In her book, exclusively excerpted in this week's PEOPLE, Robyn Crawford shares the story of what it was like to be by Whitney Houston's side as she became a superstar

By Liz McNeil
November 06, 2019 03:25 PM

In a powerful new memoir, A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston, the singer’s closest friend Robyn Crawford shares intimate memories of the woman she knew and loved for over three decades.

In her book, exclusively excerpted in this week’s PEOPLE, Crawford shares the story of what it was like to be by Whitney Houston‘s side as she became a superstar. Along the way, she also tells the story of how Houston became infatuated with another superstar: Eddie Murphy.

Even while being pursued by Bobby Brown in 1989, Crawford writes, “She was more interested in Eddie Murphy, but he was elusive.” Her friend, she says, “lost herself” in the pursuit of the comedian.

In the book, Crawford poignantly describes the scene one night as Houston prepared the dinner table for Murphy, who was scheduled to visit her at her New Jersey mansion.

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown; Eddie Murphy.
Steve Granitz/WireImage; Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic

“One day when Eddie was supposed to come for dinner, I caught a glimpse of Whitney,” writes Crawford. “She was wearing a black dress and low-heeled slingbacks. For a moment, I thought ‘Boy, I wish she was doing that for me.'”

But, as she recounts in her book, by then, their romantic relationship had been over for several years. As Crawford says, Murphy “never showed up that night,” a rejection which left Houston devastated.

Still, on the morning of her July 18, 1992 wedding to Bobby Brown, Houston got a surprising call from the Murphy.

“[That day] Eddie Murphy called to say she was making a mistake,” Crawford writes, “but she pressed ahead.”

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston.

The years that followed with Bobby Brown were troubling as Houston became more and more isolated.

Throughout her often troubled relationships with men, Crawford always remained Houston’s most loyal and steadfast protector.

She hopes the book will remind people what a big hearted and generous friend she was.

“I have a lot of beautiful, wonderful, exciting, adventurous, loving, caring memories of Whitney,” she says. “Whitney was a beautiful friend, the friend that I prayed for.”