ALPHARETTA, Georgia (AP) — The parallels are haunting: Bobbi Kristina Brown and her mother, Whitney Houston, were both found face-down in bathtubs as the music industry prepared for the Grammy Awards.
Both lived in the constant glare of entertainment industry attention, both struggled with drugs; both married men criticized by family and friends as wrong for them.
As the pop star’s 21-year-old daughter lay in a coma Monday at a Georgia hospital, police issued an incident report saying only that they had been called to her home in suburban Atlanta in response to “a drowning” Saturday, and had secured the scene for investigators.
“Bobbi Kristina is fighting for her life and is surrounded by immediate family,” the Houston family said in a statement Monday. “We are asking you to honor our request for privacy during this difficult time. Thank you for your prayers, well wishes, and we greatly appreciate your continued support. ”
Bobbi Kristina apparently didn’t feel so surrounded on Jan. 29, two days before she was found in the tub: She tweeted “On my own” in big bold letters.
The discovery of Bobby Kristina in the bathtub at her Roswell, Ga., home was eerily similar to the circumstances of her mother’s death almost three years ago to the day. On Feb. 11, 2012, just before the Grammys, Houston’s assistant found the singer’s lifeless body face-down in a foot of water in her tub at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Authorities found a dozen prescription drug bottles in the suite and listed heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors, but concluded that Houston accidentally drowned.
Bobbi Kristina, then 18, was outside the room, so distraught that she was hospitalized in hysterics.
“She wasn’t only a mother, she was a best friend,” she told Oprah shortly after her mother’s death in 2012.
But Houston was an impossible act to follow for her daughter, who identified herself on Twitter as “Daughter of Queen WH,” ”Entertainer/Actress” with William Morris & Co., and “LAST of a dying breed.”
Houston had her first No. 1 hit by the time she was 22, followed by a flurry of No. 1 songs, selling more than 50 million records in the United States alone. Her voice, an ideal blend of power, grace and beauty, made classics out of songs like “Saving All My Love For You,” ”I Will Always Love You,” ”The Greatest Love of All” and “I’m Every Woman.” Her six Grammys were only a fraction of her many awards.
Bobbi Kristina inherited her mother’s entire estate, but not her voice. Aside from the crew of her family’s short-lived reality TV show “The Houstons: On Our Own,” she has mostly appeared in online “selfies” and images captured by paparazzi.
She told Oprah that she wanted to sing, act and dance, like her mother — and that she was coping as best she could.
But in the years after her mother’s death, she made more headlines for drug use, weight loss and family disputes.
“Damn, lol, it’s incredible how the world will judge you 4ANY&EVERYthing,” she tweeted in March of 2014.
Bobbi Kristina was born into the tumult of a toxic relationship between two famous people.
Houston met R&B star Bobby Brown at the Soul Train Music Awards in 1989. The gifted singer and her bad boy partner married in 1992, much to the dismay of Houston’s family.
A year later, she gave birth to Bobbi Kristina, and her drug use took off. When Bobbi Kristina was only a toddler, Houston told S2SMagazine that she was a “functioning junkie.” Her husband’s struggles with addiction also have been also well-chronicled, and around 2002, the family decamped to the Atlanta area, drawn to a healing service by a singer-turned evangelical preacher.
Houston’s love for her only child was evident throughout. She sang “Happy Birthday” to Bobbi Kristina while on Oprah, and often brought her on stage.
The girl made a few appearances on Being Bobby Brown, the reality show that infamously captured Brown and Houston fighting, swearing and appearing in court. The Hollywood Reporter said “not only does it reveal Brown to be even more vulgar than the tabloids suggest, but it manages at the same time to rob Houston of any last shreds of dignity.”
While the Houston-Brown family stayed in the Atlanta area, they added a new member: Nick Gordon, an orphan. While Houston never formally adopted him, he became like a brother to Bobbi Kristina.
Houston sought recovery through rehab in California in 2004 and took the kids with her. By 2007, she divorced Brown, keeping Bobbi Kristina and Nick close.
The pair who called each other big brother and little sister went public with their romance about a month after Houston’s death. Later that year, her grandmother Cissy Houston was so concerned about the young woman’s ability to handle her mother’s fortune that she filed a request in court to delay the inheritance, and Bobbi Kristina agreed.
The young couple’s marriage in 2014 troubled some members of the family, but the pair was defiant. Last week, she tweeted her late mother, saying: “Littlelady&yourgrowing young man @nickdgordon miss you mommy ..:’) SOmuch.. loving you more every sec. #Anniversary!”