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Jocelyn Brown: 'Media should back off Whitney Houston's troubled past'

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Popstar to Operastar: Acts: Jocelyn Brown

© ITV

R&B singer Jocelyn Brown has urged the media to "back off" reporting on the "destructive" parts of the life of Whitney Houston, after a string of lurid headlines about the late star.

Brown, who appeared on ITV's Popstar to Operastar last year, knew the 'I Will Always Love You' singer from when she was a child, and joined the ranks of those paying tribute to the 48-year-old following her shock death at the weekend.

Houston sold around 170m albums over her lengthy music career, but many of the more recent headlines have focused on the negative aspects of her life, including a well publicised battle with drug addiction.

Following her death, many of these sensational aspects have again been reported in the papers, including The Sun today running a front page story featuring an image of the bath in which Houston was supposedly found dead.

Speaking to Premier Christian Radio's Woman to Woman show today, Brown hit out at the press coverage of Houston's death, and also damned the music industry for failing to protect the star.

"The press need to back off about the destructive parts of her life and rejoice in the fact that she had input in a lot of people's lives musically," she said.

"She had a God given gift! Rejoice with her instead of bringing her down! The press need to back off Whitney Houston's troubled past."

Whitney Houston: Life in Pictures

© Matt Sayles/AP/Press Association Images



Many commentators have hit out at the music industry for failing to support stars like Houston and Amy Winehouse, who died last July, as they struggled with the demands of fame and fortune.

Discussing this, Brown said: "There's no love! It's the love of the money, the love of the business; not the love of the person or the spirit of the person."

She continued: "What's a superstar? A superstar is because someone made sure that your product got sold all over the world, and they're taking the proceeds while you get the seconds. Superstardom is a fearful word because at that point the star person is the mogul receiving your money."

Brown, who knew Houston as "Nippy" when she was a child, said that she was also "disturbed" by the lack of action from the Church to protect the singer.

"I knew a young girl who was inspiring. I saw another person before the lady that we know today had come out," she said.

"For me she was an inspiration, a child prodigy as far as I was concerned. She came out and blew the world's mind.

"She knew the Lord. What disturbs me is all those Ministers around her - how much input did they have on her?

"How many actually went in there and said, 'Get your clothes! Pack a bag! I'm taking you somewhere for you to have six months of rehabilitation because you need help'?"

> Whitney Houston funeral to take place in New Jersey on Friday
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Watch the video for 'Greatest Love Of All' below:

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