As news of Whitney Houston‘s tragic and sudden passing circulated online and off, Bobby Brown, Houston’s ex-husband and father of her only child, Bobbi Kristina, was understandably devastated by the news.
In a move that surprised many back then, Brown, known as a music industry “bad boy” and Houston, Clive Davis’ “Golden Child” were married in 1992 . The following year, the couple welcomed their daughter, Bobbi Kristina into the world.
After a tumultuous 15 year relationship, the two divorced in 2007.
According to on of Brown’s relatives, he immediately called family and friends upon hearing of Whitney Houston’s death.
“He wanted to tell everyone about it before it hit the news,” one of his relatives tells PEOPLE. “He didn’t want any of us to hear about it on television.”
As Brown spoke to family members, the shock of Houston’s sudden death turned to grief. “He could hardly get the words out when he called me,” says the relative.
“He was sobbing, and by the end of the call, I was sobbing too. He’s beside himself right now.”
Bobby was on the road with New Edition when he heard the news of Houston’s tragic passing. Brown hit the stage in Southaven, Mississippi just hours after her passing and expressed his grief to the audience:
First of all, I want to tell you that I love you all. Second, I would like to say, I love you Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage.
Bobby was often accused of “corrupting” Whitney Houston by enabling her use of drugs and alcohol and Houston once spoke about their explosive relationship on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Brown dismissed the accusations and while he never denied the use of drugs and/or alcohol, Brown does admit that he and Houston “corrupted each other.”
There has been no news on Whitney’s cause of death, but many are speculating that it may have been drug related.
Whatever the case, Houston’s untimely death has shaken the music industry on the eve of what is usually one of their most festive events. There have been reports that the Grammy Awards may be re-worked to include some sort of tribute to the legendary songstress.
R.I.P. Whitney Houston
Houston & Brown’s relationship was clearly toxic, but she seemed happier back then…