Whitney Houston’s Nephew Defends Pusha T’s ‘DAYTONA’ Cover: ‘I Actually Love the Album’
As we previously reported, Grammy-winning producer Damon Elliott, Houston’s first cousin and Dionne Warwick's son, said the family was outrage by the cover art, which is an image of late pop icon’s drug-strewn bathroom.
“Nobody in their right mind would do this, and to promote an album?” he told Bossip. “Is this what the music business has come to? I can’t describe how disgusted I am.”
However, Gary Houston sees the artwork in a different way. “Not to be divisive, but I’m of a different mindset when it comes to situations like this," he said in a statement through ABC's Good Morning America.
"People will automatically look to people like Pusha T and Kanye West and try to place blame or say they have ill or malicious intent in order to gain publicity," he continued. "But I get it. I get the correlation (sans my aunt but the photo itself), and I actually love the album.”
Gary Houston added that if an artist wants to pay for a photo to convey a visual message about an album than so be it. (For the record, Kanye West reportedly paid $85,000 to license the photo for Pusha T's album.)
However, he feels that people are missing the "bigger picture," which is the person who betrayed Whitney Houston by taking the photo and then selling it to the tabloids.
“The person who violated the trust of my aunt by taking the photo and selling it to tabloids for their own personal and/or financial gain is more of a travesty to me,” Gary said in the statement. “People should research that — because whoever exposed it are the people who violated her trust, mistreated her, and who should ultimately be held accountable for contributing to circumstances surrounding her demise.”
"Anyone speaking out about this is a ‘dollar late and a day short,'" he continued. "The photo is public, it already happened...nobody came to her defense when she was alive and when it came out initially, so why champion the cause now?”
In the end, Gary says Pusha T's cover art is a non-issue for the family and they would rather have the attention be directed towards the upcoming Whitney Houston documentary Whitney.
“In summation, I think I speak for rest of my immediate family when I say that we are focused on way more important things than an old photo," he said. "The estate has an amazing documentary that is set to debut July 6 in the U.S. that gives insight about my aunt — the person and the icon."
"We are focused on keeping her legacy alive by acknowledging her talent and giving insight that may lead to understanding and empathy rather than the judgement and criticism she experienced while she was alive. Nothing else matters," he concluded.
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