*Kim Burrell may be a famous gospel singer, but she is never too famous to be a real friend when needed.
In an interview with Essence.com, the entertainer remembered one of her dear friends, Whitney Houston as well as weighed in on the late vocalist’s daughter Bobbi Kristina and her return to BET’s ‘Sunday Best’ this summer.
You’re getting ready for the season 7 of Sunday Best. How do you gauge who’s good, and what works?
It’s almost a Catch-22. I don’t differentiate in my expectation from when I’ve seen in a studio session with a Tyrese Gibson or a Missy Elliott or anybody else. I listen to the gospel singers in hopes that they can cover more than the gospel stage because I feel like that’s the opportunity that’s been afforded to me and I want to see that for other people.
It’s been two years and a month since you lost your dear friend Whitney Houston. How are you coping? Are you in touch with the family?
It’s still very hard. I talk with Pat Houston [Whitney’s sister-in-law]. We still visit to cope together. We just did a documentary; me, David Foster, Jennifer Hudson, Pat of course, Whitney’s mom, CeCe Winans, her brothers, Clive Davis. I think they interviewed Dionne [Warwick] too. We all did our own contribution to this documentary about her that is going to be simply amazing. I think it’s a view of her that we don’t get to see.
I miss her every single day. There are times I think she chases me. The world loves her so much and they commemorate her on the radio. But I’m like, is it always like when I first get in the car they start playing her? It’s weird. I went out of the country, about two months after she passed away. I got to a restaurant in a place where they speak no English and there she comes on [Kim starts sings “It's Not Right, But It’s Okay”] and I’m like, Come on, Whitney. Really? I miss our talks. When Whitney called, we didn’t talk for 20 minutes. Whitney liked to talk for 7 hours at a time. And we spent 14 years doing that.
It seems like her daughter Bobbi Kristina is having a little trouble. If you could get in her ear, what would you tell her?
So, I would just tell her, ‘Baby, just stop.’ And consider your life to be your own and not a reflection of anyone else’s. Do your best to try to live from this moment forward as an adult because right now you’re living out something that’s killing you quickly. I don’t want to talk too much about [her marriage] ‘cause it is a sore spot. She’s young. And I just hope that at some point she’ll let people in. She’s very rebellious, but she loves me. She just doesn’t want to hear what I have to say. And I get that.
For more of Kim Burrell’s Q&A with Essence.com, click here.