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Oprah: There's a wonderful quote by the L.A. Times. They said, "The pain, and frankly, disgust that so many pop fans felt during Houston's decline was caused not so much by her personal distress as by her seemingly careless treatment of the national treasure that happened to reside within her." ... You were not like any of the others. You really were given the voice. You were given that treasure. And people felt, how could you not know that that was to be treasured?

Whitney: I knew in the days when I was a teenager singing for God. I was so sure. When I became "Whitney Houston" and all this other stuff that happened, my life became the world's. My privacy. My business. Who I was with. Who I married. And I was, like, that's not fair. I wanted to go to the park. I wanted to walk down the street with my husband, hand in hand, without somebody looking at us or having the media always in my business. ... I just wanted to be normal.

...

Oprah: It's so interesting that you would say that because for years I have thought that, in many ways, the Whitney Houston that we have seen has been a creation of the media. That obviously your voice and your talent is what it is. But the gowns, the hair, that first video, all of that stuff was a creation.

Whitney: Yes. ... I love to get dressed up and I love to do makeup and hair and stuff, but that was my performance. That was my entertainment.

Oprah: And then when you were expected to be that all the time?

Whitney: That was too much. ... Too much to try to live up to. Too much to try to be, you know? And I wanted out at some point.

FROM: Season Premiere—Oprah and Whitney Houston: The First Interview
Published on September 14, 2009

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