Whitney Houston sang a hymn in her last performance, singing "Jesus Loves Me" with friend and music artist Kelly Price two days before she died. Despite years of battling drug addiction, the singer has been vocal about her faith throughout her career.
- (Photo: Reuters/Johannes Eisele)
Houston performed a short rendition of the hymn on the night of Feb. 9 at "Kelly Price & Friends Unplugged: For the Love of R&B" pre-Grammy concert at the Hollywood nightclub Tru. Price told The Hollywood Reporter that she was surprised to hear about her friend's death, since she was in good spirits days before.
"It doesn't resonate to anything that happened on Thursday," Price said. "She was in good spirits leaving the club."
However, many have referenced Houston's spiritual battle throughout the years of her career. New York Daily News reporter David Hinckley recently discussed visiting The Perfecting Church the with Houston in Detroit a few years ago.
Houston once told the journalist about being able to go to the Pentecostal church although she was not perect.
"The Perfecting Church," she said. "It says we don't come to God perfect. We come as we are and He helps us from there."
The late singer grew up in Newark, N.J., where she attended New Hope Baptist Church. On Sunday, Joe Carter, pastor of the church, acknowledged the late singer.
"The family shared Whitney with the world, but Whitney was a mother, a daughter, and a sister, and that's the focus we want to keep in front of everyone today," Carter said.
Despite Houston growing up singing in church with direction from her Gospel-singing mother, Cissy Houston, the late singer has admitted to battling with drugs and abuse throughout the years. In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Houston spoke about her mother's attempt to get her back from the grips of Satan.
"I'm not losing you to the world. I'm not losing you to Satan," Houston recalled her mother saying. "I want my daughter back. I want to see the child I raised and you weren't raised like this."
In a recent interview with Access Hollywood on the set of her upcoming movie "Sparkle," Houston spoke about the strength of her mother and importance of people who have been praying for her throughout the years that have helped her move forward with her career.
"It's a blessing to have a mother that is very strong and family that surrounds me that constantly tell me they love me. But it's your belief, your faith and your determination," Houston said in the interview. "I've got some good saints out there that pray for me constantly. You've got to have that. It's not easy."