Whitney Houston described where she hoped she’d be in 2012 to Diane Sawyer in a candid 2002 interview.
Sawyer asked Houston to paint a picture of her perfect life 10 years in the future and the world famous singer envisioned a slower pace of life filled with family.
“Retired. Sitting, looking at my daughter grow up, become a great woman of God, grandchildren,” she said.
Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, shared her mother’s desire for a relaxed life, telling Sawyer in 2002 that her favorite days with her mother were when they could spend time together at home.
“The perfect thing is like [when we] … sit and, you know, we get to watch TV or, like, listen to gospel music or have breakfast together,” she said.
Houston’s powerful voice was the sound of a superstar to millions, but at home it was the sound of mom, her loving lullabies putting her daughter to bed.
“I like her voice because it’s really nice and it makes me go to sleep,” Bobbi Kristina told Sawyer as her mother began to soothingly sing, “I love you.”
Houston said that when she began singing as part of the choir at the New hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, she she would close her eyes because she was afraid.
“Then, when I would open my eyes, the people would be what we call ‘Holy Ghost fired out,” she said. “They would be in such [a] spirit of praise. I think I knew then that it was an infectious thing that God had given me.”
Her captivating voice gave her fame and fortune, but Houston said it also deprived her of a childhood.
“I had no time to grow up, had no time to party. I didn’t even date in my 20s,” she said. “It was rough. I think I kind of reverted back as I got older. And I said, ‘Well, I’m just going to party, you know? It was kind of a rebel in me, you know?”
Houston revealed to Sawyer that the rebel inside her led her down a path that almost killed her, but she vowed that she wouldn’t “break.”
“I know folks who have come closer [to death]. But that’s as close as I want to be. That’s as close as I think it gets,” she said. ”I’m not a person who wants to die. I’m a person who has life, who wants to live. And I always have.”