of the behind-the-scenes machinations that helped Whitney get to and remain at the top of the charts; and Whitney's true feelings about fame. Many readers will pick up the book hoping to learn the real deal about her tumultuous, toxic relationship with fellow singer Bobby Brown and her descent into substance-abuse–based madness. While Cissy details how she bent over backward to save her daughter, she offers precious little information about what happened in the Houston/Brown household. However, that sort of salacious material would be out of place in this mostly affectionate remembrance of an iconic singer whose whole story will likely never be told. Fans of the Houston ladies will laugh, cry and beg for more. The rest of us will shrug and move on.
Boston Globe
Disarming… In the emotionally tangled “Remembering Whitney,” the elder Houston - still clearly working out her grief - is a fiercely protective mama bear to the memory of her damaged cub, but she also refuses to lionize her. She paints a picture of her daughter’s life… that is both triumphant and anguished.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)


Meet the Author

Cissy Houston is a Grammy Award–winning soul and gospel singer and the mother of the late superstar Whitney Houston. She gained fame as part of the Drinkards, a family gospel group, and revolutionized the "Background Industry" as the founder and leader of the Sweet Inspirations, a well-respected vocal group who provided background vocals for such artists as Luther Vandross, Wishbone Ash, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, and Elvis Presley. She later enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist. Cissy grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where she raised her family and still lives in the area.

Lisa Dickey has been a freelance ghostwriter and book doctor since 1997. She has helped write and/or edit fourteen published nonfiction books, including six New York Times bestsellers.

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Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 80 reviews.
BscBlaque More than 1 year ago
Thank you Cissy for sharing YOUR personal memories ( the good times, the bad, and the ugly). Your book has made me have an even greater respect for you and your daughter. God Bless
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've always loved and respected Whitney, even when it seemed like most of the world forgot how wonderful she was! After reading this I feel like I knew her personally and love her even more than ever! Knowing that she is with our heavenly father should bring your heart such peace. Praying for your family daily! Thank you for sharing your baby girl with the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Cissy told her story from the Heart of a mother. She keep it real telling the good times and the hard times. At the end of the day whatever the world thinks about Whitney after reading this book we sure know one thing that Whitney loved the Lord. God Bless the Houston family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candid, poignant and an excellent read! Before 'understanding Nippy' I saw Whitney as the world viewed her. Reading her mothers book has made me feel better about WHs life. Not personally knowing her, I often felt very grieved in my spirit over her death and I felt such turmoil. I now feel better about how she live, that a lot of her life was happy and that she is surely resting in peace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant tell you much the book is amazing and a great tell all i cant tell you alot but all i am saying is READ the BOOK it is perfect !!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MOTHER Houston, May God Bless and strengthen you! I am in awe of your strength and thank you for sharing your story! I know people whi have met your daughter and she was a wonderful human being who shared her gift and love for the Lord! KJM
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Witney Huston fan and was looking forward to reading a story about her. Too bad it was all about her mom. The first 50+pages was about Cissy. The name of the book is deceiving. I wanted to read about Witney not her Mom's career.
CrabbyApple More than 1 year ago
The book is well written and is a great story from the Mothers point of view. We look into the lives of the Houstons and can understand more about Nippy and perhaps why she did some of the things she did. We learned about some of her insecurities...because lets fact it; we all have them. Very Good Read. Will probably read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hats off to Ms. Houston for giving us some insight as to who NIPPPY was. I very much enjoyed reading and I will admit that I even shed a tear...or two...or three. A must read for all Whitney fans. Much respect to Ms. Cissy Houston.
YesterdaysNewz More than 1 year ago
Amazing! Thank you Miss Cissy for helping us fans understand just how sweet Whitney was!!
Zalma More than 1 year ago
I loved this book.  It made me laugh, it made me cry and, most of all, it made me appreciate 'Nippy'.  It is a heartwarming story written with love and honesty.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whitney is dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shocker
Porsha29 More than 1 year ago
Pretty good book. Straight to the point
luvat1stsite More than 1 year ago
Cissy, thank you for sharing such intimate moments of Whitney with the world. I am still so saddened by her death and can only imagine how it has affected you and your family. I feel like I have a piece of Nippy in my life now. This book will sit on my mantle along w/ my family photos. Thank you again, Cissy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WhitneyFan More than 1 year ago
I think this book rocks thank you Cissy for sharing the memories of Whitney with us  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms Cissy put her heart & soul in writing this book my heart is so full right now & i cant stop the tears from following. Her book takes u on a journey about her childhood family religion marriage and most important her daughter Whitney the love she had for her the happy sad & funny times they shared...this was a VERY GOOD read...thank you Ms Cissy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you for clearing up a few things about Whitney's tragic ending. I was a big fan of Whitney through the good and the bad. She was human and got caught up like some do. I understand her love for singing and music and how the pressures got to her. At one point, the world did not understand seemed she dealt with it in her own way. Thanks for sharing your side of the story! I know she wasn't a bad person. In fact, she changed the whole game so be very proud and tx for sharing her with us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I luuuvvvv whitney houston she be killin em
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I wanted to read about how her mother viewed her life. I loved this book. It gave us the history of Mrs. Houston and it explained a lot of things that others have only speculated. I have shared this book with several members of my own family. My take away from this wonderful read is that we can love someone with all of our heart but their future and destiny is for them to decide. Thank you Mrs. Houston for sharing your story with the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago