Kanye West Paid $85,000 to Use Photo of Whitney Houston’s Drug-Strewn Bathroom on Pusha-T Album Cover.
Virginia Beach rapper Pusha T dropped his new album today. “Daytona,” the follow-up to 2015’s “King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude” was produced by Kanye West, whose penchant for controversy these days has often overshadowed his skills in the studio.
And the controversy continues with “Daytona.”
At the 11th hour before the album’s release, West reportedly paid $85,000 for the use of a 2006 photo of Whitney Houston’s bathroom counter covered with drug paraphernalia. The picture was secretly taken by a family member and sold to the National Enquirer, which featured the photo on its cover as Houston battled drug addiction.
As reported on People.com, West paid to license the photograph but it isn’t clear if he paid the Enquirer or the woman who took the photo, Houston’s sister-in-law, Tina Brown, sister of the singer’s ex-husband Bobby.
“I feel like the cover represents an organized chaos,” Pusha T told Entertainment Weekly. “The energy of the album is a bit chaotic, but it’s all in place. Look at that cover, I’m sure whoever frequents that bathroom or area knew whatever they wanted to find and knew where it was.”
Houston, one of the most celebrated singers of her generation, was found dead in a bathtub in 2012 at the Beverly Hilton hotel. The cause of death was ruled an accidental drowning related to heart disease and cocaine use. She was 48.
The iconic singer has been in the headlines recently. “Whitney,” an upcoming documentary screened at the Cannes Film Festival last week, alleges that Houston had been sexually abused as a child by cousin Dee Dee Warwick, a moderately successful soul singer in the 1960s and sister of Dionne.
The tarnished side of Houston’s legacy probably wasn’t lost on West as he exploited it for Pusha T’s new album, the first project produced in West’s new studio in Wyoming.