Back in the fall of 1998, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey set aside their long-rumored rivalry and came together to record a duet, "When You Believe," for the animated film "The Prince of Egypt." An interview with the two divas from that time is one of the many rare moments unearthed for MTV's live 30-minute tribute to the late singer, entitled "Whitney Houston: In Her Own Words," airing tonight (February 15) at 7:30 p.m. ET on MTV.
Asked about the song and whether they'd ever experienced a miracle in their own lives, Houston was the first to respond, telling MTV, "Yeah, I have. That baby sitting right up there. That's my miracle."
She was referring, of course, to a then-5-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown, her only child with ex-husband Bobby Brown. Bobbi Kristina has had a particularly difficult time dealing with the passing of her mother, and was herself rushed from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Houston died, to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center less than 24 hours after her death. Bobbi was said to be "hysterical, exhausted and inconsolable," sources close to the situation told TMZ.
After Carey responds, "I don't have a child, so I can't say the same thing, but maybe one day I will," Houston turns to her peer for a candid moment that seems like more of an aside between two new friends than an interview sound bite.
"When you do, you will realize that is the ultimate miracle. If you think you've got records and you've done all this stuff and all that stuff, [it's] nothing like that," Houston says. "That's a true love that costs nothing. Unconditional love."
Though they always insisted they were always on friendly terms, rumors of a rivalry between Houston and Carey persisted throughout the '90s. Indeed, they were often pitted against each other on the music charts and by critics who declared their respective talents to be comparable. Even after they chose to silence rumors by recording "When You Believe" and conducting interviews together, the buzz continued. Some critics even believed they were trying to "outdo each other" during their performance of the song at the 1999 Academy Awards.
Tune in as we celebrate the life of an icon with "Whitney Houston: In Her Own Words" tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET on MTV.