Home entertainment

Lionel Richie on Whitney’s death

Legendary singer Lionel Richie thinks Whitney Houston was the only person who could have saved herself.

The Dancing on the Ceiling hitmaker was a friend of the late singer – who tragically died after allegedly ingesting alcohol and prescription drugs last month – but knows from his experiences with daughter Nicole, who had problems with heroin and cocaine abuse, that she was the only person who could have turned her life around.

Lionel told UK TV show BBC Breakfast: “You know … I know from Nicole’s experience. At some point you’ve got to realise the only person that’s going to save you – Nicole, or Whitney – is going to be yourself.”

“This is s a tough business, a very tough business and you don’t hear this story every day, about people who are in our business, but it happens every day.”

“The stories you don’t hear are the stories of the people who are not famous.”

Lionel (62), also said he can see how stars find it hard to see sense when they are surrounded by people who tell them everything they do is right.

Asked about being surrounded by such people, he added: “I’m not immune to that, we’ve had that all the time.

“I get suspicious when from the time I wake up in the morning to when I go to bed in the evening everything I did was OK.

“That’s great but you know there’s nothing you could do all day that’s perfect, so you get suspicious and go, ‘Something’s wrong if I’m right all the time.’ “

Nicole managed to overcome her problems when she checked into rehab in 2003, and Lionel recently revealed how he even went to stay in the facility with her to help her through the treatment.

“I was about to go out on tour and I said, ‘Cancel the tour, we are checking into rehab.’ We as a family and, of course, I remember that look on her face when she walked down that hall and she said, ‘Are you going to be here?’” He says.

“I said, ‘I’m right down the hall. I’m not going anywhere,’ because to me, there’s nothing more important, there’s no other greater signal you can send your kid – not only do I love you, but I want to demonstrate it.”

Get The Australian Woman’s Weekly NZ home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories