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.–

Iconic singer/musician Jeffrey Osborne delivers flawlessly at BB King Blues Club


Singer-Songwriter Jeffrey Osborne was exhilarating in his performance at B. B. King Jazz & Blues Club in NYC on January 23, 2015.

Singer-Songwriter Jeffrey Osborne was exhilarating in his performance at BB King Blues Club in NYC on January 23, 2015.

By Carmen Glover

On Friday, January 23, five minutes after the scheduled 8:00 p.m. show time, the stage at BB King Blues Club in New York City’s Time Square suddenly went dark. Then, from the shadows, the unmistakable voice of iconic singer-musician Jeffrey Osborne filled the room with the sultry strains of “Stranger.”

Osborne sang a capella as he emerged onstage to a surge of lights, screams, followed by the swell of his musicians on horns and drums that took “Stranger,” which he made famous as the lead singer of the group, LTD, to its poignant crescendo. The crowd burst into rapturous singing, waving their hands and dancing along, reveling in the exquisite experience of joining along as Osborne sang with flawless precision.

Greeting the appreciative audience at the song’s conclusion, Osborne said that he “flew in from LA where it’s about 70 degrees warmer than New York.” He talked a bit about his early life in Providence, Rhode Island, his passion for music and his disgust for current entertainers who use disrespectful names for women or whose voices and styles are indistinguishable to fans.

During his performance of "Stay with me Tonight" Jeffrey Osborne took of his shirt to reveal his trim, lithe physique and rippling muscles beneath a taut fitting black T-shirt.

During his performance of “Stay With Me Tonight” Jeffrey Osborne took of his shirt to reveal his trim, lithe physique and rippling muscles beneath a taut fitting black T-shirt.

Osborne then treated the audience to more of his hits from his LTD days including “Love Ballad,” “Concentrate on You,” and ” We Party Hearty” before he belted out his hit “On the Wings of Love,” while couples embraced and danced along. He shared snippets of his background between songs, describing  performing in the past with singers such as Michael Jackson. He also spoke fondly of his long partnership with George Duke, who worked with him on his first three solo albums. Osborne then performed Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” while also paying tribute to Jazz great John Coltrane.

And then it was time for him to delve further into his musical collection and deliver impeccably on hits such as “Stay With Me Tonight,” as he took the patrons on a journey that spanned hits from his extensive repertoire.  About 9:20 p.m. he delivered his showstopper: “You Should Be Mine” (The Woo Woo Song) to the delight of the patrons. Osborne then mingled with the crowd who eagerly demonstrated their ability to “Woo Woo.”

Jeffrey Osborne

Jeffrey Osborne thrilled an appreciative audience with an exceptional performance at BB King Blues Club in New York City on Friday, January 23, 2015.

Osborne solidified his reputation as a stellar singer, songwriter and musician during the electrifying New York City concert. His voice was as clear as crystal, his dancing was superb and his repartee with the audience was impressive. Spry and svelte at 66, Osborne entertained to perfection in a manner that would put 20- year olds to shame. He was smooth and effortless, showing that substance will always triumph over flash and that entertainers who nurture their talents and take pride in their delivery will be rewarded with a loyal fan base

Osborne was born in a musical family and is the youngest of 12 children. His late father, Clarence “Legs” Osborne, who died when Osborne was 13, was a famous trumpeter who played with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Osborne was nominated for a Grammy Award and wrote the lyrics for Whitney Houston’s “All at Once.” He has an ardent fan base and his music has appeared on numerous television shows, including “The Bachelor.” If you have never seen him perform, treat yourself to an unforgettable experience with a maestro of R&B, Jazz, Blues and Soul, whenever he is in your town. —