Bobbi Kristina Brown‘s life has been one of unimaginable fame and glamour, but also misery and tragedy, ever since the day she was born to two incredibly talented but highly unpredictable R&B superstars.
Now a month short of her 22nd birthday, Bobbi Kristina is the only child of R&B star Bobby Brown and tragic musical legend Whitney Houston, who died almost three years ago in her hotel bathtub, a fate tragically almost mirrored by Bobbi Kristina this weekend.
Bobbi Kristina on stage with her mother Whitney in 2009
Her father is Bobby Brown, who had three previous children before he and Whitney became parents. For a while, their lives together seemed to confound all speculation about what R&B’s wild child would do to its golden girl. Bobbi Kristina made her first stage appearances as a tiny baby, when Whitney would bring her on, along with her husband, and tell the audience, “As you can see, we’re just fine.”
Alas, this may have been true once, but Whitney and Bobby’s marriage spiralled out of control, with a catalogue of drug busts, jail time for Bobby, rumoured affairs for both, and finally a permanent split in 2006, after which Whitney admitted the extent of her drug addiction for the first time.
Bobbi Kristina with husband Nick Gordon. The pair grew up together, but became romantically involved after Whitney Houston’s death in 2012
Whitney appeared to bounce back in 2009, with her final album ‘I Look To You’ garnering acclaim for the newly-found layer of soul in her voice. And she delighted in inviting Bobbi Kristina, by now 16, to perform with her on stage with her.
Sadly, this was a brief respite in her decline, as touring took its toll, critics dismayed at the quality of her live vocals, and concerts were cancelled around the world. Despite this, her death in 2012 came as a shock to her millions of fans everywhere, prompting a surge of affection and fresh interest in her music.
The last three years have not been smooth sailing for Whitney’s only child, and the sole heir to her huge fortune. For Bobbi Kristina, still only 19 when her mother died, it must have been the strangest time of all. She found comfort with new boyfriend Nick Gordon, although family members, including Bobbi’s grandmother soul singer Cissy Houston, frowned upon this relationship with a young man Whitney had brought up as her own son.
Bobbi Kristina ignored their concerns, pointing out there was no blood connection, and marrying Nick a year ago, announcing publicly “I’m finally happy!”
Bobbi Kristina was proud to introduce her mother’s final film ‘Sparkle’
With Nick, Bobbi Kristina was all smiles on the red carpet at the premiere of ‘Sparkle, her mother’s last film, which was released some months after her death. But, more recently, she has clashed with the actress Angela Bassett, who is planning to make her directorial debut with a biopic of Whitney for Lifetime Channel.
When Angela said she wouldn’t be casting Bobbi Kristina because she “wasn’t an actress”, Bobbi took to Twitter, calling Angela a “bitch”, something for which she later apologised.
“I’m a young woman who can admit her wrongs,” she tweeted. “4who was offended I apologise BUT understand me before your (sic) quick to judge though.”