Bobbi Kristina’s death and funeral raise questions of lifestyle choices

Bobbi Kristina Brown

Bobbi Kristina Brown modeled her troubled parents’ lives of excess, uncontrolled drug use, wild public conduct that created a less-than-stellar template for a stable, productive lifestyle.

As the body of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of late singer Whitney Houston and entertainer Bobby Brown, is prepared for her funeral in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lived and died, reports indicate that she will be laid to rest next to her mother in New Jersey, completing the circle of life that was so beautifully portrayed in Disney’s iconic children’s film “The Lion King.”

Bobbi Kristina died on Sunday, July 26, six months after she was found face down in a bathtub in her Georgia home. She remained in a coma until her death at an area hospice. An autopsy has been inconclusive and it is reported that the inheritance that she was expected to get from her mother’s estate will revert to Houston’s family.

The Houston-Brown family unit on a trip to Disneyland.

The Houston-Brown family unit on a trip to Disneyland.

Yet, as the circumstances of Bobbi Kristina’s death are discussed and the similarities to her mother’s own demise compared, a central fact is inescapable: children often emulate the behavior and lifestyle habits that they see in their homes. It the case of Bobbi Kristina, she was born into a household that featured a tumultuous marriage, drug addiction and erratic conduct by both parents, who lacked the credibility and clout to discourage Bobbi Kristina’s own drug use and life of excess, which later consumed and eventually destroyed her.

Bobbi Kristina and her father, Bobby Brown

Bobbi Kristina and her father, Bobby Brown.

As Bobbi Kristina is mourned and her tragic life is examined, the connection between what she experienced through her parents’ questionable parenting and lifestyle choices, and how that reality ultimately shaped her poor choices, will surface and take root. That question has the potential to serve as a reminder that parents shape their children, and that parents do their children a gross disservice when the example they set is so destructive that it provides the children with an inferior and unhealthy template for life.

Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina

Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina mimicked each other’s behavior in life and will be buried next to each other.

At the same time, it sends the message that by coddling and protecting children who consistently make poor lifestyle choices, parents are guilty of supporting their children’s destructive path.

Bobbi Kristina’s death at a tender age is tragic. Her mother’s death was also tragic. Still, what might be the greatest tragedy of all is the unmistakable connection between the mother and daughter’s shared demons, the similarity of their questionable lifestyle choices and the uncanny similarities in how they died.–

New Edition electrifies Barclays Center on All Six Tour, with Joe

new edtioui

All six members of New Edition showed up ready to thrill their fans at Barclays Center on June 29, 2014.

By Carmen Glover

A reunited New Edition group, celebrating 31 years of providing quality entertainment to a devoted fan base, took Brooklyn’s Barclays Center by storm on Sunday, June 29, 2014, the last Sunday of Black Music Month. The group kicked off the All Six Tour, featuring Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill, Bobby Brown, Ron Devoe, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivens in a concert that seemed like it was made up of several mini-concerts smoothly interspersed with performances by the group itself.


Smoldering, sensuous,  R& B singer Joe infused his performance with raw sexuality that had his fans screaming in rapturous ecstasy.

Sensuous R&B crooner Joe opened the show with his trademark velvet voice, seducing the women in the audience seamlessly, without a shred of apology. Belting out many of his hits, he had the crowd singing along like they were members of the Joe Choir. Not satisfied with the distance presented by the stage, he climbed down and mingled with the crowd as a phalanx of security guards swarmed him, providing a semi-buffer from the adoring females who hugged and caressed him possessively. Joe gave a spectacular performance and treated the audience to hits such as “More and More,”I want to Know,” “Don’t Want to be a Player,” “A Love of my Own” and “All the Things your Man Won’t Do.”

Johnny Gill’s powerful voice seemed like it shook the walls of the Barclays Center on Sunday night.

When Joe left the stage, DJ Marley Marl went back in time with a raft of hip hop hits that transformed Barclays Center into a block party of dancing fans. In the middle of his set, he invited Jeff Redd onstage who performed his hit “You Called and Told Me.” Redd was so pleased with the positive reception he inspired that he sang the song twice, borrowing a page from Joe’s book and leaving the stage to mingle with the crowd. After Redd’s performance, Marl continued with a musical interlude and then the stage went dark as a hush fell over the hall.


Bobby Brown  struggled with the notes in some of his songs but gave a decent performance.

Anticipation built to a crescendo until voices emerged from the darkness, announcing that all six members of New Edition were on stage. Then came a burst of light and an onslaught of music as the group members greeted their fans and began to sing, dance, and entertain like only they can. They performed together as a group, then each of the lead singers had a set consisting of two to three songs.

Ralph Tresvant proudly displayed his trim physique and his still perfect tenor as he soared with the notes in the musical selections.

Gill sang “Rub You the Right Way,” “Fair Weather Friend,” and “There you Go.” Tresvant opened his set with “Sensitivity” and segued into “Money Can’t Buy You Love” and “Stone Cold Love,” while Brown sang “My Prerogative” “On Our Own,” “Roni,” and “Good Enough.” Brown brought two of his children onstage with him to dance while he sang. Bell Biv Devoe took to the stage and showcased stellar dance moves that would put teenagers to shame!  They sang “Do Me Baby,” “I Thought it was Me” and “When Will I See You Smile Again?”

Ricky Bell,  Ronnie Devoe and Michael Bivens were energetic and confident, singing effortlessly while dancing with dexterity and finesse that many younger singers would love to emulate.

All six performers then converged onstage to perform a medley of the group’s hits including “Candy Girl,” “Can You Stand the Rain?” “Lost in Love,” “If It Isn’t Love,” “NE Heartbreak,’ “Count Me Out,” “Cool It Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “Jealous Girl” and “Is This the End.” image Bell Biv Devoe ended the show with “Poison” and the audience made it clear that, given the chance, they were prepared to spend the night dancing to New Edition’s music. All six performers thanked the audience for their support and loyalty.

Despite horrendous acoustics that distorted the sound effects at several points throughout the night subsequently shortening the expected duration of the show, the concert was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday evening. The members of New Edition will continue on their multi-city tour with a performance this week in Atlanta. Check local listings for show times and locations. —