Janet Jackson says she was left “shaking” by the news of Whitney Houston’s death.
“I couldn’t believe it. Immediately I started shaking,” Janet told Anderson Cooper in an appearance set to air on “Anderson” on February 20. “I was trying to text everyone that I knew to let them know and I was speechless. I could not believe it.”
The singer, who lost her own brother, Michael Jackson in 2009, said she learned about Whitney’s death while watching television.
“I was home… I just so happened to be watching TV and I saw this newsflash and I still can’t believe it when I hear them playing tribute to her on the radio,” Janet said. “It’s still such a shock to me. I don’t want to believe it.”
When asked if she had advice for Whitney’s daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina, as she deals with the tremendous loss of her mother, Janet suggested turning to faith – and – to professional help.
“It’s a very, very tough time, even though it’s still a loss, I lost my brother, she lost her mother. There’s still a difference, even though there’s still a loss to a family,” Janet said. “I don’t know what that’s like being so young. It was hard for me. It was very, very difficult for me. I didn’t want to accept it, it’s very difficult. You have to come to terms at some point, you have to actually give it up to God and it sounds so mean, but you have to move on, you can’t hold onto that because it can be very devastating. Sometimes therapy is the best thing.”
Janet told Anderson she is praying for Whitney’s family, including the superstar’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown.
“It’s very, very devastating and I pray for her and her family, even Bobby. I mean he’s going through so much. They are all going through so much. The mother, it’s very sad,” Janet said.
Reflecting on Whitney’s career, Janet used a term so often used to describe Whitney over the years — “the voice.”
“She was known as the voice. When she would open her mouth and this instrument would come out you would obviously understand why,” Janet said. “She was such a sweet, sweet soul — especially back in early ‘80s and early ‘90s is when I connected with Whitney the most. It doesn’t matter if we were doing an awards show. We would always take the time out to find one another. Either she’d come to my dressing room to say, ‘Hey!’ and I’d be in makeup or I’d find her in her dressing room to say ‘Hey!’ We always found time to talk to one another. She was such a sweet soul.”