Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of late superstar Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown, died Sunday at the age of 22, a representative of the Houston family said in a statement.
“Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away Sunday, July, 26 2015, surrounded by her family,” the statement said. “She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”
She was treated in a hospital and then a hospice facility in the nearly six months since she was found unresponsive and not breathing in the bathtub at her Roswell home on January 31 — nearly three years to the day after her mother accidentally drowned in a bathtub in Beverly Hills, a victim of the vices she had fought for much of her career.
As rumors flew, family took sides
Brown was placed in a medically induced coma, relatives have said. Rumors flew about her condition, with family members and loved ones taking sides in the drama. In April, her maternal grandmother, Cissy Houston, said Bobbi Kristina had “global and irreversible brain damage.”
“Meeting with the doctors and understanding that she can live in this condition for a lifetime truly saddens me,” Houston said. “We can only trust in God for a miracle at this time.” The statement was released days after her father and Whitney Houston’s former husband, R & B singer Bobby Brown, told an audience in Dallas, “I can say today, Bobbi is awake. She’s watching me.”
On June 24, Bobbi Kristina’s aunt, Pat Houston, announced that her niece had been moved to a hospice facility.
“Despite the great medical care at numerous facilities, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s condition has continued to deteriorate,” Houston’s statement said. “As of today, she has been moved into hospice care. We thank everyone for their support and prayers. She is in God’s hands now.”
Many had worried the young woman was haunted by some of the same demons as her mother.
Love, grief and family tensions
Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown married in 1992 and welcomed Bobbi Kristina in 1993. The little girl was doted upon by both her parents and Houston often brought the youngster on stage.
Houston told Rolling Stone magazine in 1993 that “having Bobbi Kristina … I could never do anything that could top that. There’s been nothing more incredible in my life than having her.”
“God knows, I have been in front of millions and millions of people, and that has been incredible, to feel that give-take thing,” Houston said. “But, man, when I gave birth to her and when they put her in my arms, I thought: ‘This has got to be it. This is the ultimate.’ I haven’t experienced anything greater.”
Mother and daughter grew even closer after Houston’s divorce from Brown in 2007. Houston and Bobbi Kristina performed together on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 2009, singing “My Love Is Your Love” in Central Park.
After Houston’s death on February 11, 2012 — an accidental drowning in a bathtub, a coroner ruled, with heart disease and cocaine use named as contributing factors — there was a great deal of concern for Brown, who was 18 at the time.
She opened up to Oprah Winfrey during an interview in March 2012 about how she was coping with the loss of her mother.
“No one knows what an amazing spirit she was,” Brown told Winfrey. “She wasn’t only a mother, she was a best friend.”
Brown said her grief came in waves, but that she still communicated with her mom.
“I can hear her voice telling me to keep moving, baby, I gotcha,” she said. “She’s always with me. I can always feel her with me.”
Brown was joined in her grief by Nick Gordon, who was taken in by Houston when he was 12 years old and who was raised alongside Bobbi Kristina.
Gordon and Brown became romantically involved after Houston’s death, and tensions between the Gordon and Houston families over the relationship were part of the storyline on Lifetime’s short-lived reality show “The Houstons: On Our Own.”
There was speculation that Brown may have suffered from some of the same problems as her parents (both Houston and Brown had documented issues with substance abuse) after she appeared to be intoxicated during some scenes of the reality show.
Those concerns intensified in July 2014 after a picture was posted on her Instagram account showing a young woman who looked like Brown appearing to be smoking from a bong. The image had made the media rounds two years earlier.
Brown later denied that she posted the photo and tweeted that it was done by someone attempting to tarnish her image.
Brown and Gordon announced their engagement in 2013 and she took to her Facebook page to clear up the misconception that he was her adopted brother. Far from being bothered by the relationship were she still alive, Brown said her mother had predicted they would fall in love.