Whitney Houston & Robyn Crawford’s Real-Life Relationship Was Very Intimate
Since Whitney Houston’s death in 2012, the singer’s life story has been told more than once. But the 2022 film I Wanna Dance with Somebody explores aspects of the singer’s life that might surprise even the most die-hard fans — namely, Houston’s intimate relationship with Robyn Crawford, which the singer never spoke about while she was alive.
Houston was married to musician Bobby Brown from 1992 to 1997, but I Wanna Dance with Somebody claims that the most important relationship of Houston’s life was with Crawford. The two met at summer camp in New Jersey as teenagers, long before Houston became one of the world’s most famous singers. “I was 16 and we were working summer jobs and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is really going to be a trip this summer – I don’t have any friends.’ And then here comes Robyn with this beautiful, beautiful afro,” Houston told People in an interview included in the 2018 Whitney documentary. “She was tall and very statuesque and I was like, ‘Wow, man.’ She stood up for me. I remember thinking I’ve known this person for what seems like my whole life.’
According to Crawford, the two remained friends until their relationship strained into conflict, in part due to Houston’s substance use and relationship with Bobby. In 2019, Crawford released a memoir, A Song for You, about her personal history with the singer.
Below, everything you need to know about Crawford and Houston’s real-life relationship.
Robyn Crawford and Whitney Houston were intimate
After Crawford and Houston met as young women and immediately hit it off, the two were physically intimate, according to Crawford’s memoir — though Houston never labeled herself as bisexual because of the stigma attached to LGBTQ relationships at the time. “Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be so close,” Crawford wrote, “but we were so close.” She added, “We could be naked. We could be naked and not have to hide. We could trust each other with our secrets and our feelings and who we were. We were friends. We were in love. We were everything for each other.”
According to Crawford, the physical side of their relationship ended when Houston signed her record deal in 1983. She ended it by giving Crawford a Bible. “She said we shouldn’t be more physical because it would make our journey even more difficult… She said if people find out about us, they will use this against us. And in the ’80s, that’s how it felt,” Crawford explained.
But their relationship was not there. The pair remained close friends, and Crawford served as part of Houston’s team in the early days of the singer’s career, helping Houston dress for events, providing moral support and more. When Houston married Brown, Crawford was her maid of honor.
Where is Robyn Crawford now?
Crawford declined to participate in two documentaries about Houston’s life — Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017) and Whitney (2018) — according to NJ.com. But in 2019, she decided to come forward and tell her story with a memoir. “I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent,” she wrote in the book, via Today. “I wanted to uphold her legacy, pay respect and share the story of who she was before fame, and in doing so, embrace our friendship.
Now, Crawford works as a teacher and lives in New Jersey with her wife, Lisa Hintelmann, and her two adopted twins.
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