By John Mitchell
On Wednesday night (February 15) at 7:30 p.m. ET MTV will premiere a 30-minute tribute titled “Whitney Houston: In Her Own Words,” in memory of the deceased singer. One of the many clips that will be featured in the tribute special is the above footage, which shows Houston bonding with Mariah Carey back in 1998, when the two singers recorded the duet “When You Believe” for the animated movie “The Prince of Egypt.”
Asked about the song and whether they’d ever experienced a miracle in their own lives, Houston was the first to respond, telling MTV, “Yeah, I have. That baby sitting right up there. That’s my miracle.”
She was referring, of course, to a then-5-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown, her only child with ex-husband Bobby Brown. Bobbi Kristina has had a particularly difficult time dealing with the passing of her mother, and was herself rushed from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Houston died, to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center less than 24 hours after her death. Bobbi was said to be “hysterical, exhausted and inconsolable,” sources close to the situation told TMZ.
After Carey responds, “I don’t have a child, so I can’t say the same thing, but maybe one day I will,” Houston turns to her peer for a candid moment that seems like more of an aside between two new friends than an interview sound bite.
“When you do, you will realize that is the ultimate miracle. If you think you’ve got records and you’ve done all this stuff and all that stuff, [it’s] nothing like that,” Houston says. “That’s a true love that costs nothing. Unconditional love.”
Though they always insisted they were always on friendly terms, rumors of a rivalry between Houston and Carey persisted throughout the ’90s. Indeed, they were often pitted against each other on the music charts and by critics who declared their respective talents to be comparable. Even after they chose to silence rumors by recording “When You Believe” and conducting interviews together, the buzz continued. Some critics even believed they were trying to “outdo each other” during their performance of the song at the 1999 Academy Awards.