Black History Month is a time to honor the trailblazers, the activists, the inventors and the ancestors that helped pave the way for Black liberation and success!
But it’s also a time to celebrate the leaders who helped pave the way for iconic shade and reads that’ll have you experiencing second-hand filth from the onslaught a diva served up.
Whitney Houston was a pioneer in the art of shady interviews when she decided to take on Wendy Williams in 2003. At the time, the late singer was in the midst of a media frenzy over her alleged drug use and her marriage to R&B’s bad boy Bobby Brown. Meanwhile, Williams had transitioned from hip hop radio into a widely popular shock jock-type show that was infamous for discussing high profile celebrity gossip.
With such a successful brand on her hands, it’s no surprise that Williams talked about Houston constantly…and Whitney was about fed up.
Judge her life as you may, but there’s something empowering about Whitney calling into Wendy’s radio show and completely checking her on all her gossip, false information or assumptions. With the 2003 radio interview, Houston was no longer some primp and proper singer who had to maintain a certain image to appease her “pop” audience. She was an around the way lady from Jersey who had some choice words for Ms. Wendy Williams.
The whole interview was iconic.
Whenever Wendy hit Whitney with and intrusive question, the powerhouse vocalist hit right back with a whip smart answer that was COMPLETELY dramatic but absolutely necessary considering the circumstances.
Whitney also slipped in some shady lines along the way, including telling Wendy, “I love you Wendy because I know that in spite of everything, you still play my records.”
Then, when Wendy tried to say Whitney’s latest album at the time (Just Whitney) wasn’t doing as well as she might’ve thought it could’ve done, Whitney clapped back with a cryptic yet legendary response:
“It’s never what you thought I should be doing. It’s never what you think I should be doing. It’s never what you think you say I’m doing. It is what’s going to happen. You see what I’m saying. I don’t want my album to peak too quickly. I don’t want it to peak too quickly because I want it to go through the summer and the fall. So there is a plan. You understand what I mean. Like you set up your schedule on a day-to-day basis on who you gonna talk about and how you gonna talk about them. Well, that’s how I do.”
It was perfect.
At certain points in the interview, Whitney even warned Wendy that she’ll “meet her outside” based off some of the comments she was making.
It was a revelatory interview that showed in spite of the mistakes, an icon was allowed to be human sometimes. To be angry with the media. And to STILL be an icon.
RIP Whitney. You paved the way.
You can check out the full interview here.