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2010 Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball
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Singer Cissy Houston, left, and daughter singer Whitney Houston attend the 2010 Keep A Child Alive's Black Ball at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Sept. 30, 2010 in New York City. Cissy is penning a memoir about Whitney.
updated 6/5/2012 1:15:50 PM ET 2012-06-05T17:15:50

Whitney Houston's triumphant, heartbreaking life is being remembered in a book by her mother, singer Cissy Houston.

Houston has a deal with HarperCollins for a memoir it says will reveal the "unabridged and unbelievable story" of her Grammy Award-winning daughter, who died in a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel bathtub in February at age 48. HarperCollins announced Monday that the currently untitled book is scheduled to come out next February.

"When I lost my daughter Nippy (Whitney Houston's nickname), the world lost one of the most beautiful voices and an extraordinarily beautiful and charitable woman," Cissy Houston said in a statement released by HarperCollins. "In sharing our story in this book, I hope to give her fans something to treasure, the way we all treasured Whitney. We are still receiving thousands of letters each day from her fans, and I hope reading this book will provide a deeper understanding into my daughter's true story.

Financial terms haven't been disclosed. But a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., where Whitney Houston, whose many hits included "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You," sang as a child and where her funeral was held. Cissy Houston had met with several publishers, and the book deal could be worth seven figures.

According to HarperCollins, Cissy Houston will write with "candor, honesty and respect" about her daughter's remarkable career and about her drug problems and her marriage to Bobby Brown. Cissy Houston also will reflect on her own grief.

Video: Bobby Brown’s kids talk about his drug use

"She will tell the unabridged and unbelievable story of her daughter's life as well as her own, addressing Whitney's brightest and darkest moments while helping fans around the world understand the complexities of this extraordinary star who died much too soon," the publisher announced.

"Ultimately, Cissy will go behind the headlines to show the true, human side of this strong, successful yet complicated musical icon, capturing the dramatic depths and soaring range of an extraordinary woman, along with the pain and heartbreak of a grieving mother as she struggles with impossible loss."

Cissy Houston recently released a new album of gospel tunes, her first new music in more than a decade. "Walk on By Faith" was released by Harlem Records on iTunes last month and includes songs such as "Living Shall Not Be In Vain."

She wrote a memoir, "How Sweet the Sound," in 1998.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: Whitney Houston: 1963-2012

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  1. A life in the spotlight

    Whitney Houston, seen here at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, has died at age 48 after an acclaimed career and a life that kept her in tabloid headlines. Stardom was in Houston's family -- mom Cissy Houston is a Grammy-winning singer, Dionne Warwick is her cousin, and Aretha Franklin was her godmother. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images file) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Grammy gold

    Producer Clive Davis and Houston appear onstage at the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala and Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen at the Beverly Hilton on Feb. 12, 2011, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Nearly one year later almost to the day, Houston would be found dead at the same hotel. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. London calling

    Houston performs at the O2 Arena in London on April 25, 2010. (Samir Hussein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. We are family

    Houston, cousin Dionne Warwick and Houston's teenage daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, arrive at the 2011 Pre-Grammy Gala in 2011. (Larry Busacca / Getty Images For The Recording A) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. On stage

    Houston speaks during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in 2009. Six Grammys were among her lifetime total of more than 400 musical honors. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Ladies of music

    Dionne Warwick, Houston and Natalie Cole perform together during a tour in Germany in 2009, the first time the three had ever sung together. (Joerg Koch / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. In Israel

    Husband Bobby Brown and Houston toured Israel in 2003. Here, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon welcomes them to his residence. (Quique Kierszenbaum / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Dynamic duo

    Brown and Houston perform during the "VH1 Divas" duets show in Las Vegas in 2003. They wed in 1992, and she gave birth to daughter Bobbi Kristina a year later. The couple divorced in 2007. (Joe Cavaretta / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Divas forever

    Houston and Mary J. Blige perform on the "VH1 Divas Las Vegas" concert in 2002. (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Pretty in pink

    Houston holds her Grammy award for Best Female Rythm and Blues Vocal Performance for "It's Not Right But It's Okay" at the 2000 Grammy Awards. (Vince Bucci / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. In court

    Houston and Brown are seen in a Georgia court in 2002. He had been arrested on an outstanding bench warrant for a 1996 DUI. (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. And baby makes three

    Houston and Brown are seen with daughter Bobbi Kristina, then 6, in 1998. (Lucy Nicholson / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. With Mariah

    Houston and Mariah Carey recorded "When You Believe" as a duet in 1998. When Carey first became popular, she sounded so similar to Houston that many thought Carey's songs were actually Houston singing. (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Moving on to movies

    Houston also starred in numerous movies, including 1996's "The Preacher's Wife." (Getty Images / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Love is in the air

    Houston was honored at the 1994 Grammys, winning record of the year for "I Will Always Love You" and album of the year for the soundtrack from her movie "The Bodyguard." She is shown with producer David Foster, who shared the honors with her. (Pool / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. 'The Bodyguard'

    In the 1992 film "The Bodyguard," Kevin Costner plays a bodyguard hired to protect Houston's character, a singer, from an unknown stalker. (ZUMA Press/Newscom) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Stunning anthem

    Houston's performance of the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl is thought by some to be one of the best versions of the song ever sung. It was released as a single and reached the Top 20. (George Rose / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Houston performing in 1988. (Dave Hogan / Hulton Archive / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Early days

    Houston belts out a song in 1986. Even before she became known as a singer, Houston gained fame as a model, and perennial Seventeen Magazine cover girl. She was one of the first women of color to make the teen magazine's cover. (Elise Amendola / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: Bobby Brown ‘felt disrespected’ at Houston funeral

  1. Closed captioning of: Bobby Brown ‘felt disrespected’ at Houston funeral

    >>> we're back now at 8:17. we have more of our exclusive interview with bobby brown , his first interview since the death of his ex-wife, whitney houston . he's going to open up about how their daughter, bobbi kristina , is doing. we start by talking about the controversy surrounding whitney 's funeral and the reports that he was not invited.

    >> they definitely wanted me there. it wasn't that i wasn't invited. i was invited. just coming to pay respects to my ex-wife. they would not, you know, hold me from, you know. that's not the type of family the houston family is. they're a great family. i appreciate them very much, you know.

    >> what happened?

    >> whoever the security was there asked me to have my -- what they called my entourage, which was my children, sit somewhere else . we had to sit apart. and i was not willing to sit away from my children. so, you know, after the third time of them coming to me, i felt a little, you know, disrespected by the security that was there. i decided that, you know, it would be best if i just left. i kissed the casket. and me and my children left the building.

    >> after she passed away , you talk about calling bobbi kristina . did you call anybody else in her family? did you reach out to any of them?

    >> i tried to reach out to whitney 's mom. i haven't been able to reach her yet.

    >> and it's been two months.

    >> yes.

    >> does she just not want to talk to you?

    >> no, i wouldn't say that. i know she's going through it deeply, deeply going through it. she lost her only daughter. i love her dearly, and i'm here anytime. anytime she wants to talk. i'm here.

    >> i want to ask you about your current status. you were involved in a dui arrest not long ago.

    >> yes.

    >> are you clean and sober right now, bobby?

    >> i'm very much clean and sober from narcotics. i do drink. i'm not allowed to drink for the next 30 days . i do have a cocktail occasionally, you know. i will again, i know that. but i'm seven years clean from narcotics. you know, i'm living -- i'm living the life that i want to live.

    >> other people continue to talk. and the doubters are out there.

    >> they can doubt all they want.

    >> and when they worry, bobby, and they look at bobby brown and they say, our fear is this will end badly, too, you say?

    >> i say, you've got the wrong one. you've got the wrong one.

    >> let's talk about your daughter, all right? bobbi kristina . a smile comes to your face, which is nice. but she's got to be going through a really tough time. how's she doing?

    >> actually, she's a strong girl. her mom taught her well. i think we raised her really well. she's fine. she knows that her mom is gone. and she knows that she has to live.

    >> and yet there are reports, bobby, and that her family is concerned about her, that whitney 's family is concerned about her, there have been some incidents where she was seen smoking pot . some people say other things as well, other drugs. are you worried about that?

    >> i would always be worried about that.

    >> is it a real concern?

    >> right now, no.

    >> yeah.

    >> no, no. because i know -- i know what she is actually doing. i think people are, you know, making assumptions of what my daughter is and how strong she is. people tend to want to control strong-willed people. and that's what i see.

    >> so in your opinion, there is no issue with bobbi kristina and addiction at this moment?

    >> right. i am her father. she talks to me about everything.

    >> there are also reports about her dpating life.

    >> she's a young lady . you know, i would expect her to have a boyfriend.

    >> but is that boyfriend her adopted brother?

    >> i don't know about that. i don't think so.

    >> would she tell you?

    >> she would definitely tell me.

    >> you're sure?

    >> i'm positive.

    >> would that be an appropriate relationship, in your opinion, if it were to be true?

    >> nick's a good kid. i have nothing against nick.

    >> you say she's my daughter. i'm her father. she would tell me everything. have you asked her? have you come right out and said, are you dating nick?

    >> yes, i have, actually.

    >> come on. what did she say?

    >> she said no. she said no. definitely not.

    >> though bobbi kristina is the best known of bobby brown 's children, he has four other kids from other relationships. landon is 26. he's a performer like his dad. laprincia and bobby brown jr. both attend college in massachusetts. then there's the youngest, 2-year-old cassius. his mom, bobby's manager and fiancee. they say they want to set the record straight about bobby brown .

    >> my dad's a great person. he's been my best friend my whole life. if i ever have a problem with anything, i know i can always go to him.

    >> yeah? the rest of you? is that the reason you're here?

    >> yes, definitely.

    >> because you don't feel that the public has --

    >> they definitely do not have the right perception of him.

    >> my father's always had the bad-boy image. you know, they just -- they keep following that, you know?

    >> is any of it deserved?

    >> i think the bad-boy image is just a part of the performance, stage performance, stage presence. not what people put on him.

    >> everyone goes through their up downs. you can't be judged forever about one event in your life or a bad decision made, you can't always be judged by that.

    >> alicia, you're engaged to this man.

    >> what are you thinking?

    >> thank you. because i was going to say, how many times have your girlfriends or your family members come up to you and said, do you know what you're getting into?

    >> if they're my friends or my family, they know that i know what i'm getting into, absolutely, because they know this man. we go through the ups and downs together. and it's meant to be.

    >> bobbi kristina is not here. what's your relationship with her like, guys?

    >> i've always been really close with my sister. as of lately, we haven't really spoken. when she is ready to speak, when she is ready to have the love that we all want to give her, we'll be here.

    >> my relationship, we've been close. of course, i'm her older brother. so we got along very well. and i love her.

    >> i just want to talk a little bit about whitney 's funeral. it turned a bit controversial. your dad has explained it to me. i'd love to hear it from your perspective.

    >> they sat us --

    >> oh, we were an entourage. that's what we were.

    >> yeah, we were the entourage. they sat us. i saw someone talking to my dad, but i didn't know what they were saying until he tapped me and said, "let's go."

    >> all i know is that i've known that woman since i was, like, 3 years old and that i cared about her, and i loved her. i wanted to be there to say good-bye to her and be there to support my sister. i didn't get that chance.

    >> if you could say something to whitney 's family, cissy and people like that, what would you like to say to them?

    >> that we love them and wanted just to say good-bye to her and we love her. we were all family at some point. we spent so much time together.

    >> by the way, we invited bobbi kristina to join us during that interview. she declined our invitation.


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