PERFORMING ARTS

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston

Dutton. Nov. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781524742843. $28. MUSIC
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With its title taken from Leon Russell’s classic song, which Whitney Houston performed live in 1991, this memoir recalls author Crawford’s multifaceted relationship with the late singer. After meeting as camp counselors in the early 1980s, the women became inseparable, with Crawford taking Houston to modeling appointments and singing gigs and, ultimately, leaving college to work as her assistant. As Houston’s career took off and rumors about her and Crawford’s sexuality spread, the two moved from lovers to friends. Quietly pushed aside after Houston’s volatile marriage to Bobby Brown, Crawford watched as the singer’s family and record label Arista ignored her escalating substance abuse. This is a story of manipulation and control—of a demanding music industry, a neglectful family, and an artist who had few people with her best interests at heart. In between, Crawford shares her own story, including emotional memories of family living with chronic illness.
VERDICT Despite poor editing at times, this candid memoir will resonate with fans. This isn’t a tell-all, but a tender remembrance. Readers will see Houston in a new light: as an exceptional artist who had few people in her life she could genuinely trust.

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