BeBe Winans reveals Whitney Houston's highs and lows in new book

theGRIO Q&A - During an interview with theGrio, BeBe Winans talked about his new book 'The Whitney I Knew,' and some of the highs and lows of the Grammy Award winning singer's life...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

I was reading the interview that you gave and you said that you felt that it was a bad idea that Whitney married Bobby Brown. Do you talk about that in the book and why do you feel that way?

I did and I do.  But one of the things that I feel is important and I know in knowing her, I think it’s foolish to blame Bobby Brown for anything. I really do. It’s not his fault that Whitney’s not here. It’s not his fault, but one of the things that I talk about as well is I have three younger siblings in my family and Whitney falls in as number four, she was a year younger than me and I’m getting a little bit depressed because her birthday is a few days away and we would always talk and have a conversation on her birthday and we would talk about mine which follows in September, so it’s kind of hard for me right now.

But the reality is I wanted and I saw and I thought her husband would be someone different, someone who is not in the industry because with this industry comes a lot of craziness. So you have both mom and dad in the industry to me it’s not a good recipe for success and so, but we had a pack, and we had that trust between us we had that opportunity to talk about any and everything that we needed to talk about with each other. We had that permission from each of us to be perfectly honest and that’s not just Whitney’s life, that’s my life as well and so we talked about it and at the end of the day, that’s why you can’t blame Bobby, because at the end of the day Whitney was a grown woman and people will make decisions that they want to make. So you know, some decisions she made I disagreed with even before Bobby. So I do address that and I address that as openly and honest as I can.

Did you see Bobby Brown’s interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today? Bobby said that Whitney did drugs before she met him. Is there any truth to that? Do you discuss that in your book?

Well, I didn’t see the interview that Bobby did. But one of the things I do openly talk about in the book is what I saw. One of the things I hated and she was angry when we would address it, was cigarette smoke. Cigarettes are what really destroyed her voice and that was a battle. What I’ve learned, when it comes to any abuse with drugs or anything is that there are little steps that lead you to big problems.

So did we talk about any and everything? Yes we did—drugs, sex and rock-n-roll. That was the commitment we had with one another. The wonderful thing about that is that she had a sanctuary. I had a sanctuary in her, and what was deposited in that sanctuary would never come out and that’s what I think friendship, real friendship is about, that I can come to you and talk about those things that I can’t talk about with anyone else. And it’s not just Whitney, but Luther Vandross was also someone I would talk to about anything and everything because these kind of people they don’t have those relationships. In our lives, one of the things I hope we all understand is that no man is an island, we need one another. I wanted to be and I was that kind of friend to them.

Some people are going to inevitably say that you wrote this book to profit or to make money off of Whitney. What do you say to that?

I would introduce my music to those people and let them know for the last 30 years I’ve lived and profited on the gift that I have, which is writing songs and singing them. That doesn’t bother me I have always been and will always be one who knows who I am. So I’m not bothered like some people are of what people say and never have been.

The world is now watching Bobbi Kristina’s every move and she grows up without a mother. Do you communicate with her on a regular basis and provide her with guidance? Are you Uncle BeBe?

I am indeed an uncle, but like any teenager at that age whether they are my niece or nephew I understand. I have a daughter who turns 17 the day before Whitney’s birthday and is Whitney’s goddaughter. So I’ve learned even through personal experiences that at that any age you can only say so much and their going to spread their wings and you just hope that what you’ve placed there and what you’ve said will be a guiding light and that’s what we are and will continue to be to Bobbi Kristina.

 Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC