Dionne Warwick Reflects on Whitney Houston 10 Years After Icon’s Death

Whitney Houston had a voice like none other, so much so that she was coined “The Voice.” as it turns out, the talent runs deep within her family. Houston’s mother is a legendary singer in her own right in Gospel, Blues, and Rock N’ Roll. Her cousin, Dionne Warwick, also made history. Houston and Warwick remained close until Houston’s 2012 death. In a new interview, Warwick speaks lovingly about Houston.

Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston smile for camera
Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick 1989 | Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images

Dionne Warwick gushes over Whitney Houston’s vocal talent

Warwick is Houston’s first cousin. Her mother is the older sister of Houston’s mother, Cissy. Both Warwick’s mother and Cissy were part of a group called The Drinkard Sisters and made history at RCA Records in their prime. Musical talent runs in the family and Warwick says Houston displayed her vocal ability early.

“Cissy had an incredible voice and that transferred to her little baby, Whitney,” Warwick told People Magazine in a recent interview. “Whitney came up exactly the way we all did, in the church choir. It was just preordained, she was going to sing. Her destiny was as was the rest of the family. As if God pointed a finger at us and said ‘Let them vocal cords do what they got to do.’”

Source: YouTube

RELATED: Whitney Houston Won an Emmy Award For a Performance on Another Major Award Show

As the years went on and Houston became a bonafide superstar, Warwick, who’s had her own massive success, watched in awe. She famously presented Houston with her first Grammy award. “Watching Whitney was like seeing Cissy grow up again. The voice; the dedication,” she said of Houston. “Every little girl that came along after her wanted to be Whitney Houston.” 

Though she was saddened by Houston’s passing at the young age of 48, Warwick beams with pride over Houston’s influence. “She had a presence that is still very much with us,” she said. “Her music, her sound, her voice, that is her legacy.” 

The singer has expressed outrage over continuous projects surrounding Whitney Houston’s life

Houston’s estate is currently working on production on the first authorized biopic for the late singer. The film is titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody after Houston’s 1987 smash single of the same title. Previous biopics focusing on Houston’s life and career include one made for Lifetime, and another for TV One.

RELATED: Dionne Warwick Is Not Happy About The Forthcoming Authorized Whitney Houston Biopic

According to an official film description provided to Deadline, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is a “joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom. While being very frank about the price that super-stardom exacted, it will be both the rich and complex saga of the search for the perfect marriage between song and singer and audience, and at the same time the moving tale of a simple Jersey girl trying to find her way back home.”

Despite Houston’s family’s involvement, Warwick does not approve. Per The Jasmine Brand, Warwick was questioned about whether or not she contributed to the film. “Not one thing,” Warwick said, adding, “I want them to let Whitney rest in peace. Leave her alone. Ten years [since she died] — it’s time to let her sleep.”

RELATED: Never-Before-Seen Photos of Whitney Houston Emerge Thanks to New Documentary Creator