“Brilliant and honest insight into the real Whitney. Great read if you are a true fan.”



Friends are said to be the family you choose. Good friends are also hard to come by. The Whitney I Knew is a beautiful memoir written from the perspective of Whitney Houston’s good friend: Bebe Winans. Written a couple of months after Houston’s demise, this book highlights a side to Whitney few people knew.

He recounts the first time he heard Whitney sing and the first time he met her in person. Bebe speaks fondly of the friendship he, his sister Cece and Whitney shared; how Whitney was family to the Winans family and the pact the three agreed upon many years back.

He also speaks about Whitney’s gift in length: The Voice and how greatly it moved the world while at the same time turning Whitey’s world upside down. From the time she met Clive Davis, signing with Arista Records to not being able to celebrate her 25th birthday as a normal twenty something year old. He highlights something about the entertainment industry: people will love your gift and not necessarily you, the owner of the gift, and when you can no longer do as well or someone better comes along, they will quickly move on to the next and that is okay.

He speaks of Whitney’s shortcomings while at the same time covering her and preserving her honour which is admirable. He writes about her marriage to Bobby Brown and her daughter, the late Bobbi Kristina Brown. He praises her commitment to those she loved and her availability when you needed her despite her crazy schedule.

He writes deeply of her death and the emotional roller coaster in the days leading to and after her funeral. The Whitney Bebe Winans Knew was a beautiful soul who cared for others and loved recklessly.

This is a memoir befitting a great friend.


Reviewed by:

Jackie Macharia

Added 11th May 2016