The legendary Whitney Houston, photographed in 1980.
We don't have to remind you that Whitney Houston was a legend. Since her untimely passing earlier this year throngs of devoted fans have mourned the singer, and celebrity admirers such as Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Christina Aguilera have paid beautiful tribute to their idol as well. While most of our memories of this fallen star should center around her stunning vocals and huge contribution to pop music and pop culture, we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge that Whitney's life, especially toward the end, was fraught with heartache and turbulence.
In the June issue of Vanity Fair, contributing editor Mark Seal delves into the battles Whitney faced during her final days. While we would like to think that Whitney was at peace up until her passing, there's a small part of us that knows that simply isn't true. In fact, according to Mark Seal, Whitney's final days were more troubled than fans and family might have imagined.
Read more from Vanity Fair's Whitney Houston article, "The Devils In The Diva," after the jump.
Seal interviewed Whitney's vocal coach, her hairdresser and several other handlers, many of whom were around Whitney during her final days. On the subject of Whitney's deteriorating voice, vocal coach Gary Catona admits, "Every time her voice would improve, I would stop working with her, and she would go off and do something -- a concert or a tour." Despite this, he claims that Whitney "blossomed" under his tutelage and was "the most devoted student [he] ever had." We have no doubt about that.
Hairdresser Tiffanie Dixon recalls Whitney's steadfast devotion to her religion: "Her glasses were broken, but she read by holding the little single lens. She had marked pages -- Exodus, Mark and Matthew." But perhaps the most moving words came from Salim Akil, the director of Whitney's posthumous film "Sparkle": "Nobody is going to be able to say anything more profound than what Whitney says herself on that screen. There's a line in the movie where she says, 'Hasn't my life been enough of a cautionary tale?' All the questions that you ask people... I feel she answers in this movie... The answer is: 'All the good things, all the beautiful things that you ever thought about me are true.'" We couldn't have said it better ourselves.