Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of late Grammy-winning pop star Whitney Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown, has died at age 22.
“Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away July, 26 2015, surrounded by her family. She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months,” a spokesperson for the Houston family told NBC News. Brown died Sunday at Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Georgia.
The aspiring actress and singer was the only child of Houston and the fourth child of Bobby Brown.
Brown was found face down and unresponsive in a bathtub in a suburban Atlanta townhome on January 31. Brown’s long term partner Nick Gordon, who she referred to as her husband, along with a friend found her. CPR was performed at the scene and Brown was placed on a respirator when admitted to North Fulton Hospital the same day.
It remains unclear why Brown was unconscious. An investigation into the incident remains open, according to Roswell’s chief of police. The investigative file was handed over to the Fulton County District Attorney who will determine whether any charges will be filed, authorities said in late June.
Brown was moved from North Fulton to Emory University Hospital in Georgia, and then to a rehabilitation facility on March 20. Throughout, her father remained optimistic about his daughter’s recovery, even going so far as to tell a Texas concert audience in April that “Bobbi is awake. She’s watching me.”
Only days later Cissy Houston, the grandmother of Bobbi Kristina, issued a statement saying her granddaughter remained in an unresponsive state and “while she is no longer in a medically induced coma she has a tracheotomy and according to the doctors she has global and irreversible brain damage.” Brown was moved to hospice care on June 24.
As the news of her death spread across social media, many celebrities tweeted condolences.
“My heart is truly heavy. May u rest in peace with your mommy #BobbiKristina sending prayers 2 the Brown/Houston family,” Missy Elliot tweeted. Oprah Winfrey tweeted, “Peace at Last!”
Brown’s tragic passing comes little more than three years after her mother was found unresponsive in bathtub in a Beverly Hills, California hotel. She later died. Authorities concluded Houston, 48, drowned. Heart disease and cocaine use were listed as contributing factors in her death. Houston, who sold more than 50 million records in the United States and was awarded six Grammys, had struggled with addiction for many years.
A child star by default, Bobbi Kristina Brown grew up in the glare of the media spotlight due to her parents success and much publicized accounts of their combustible 14 year marriage. Houston and Brown divorced in 2007 with Houston retaining sole custody of their daughter.
Of her mother, Brown told “Access Hollywood” in 2011 that Houston “supports me, she loves me, she gives me good mommy hugs.” Brown was in the hotel the day her mother was pronounced dead. The same evening the then 18-year-old was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where she was treated for stress and anxiety.
Houston’s mother Cissy spoke with People in 2013 about how her daughter’s death continued to adversely affect her granddaughter. “Of course I worry about her,” Cissy said. “It doesn’t mean that she is going to follow her [mother’s] same path. She could but anybody could. I don’t want to jinx her. I’m trying to make sure she doesn’t.”
Though her fame never matched the stratospheric heights of her mother’s, Brown was familiar to audiences through appearances on reality television, such as the the 2012 Lifetime series “The Houstons: On Our Own,” which followed Houston’s family after her death. While still attending elementary school Brown featured on the 2005 Bravo docu-drama series, “Being Bobby Brown,” in which she was often seen accompanying one of her parents on tour.
Prolific on Twitter, Brown wrote about moving her career to the next level only two days prior to her hospitalization in January. “Let’s start this career up&&moving OUT to TO YOU ALLLL quick shall we !?!???!” she tweeted. Her Twitter feed was peppered with motivational quotes, images and mentions of Gordon and her late mother. On Instagram she shared images of herself and Gordon.
In the wake of her mother’s death Brown made headlines for yet another reason, her relationship and subsequent reported marriage to Gordon, 25. The couple attracted much scrutiny due to Gordon’s past association with Brown’s family.
Houston opened her home to 12-year-old Gordon when his birth mother could no longer care for him, according to reports. Never legally adopted, Gordon was raised alongside Houston’s daughter. Brown and Gordon went public with their relationship two months after Houston’s death in 2012. The couple continued to court controversy when in 2013 they were evicted from their Atlanta apartment after multiple noise complaints from a neighbor.
The union drew criticism from both fans and family, including Pat Houston, Brown’s aunt. “It just didn’t sit right with me,” Pat said during a 2014 episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” “I always looked at them as being the brother-and-sister type. I just did not see the relationship moving in that direction.”
Brown publicly insisted her late mother would have approved of the relationship.
“I’m tired of hearing people say, ‘Eww you’re engaged to your brother or if Whitney was still alive would we be together or would she approve of this.’ Let me clear up something. We aren’t even real brother and sister, nor is he my adoptive brother,” she posted on Facebook ahead of announcing she had married Gordon in January 2014.
But according to her father, the pair never officially tied the knot. Bobby Brown issued the following statement four days after her hospitalization in January: “To correct earlier reports, Bobbi Kristina is not and has never been married to Nick Gordon.”
Reports of an ongoing feud between Gordon and Bobbi Kristina’s father surfaced after she was hospitalized. Bobby Brown refused Gordon access to his daughter, asking her boyfriend to reveal details of exactly what happened on the day Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive at home.
In March Gordon was featured on an episode of “Dr. Phil” alongside his birth mother. After appearing on the show–which host Phil McGraw described as an “intervention”–Gordon checked into a rehab facility.
Brown’s court-appointed conservator filed a lawsuit June 24 against Gordon in Fulton County Superior Court, alleging that Gordon had physically abused Bobbi Kristina, and that Gordon had taken more than $11,000 from her bank account.
In March 2014 Bobbi Kristina came under scrutiny for her rapidly diminishing physique, which she proudly showed off on social media platforms. “I am my mothers child! Have you ever heard of a #fastmetabolism ?” she tweeted in response to questions and comments about her size.
Rumors and reports surfaced that like her parents, Brown was facing addiction issues. In July of last year a photo was reportedly posted to her Instagram account showing her allegedly smoking marijuana out of a bong. She denied the photo was hers.
Brown was back in the headlines again in late 2014 when she went public with her anger toward director Angela Bassett, who chose not to feature the budding actress in the Houston biopic “Whitney,” which aired January 17 on Lifetime. Bassett told Entertainment Weekly there were “a number of reasons” why she did not consider Brown for the title role. “One being that she’s not an actress,” Bassett said. Brown later apologized for a Twitter rant aimed at the director. Though approached, Houston’s family chose not to participate in any aspect of the Lifetime movie.
A resolute Cissy Houston discussed her granddaughter’s ongoing medical condition during a March radio interview with New York’s WBLS. She encouraged fans to continue to pray for Bobby Kristina, adding she would be thankful if God worked a miracle, but if it “happens the other way, I’m all right.”