Whitney Houston Opens Up About Her Marriage, Fame

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Do you believe there was a special focus on Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, as well as the Mike Tyson situation, because they centered on black people?
[Long pause] Let's put it this way. Was there ever an issue that you've seen in the last ten, twenty years that became such a public spectacle that involved white people to that degree? I mean, William Kennedy Smith--

Who walked.
Who walked, very nicely and very cleanly, I must say. Is his crime any different from Mike Tyson's? Who's to say it's true? I'm talking from both sides. Who's to say that William Kennedy Smith raped this girl? Who's to say that Mike Tyson raped this girl? Who's to say that these young ladies weren't being promiscuous? I know what I have seen. I have seen Mike, a very good friend of mine, go to jail behind something that I think has been done a lot.

Do I think it's because they're black people? Well, no. I think it's because they're famous black people. Black people who have money. I think that plays a real important part in the whole thing. Because if Mike Tyson was nobody, who would give a shit? If Clarence Thomas wasn't an educated black man who came up from nowhere, would we care?

How do you look on other women artists who might be considered your competition?
People who go out and buy me, buy me for me. Furthermore, I came out first anyways [laughs] - anybody that's gonna come has definitely got to come after. They don't say I sound like Mariah Carey, they say Mariah Carey sounds like me, you dig what I'm saying? So I don't feel like I'm in competition with these people. Madonna and I certainly aren't in competition. Mary J. Blige – it's her own thing. She is the queen of hip-hop. She's the first girl to come out that's real down, real cool, but can sing. So everybody tries to follow. But I've been out here since 1985, so whoever comes got to come after me.

You have another gigantic record right now. Do you feel much pressure to sustain that level?
You know what I feel? I feel old. For the most part, from the time I was eleven years old, I've been working. I did the nightclubs, I did the modeling, all that stuff. My husband and I were talking about it the other night. He's been in the business since he was about twelve  he's twenty-four now. I just don't want to get jaded. It's not as much fun as it used to be. When I first started, I was having a lot of fun. But it ain't fun no more. I enjoy what I do, and it gives me great joy to know other people enjoy what I do. But it's not fun. You know what's fun to me? Being with my husband. Being with my family, going out and laughing, having a good time. That's my fun. But the fun in the business, the excitement, like at the beginning? Gone.

Do you want to have more children?
Oh, yeah. Definitely. 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. 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.

What do you want for yourself at this point?
Really, it has nothing to do with business whatsoever. It's my family. To raise children, to raise decent human beings. To keep my husband happy. To keep him strong. Things of that nature. They are very simple things.

Bobby and I were talking the other day. He cracks me up. He goes: "You think you're so fine now'' – because I dropped the weight  "but you know what? Bam, I'm gonna pop you again.'' I said: "What! You got to be kidding, I just dropped a baby!'' He said, "Nah, we're gonna have some more kids, honey.'' We were joking about it  we were talking about having more children.

There's nothing I want to do individually at the moment that I can think of. I'm a mother, and that's my concern for the most part right now. I'm gonna do a tour, I'm gonna do another movie  things I'm looking forward to, don't get me wrong. But it's not my first priority. It's not what I put my focus on. Right now that little girl is my focus, and that's it.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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