*Dionne Warwick fought her emotions this morning as she spoke for the first time about the death of her cousin, Whitney Houston.

“She basically was the little girl I never had,” said Warwick (who has two sons) on “Good Morning America.” “Whitney is and will always be very, very much alive here,” she said, pointing to her heart.

Warwick said she was “heading towards being OK. I have not really had an opportunity to mourn or completely break down, which I will do. I know that. I think the comfort comes in knowing she’s in good hands now.”

As for Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston, “She’s really holding up so very well. She has her moments of course … but I think she’s coming to terms with it, just about now, the realization that it has happened,” said Warwick, adding, “It’s not an easy thing for a parent to lose a baby.”

Warwick last spoke to Houston the day she died. They talked that morning about Clive’s pre-Grammy party, when Houston was making sure she’d be there. “And I told her I’m always going to be there for you. … She was so up and ready and happy.”

Warwick said, “She had everything in the world to live for,” citing her new film and plans to go back into the studio. “It’s very surreal.”

As for Bobbi Kristina, Warwick said, “She has the support she needs.”

Watch the entire interview below.

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