HOUSTON—Local gospel singer Kim Burrell said she considered Whitney Houston as a sister and after the star’s death she’s reflecting on their memorable performances together.
Burrell and Houston sang a duet last year during BET’s Celebration of Gospel.
Burrell said they had a close friendship that started when Whitney Houston entered rehab. Burrell said she became Houston’s spiritual counselor, talking with Houston nearly every day.
The night before the Grammy Awards, where Burrell was up for gospel album of the year, the two were supposed to go to a party together, but those plans never materialized.
“I’m going to be honest with you; my reason for going with Whitney was to make sure she didn’t get into any trouble. That was just my role…as she often referred to me, ‘I feel like you’re my momma, my sister,” Burrell said.
Burrell said she connected with Houston on a person-to-person level.
“I entered into Whitney Elizabeth Houston’s world, the person. And I think my love for God, and my love for her as an individual just kind of gave me the go ahead to you know, do what I’m called to do,” she said.
Burrell said the days since Houston’s death have brought different feelings.
“There are days I feel regretful that I wasn’t there, there are days I feel like, ‘How could you?’ And then there are days I feel like, ‘Yes, no more trouble,’” she said.
Burrell became emotional as she reflected on Houston.
“Because I know she didn’t want me to feel the pain I feel about here, but, it is what it is,” she said.
Burrell has a voicemail from Houston that may be the last call she ever made. It is something Houston’s family wants to keep private and something Burrell said she plans to keep forever.