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23 June 2024

Dionne Warwick: ‘Whitney Houston Was The Daughter I Never Had’

Dionne Warwick
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Dionne Warwick has talked about her relationship with cousin Whitney Houston, her love of Britain and racism in a new interview with The Observer.

Speaking about Whitney Houston’s death in 2012, Warwick said, “I didn’t mourn her then and I don’t intend to now. I prefer to celebrate her life. She gave so much of herself. She was a wonderful girl. I always used to say that she was the daughter I never had. And we still have her: her legacy is her music. You hear her on the radio every day. That’s how she’ll live on.”

Warwick went on to reflect on her love of Britain ahead of her performance at the Love Supreme Festival, “Britain has always been very good to me. I feel its wonderful embrace. I’ve been so often that I sometimes get asked if I live in the UK.”

She also spoke about first encountering racism, “I’m from New Jersey, so I’d never really encountered racism until I was asked to play to segregated audiences in the deep south. I simply couldn’t understand why anyone would be so against someone just because of a different skin pigmentation.”

Warwick also discussed her role in raising awareness of the potentially harmful effect of misogynistic lyrics in rap music, “I helped spearhead the opposition to the often violent, undeniably misogynistic lyrics in gangster rap. I invited Snoop Dogg and his band to my home early one morning. They turned up on the dot of 7am. I asked them whether they really wanted children to hear the aggressive words they were singing. Then I pointed out to Snoop Dogg that he might have a daughter one day (which, incidentally, turned out to be the case) who’d hear young women referred to as bitches. Was he comfortable with that?

Dionne Warwick will soon be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

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