Although many of us are still getting over the shock of Whitney Houston’s untimely death , MTV News paid its respects Wednesday (February 15) with “Whitney Houston: In Her Own Words.” The live MTV News special was hosted by our own Sway Calloway and featured interview clips of Houston from her network debut in 1986 through her final interview, her career highs and lows, faith and family, as well as how she hoped to be remembered.
MTV News gathered a collection of heartfelt reactions from Houston’s celebrity fans at Sunday’s Grammys, and Fergie, Amber Rose, Ne-Yo and Foster the People all spoke about the impact the late icon had on the industry.
“Whitney was such an inspiration to me ever since I was a little girl,” Fergie said. “I used to watch the Grammys and I used to watch her walk up on that stage. She would belt out a song with such confidence, and I’d just dream that I could be on that stage like Whitney. She was a role model for me. She was an icon.”
We dug into our vaults for Whitney’s top MTV moments, which included her first-ever performance and win for “How Will I Know” at the Video Music Awards in 1986, along with a rare, candid interview in 1998 with rumored rival Mariah Carey , during which they discussed what it means to be a diva and the miracle of having children.
“The only thing I really have a problem with the diva factor is who represents it and how you represent being a diva.” Houston said of the label.
“Exactly,” Carey agreed. “There’s a bitchy factor [associated with the word].”
“Some people give divas a bad name,” Houston continued. “There is a standard of that kind of attitude … there’s a certain kind of humilia … ”
“Humility,” Carey chimed in.
“Humility. Thank you!” Houston said, showing off the exact quality she was speaking about.
One of the most poignant moments in our special came from a 1991 interview in which she addressed the topic of how she hopes to be remembered.
“Well, they’re going to remember me how they’re going to remember me. They’re going to write books, they’re going to do this, they’re going to write that, and everybody is going to have their own idea. I don’t know, I want to be remembered for being a real nice person, somebody who cared and tried to do everybody righteously,” she said. “I don’t want to go down for being a hag,” she added with a laugh.
Houston died at age 48 of yet-undetermined causes.
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