Whitney’s substance abuse issues were already impacting her career by the time she divorced Bobby Brown. People began to pay attention, not only because of her highly-publicized divorce but also for what the struggles were doing to her voice. Her voice began sounding frayed.
Several publications noted that she sounded “scratchier” and “less secure” during performances. Whitney admitted to past substance use in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. She claimed she and Bobby Brown did everything together.
Whitney and Bobby Go Their Separate Ways
In 2006, Whitney filed for divorce from Bobby after 14 tumultuous years of marriage and one year after the disaster unfolded on "Being Bobby Brown." It was a long time coming, but many believe the show stripped away the last shreds of Whitney’s dignity.
The singer received full physical and legal custody of their daughter, and six months later, the divorce was finalized in Orange County, California. Bobby was not going down without a fight and continued to fight for custody in court.
The Tell-All on Oprah
In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Whitney shared that she had completed a 30-day rehab program. She admitted that her addiction issues continued even after rehab. The singer was at a breaking point— so much so that at one point, her mother got a court order and help from law enforcement to force her into receiving additional treatment.
She also told Oprah that her substance use was light prior to "The Bodyguard." Her dependency increased after the film's success and the birth of her daughter.
Back in Top Form With "I Look to You"
Houston's next album, "I Look to You," was released in August 2009, with the title track and "Million Dollar Bill" as the album's first two singles. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with excellent first-week sales of 305,000 copies.
It was her first number-one album since "The Bodyguard" and her first studio album to achieve the feat since "Whitney" in 1987. Houston also promoted the album on several European television shows.
Her Comeback Tour Is Anything But
In 2010, she released her seventh studio album and embarked on her "Nothing But Love Tour" in an attempt to make a comeback. The singer was in the throes of a downward spiral by then, canceling several shows while on tour.
Inside sources said she leaned heavily on her daughter Bobbi Kristina during this period. Her daughter never gave up on her, but it was too much for a young girl to take on. Whitney relied on her daughter much more than her daughter had ever depended on her. The following year, Whitney voluntarily checked into an outpatient rehab program.