Mid-South has many ties to Whitney Houston - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South has many ties to Whitney Houston

As Whitney Houston's fans struggle to deal with her loss, people in the Mid-South are remembering her ties to the area. As Whitney Houston's fans struggle to deal with her loss, people in the Mid-South are remembering her ties to the area.

(WMC-TV) – As Whitney Houston's fans struggle to deal with her loss, people in the Mid-South are remembering her ties to the area.

"I Will Always Love You," was one of Houston's biggest hits. The song was written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton, but Houston may have never had the chance to sing it if Parton had given in to requests to allow Elvis Presley to record the song.

Coincidentally, Houston's mother Cissy sang back up for Presley.

Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" featured a saxophone solo by native Memphian and Grammy Award winner Kirk Whalum.

Whalum, who is also president and CEO of Stax Academy in Memphis, said he and Houston became friends while filming "The Body Guard," and touring.

"For seven years, starting in 1989, i had the nickname ‘Bishop' and Whitney Houston gave me that nickname because i was the one who would do prayers when we would circle up," he said. "She would ask me to pray."

Bobby Brown, Houston's ex-husband and the father of her daughter, got news of her death shortly before going onstage to perform in a New Edition reunion tour at the Landers Center in Southaven.

Although he initially decided not to perform, Brown did take the stage a few songs after the concert began.

Afterwards, Brown cut his tour short, rushing back to Los Angeles to be with 18-year-old daughter Bobby Kristina who is under medical care for stress.

The Los Angeles County Coroner says it could be two months before we learn what drugs - if any - may have contributed to the singer's death.

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