Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina documentary seeks to show ‘positivity’ amid struggles
Brandi Burnside Boyd, Whitney Houston's goddaughter, is one of the EP's of the Lifetime documentary
Whitney Houston’s life and death and that of her daughter’s, Bobbi Kristina Brown, has fascinated and caused debate. A new Lifetime documentary by those closest to the superstar seeks to dispel rumors and shed light on the icon behind “The Voice.”
Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina: Didn’t We Almost Have It All is a two-hour Lifetime documentary that premieres Saturday, Feb. 8. It features interviews with those closest to the late “I Will Always Love You” vocal powerhouse, such as producer Randy Jackson, Tina Brown, Cheryl “Cherrelle” Norton, and Perri “Pebbles” Reid.
Houston’s goddaughter, Brandi “Lil B” Burnside Boyd, is also prominent in the Entertainment One and Creature One-produced documentary and is one of the executive producers. She began working on this project in 2018.
“I’m proud to be one of the executive producers because we don’t hear the positivity and the light and all the greatness and the bonds that they shared, her and her beautiful daughter together,” Burnside Boyd tells theGrio.
“We just hear a bunch of negativity on replay and I knew at the right time it would be an opportunity to be able to tell their story that the positive side with the truth.”
Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina: Didn’t We Almost Have it All takes an in depth look at the shared struggles between Houston and Brown, such as drugs, living in the shadow of their famous mothers, criticism for their relationships with Bobby Brown and Nick Gordon, and their premature deaths. The documentary is not meant to gloss over their very public battles but offers insight beyond the headlines.
Burnside Boyd wants to honor the woman she knew as her godmother, and her daughter, who always saw the best in others.
“My godmother, I want to say that she gave me strength. She always taught me and I love everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re Buddhist, Catholic, Muslim, whatever religion we don’t judge. We love all. But she was a strong believer in God, and so am I, and she always would tell me when I was going through things, pull out Psalms and just start reading,” Burnside Boyd remembers.
“You read Psalms, you read songs, and it’s going to give you the strength. Let’s read it. It didn’t matter if it was four o’clock in the morning.”
Burnside Boyd spoke of Brown’s sensitivity to others who were in need of help.
“Chrissy taught me how important it is to be sensitive towards other people and their feelings even if it’s something that you can’t relate to or you don’t understand or something that you don’t have in common. She was one of those people that just loved everybody.
Burnside Boyd continues that Brown, who went viral for covering Adele’s “Someone Like You” was a “people person,” but that it may have ultimately hurt her.
“She didn’t really see the darkness very well of people. She could be what you call naive because she was just this free spirit, and I looked at that—instead of being a negative thing—but sometimes it worked against her.”
Burnside Boyd, formerly of Love & Hip-Hop, tells theGrio that Houston’s humanity wasn’t valued enough in life. She was a superstar, one of the best-selling artists of all time, and simultaneously a woman who, at times, had to be the undercard to a caricature that the press and others put forth.
It soon became a burden that her only daughter with ex-husband Bobby Brown had to carry.
“For the negative people out there, stop this. Stop walking around feeling entitled to tear anyone down. I don’t care if you are a celebrity, a doctor or a schoolteacher,” Burnside Boyd states.
Burnside Boyd pushes back against the narrative that Houston and Brown “signed up for” being ridiculed.
“Nowhere in any profession [does it] mean because you have agreed to share your talent with the world or to do what your gift is, that with the territory comes along with deny[ing] them their rights as a human being.”
February 11 will mark nine years since Houston died at the age of 48 due to drowning, with heart disease and cocaine listed as contributing factors. Since then, there have been a myriad of films, books and other documentaries about the singer.
Brown’s death at the age of 22 in 2015 created even more of an opportunity for others to offer their thoughts on their lives and deaths, and the inevitable question as to why neither woman is allowed to rest in peace. Burnside Boyd explains that this documentary seeks to do just that.
“Not only did they take joy in knocking [Houston] off, but they took a big part of her soul and her daughter’s joy and happiness with their excitement to tear them down, and it just wasn’t right. Those people are still doing that to this day,” Burnside Boyd says.
“Now, I hear a lot of people saying, ‘Well, just let them rest…Here it goes again, bringing it up.’ No, they are resting, but they’re going to rest even better and more peaceful when the positivity explodes out like that negativity that is just drowning the world.”
Watch the trailer for the documentary below.
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