Clive Davis: Whitney Houston made ‘valiant attempt’ to quit drugs before death

Whitney Houston was struggling with her addictions just before her death.

Music maven Clive Davis, who first signed a recording contract with the singer when she was 20 and has worked with her throughout her career, told Page Six that he had been shocked when she died in 2012.

“I was with her 48 hours before she died,” Davis shared in an exclusive interview with Page Six, adding, “It never occurred to me” that she would die two days later.

Houston, who struggled with drug addiction throughout her life, had worked to get sober.

“She was showing me what she did in rehab,” the 90-year-old record producer explained. “How she quit smoking, how she cleared her throat from nicotine. And she wanted to start going into the studio… I never thought 48 hours before she died, that she would pass, that there would be this horrible, untimely end to her life.

He added: “She was making a valiant attempt during this time to get off drugs and rehabilitate.”

Davis signed Houston to his first recording contract at age 20.


Clive Davis and Whitney Houston.

Davis signed Houston to his first recording contract at age 20.


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Clive Davis and Whitney Houston.

Davis signed Houston to his first recording contract at age 20.


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The “I Will Always Love You” singer was found unconscious in a Beverly Hilton suite, submerged in the bathtub on February 11, 2012. Paramedics performed CPR, but she was unconscious and died at age 48.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reported that his death was accidental and caused by drowning and the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.” Toxicology results found additional drugs in his system, including Benadryl, Xanax and cannabis.

The Arista Records founder still remembers when Houston auditioned for him singing the song “The Greatest Love of All.”

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.

Houston had a rocky marriage to singer Bobby Brown.


Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.

Houston had a rocky marriage to singer Bobby Brown.


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Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.

Houston had a rocky marriage to singer Bobby Brown.


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“I knew at that audition that this was a once in a lifetime singer,” he shared.

Davis, portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” which he co-produced, says the film “answers all the questions audiences want to know about Whitney.”

“Whether it was her sexuality, whether it was the way she reacted to any insinuation that she wasn’t singing black enough, or whether it was the impact of the drugs, or whether it was recording with me “, did he declare.

Houston – who married and divorced New Edition alum Bobby Brown – has long been dogged by rumors that she had a relationship with assistant Robyn Crawford.

Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis, Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston in
Stanley Tucci plays Davis in the new Whitney Houston biopic.
©Sony Pictures/courtesy Everett

In 2019, Crawford wrote a book, “A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston,” in which she confirmed the pair met after meeting as teenagers in the summer of 1980, so that they were both counselors at a summer camp.

“The movie is very clear that she had an affair with Robyn as a teenager, and then she said to herself, ‘It’s not for me,'” Davis explained. , ‘I want a house. I want a marriage. I want children. I don’t want a fight to the death with my parents. It’s against my religion. I want you to be my best friend.'”

A young Whitney Houston.
Davis immediately knew Houston was a major talent.
Corbis via Getty Images

“And those were the terms. I mean, it lists the men she had affairs with long before Bobby,” he continued. “She was very clearly attracted to men and was heterosexual. In his adult life, this was not an issue in his marriage. She wasn’t sexually frustrated with Bobby. She was madly drawn, perhaps too drawn, into a mutually self-destructive relationship, but she wasn’t frustrated.

Davis encourages Houston fans to see the film in theaters “with a good sound system because it significantly features all the great songs and of course that vocals.

Whitney Houston at the Michael Jackson 30th Birthday Celebration - Show at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.

Houston caused concern when she sang at a concert in 2001.


Whitney Houston at the Michael Jackson 30th Birthday Celebration - Show at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.

Houston caused concern when she sang at a concert in 2001.


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Whitney Houston at the Michael Jackson 30th Birthday Celebration - Show at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.

Houston caused concern when she sang at a concert in 2001.


Publicity

He continued, “That voice that was the finest of its generation and is up there with the best two or three of all time. That’s what the movie does. »

The music executive, who has worked with everyone from Janis Joplin to Santana to Billy Joel to Pink Floyd, said he knew pretty quickly if he wanted to work with someone.

“I don’t read music. I don’t play music. It’s something that strikes me. But when you’re dealing with an artist, like, coming back, when you’re auditioning, say a Springsteen, when you’re auditioning a Patti Smith, you don’t know about the first song. That’s a writing talent there. It’s unique there.

“I Want to Dance With Someone” is currently playing in theaters.

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