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    Longtime Friend Insists Whitney Houston "Chose the Life She Led"

    Whitney Houston David Corio/Redferns

    We must say we're very happy to point out another positive, Brandy-like Whitney Houston sweet remembrance piece. We need more of them, to counter the less hopeful stories looking back at Houston's troubled life.

    Robyn Crawford, Whitney's very close friend from before her marriage to Bobby Brown has penned some of her best memories (forthright, funny, unblemished) about spending time with her good pal. It's in Esquire, did you all see it? It's simply must reading:

    READ: Whitney Houston's Tabloid Anxiety: "That's the Diva, Not The Drugs"

    Robyn met the late singer when she was 16, in New Jersey. Crawford and Houston became fast friends before Robyn was eventually hired in a series of positions working for Whitney, from personal assistant to creative director.

    "We went around the world," remembered Robyn. "First class. She wasn't going to be in a five-star hotel while you were in a two. I flew the Concorde the way some people ride the bus. She fed everybody. Deep down inside that's what made her tired."

    Other Houston sources confirm to us that Whitney indeed loved the high life (why not, she made friggin' buckets of cash!), and that she was "very, very good to Robyn, as well as many others," as one woman who's known the pop legend almost as long as Crawford has put it.

    RELATED: Jordin Sparks' Last Words on Whitney Houston: "She's Been Through So Much"

    Crawford remembers the pained moments as well:

    "It was never easy. She never left anything undone. The Bodyguard was great when it was done, but, it was a lot of work," recalled Crawford. "She did the movie, she did the music, she did everything—and when she was done, she was done.

    "I always compare her performance of ["I Will Always Love You"] with a great athlete hitting his peak—with Michael Jordan in the playoffs," the former Houston confidante assessed.

    But, along with Robyn declaring that it was Whitney alone who selected this life of high pressure and high visibility ("she chose the life she lived, and she chose it from the beginning"), Crawford weighed in on the eeriness of her early death:

    MORE: Whitney Houston Honored at the 2012 Grammys

    "It's so strange that she died when she did," lamented Robyn. "February was her month. Her first album was released on Valentine's Day, right around the Grammys, right around Clive Davis's party. It was an orchestrated thing. She was Clive's girl, his great discovery."

    Robyn staunchly defends Whitney's personal drive and adds even though there are many reports of the 48-year-old Jersey native taking drugs, "a lot of people take drugs and they're still around. I just hope that she wasn't in pain and that she hadn't lost hope."

    Us, too.

    And we also hope more friends like Robyn will come forth and help defend the staunch Whitney Houston we all came to know and love.

    PHOTOS: Whitney Houston: A Life

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