Dionne Warwick sat down with Good Morning America this morning, sharing not only how the singer's surviving family members, including mother Cissy Houston and daughter Bobbi Kristina, are holding up, but also revealing the final conversation Warwick had with her famous first cousin just hours before Whitney's death.
"I spoke to Whitney the day that she passed," Warwick said, recalling that Houston was excited at the prospect of attending the pre-Grammy party thrown that night by her mentor Clive Davis.
"I spoke to her that morning. She said, 'You're here, aren't you? You're coming to the party, aren't you? I said, 'Yeah, I'm going to be there,' and she said, 'Thank you, I want you to be here. You've got to be here for me.' "
Later that day, Feb. 11, the 48-year-old was found dead in the bathroom of her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton.
"I spoke to her that afternoon and that was it," Warwick said, referring to Whitney as "the little girl I never had."
"She was so up and ready and happy. She had everything in the world to live for. She had a new film that was an absolute dream to make and do. She was getting ready to go back into the studio to record. She was getting her vocals together."
As for how she's handling the death of her cousin, the 71-year-old musical icon in her own right called the whole situation "very very surreal."
"It hasn't really sunk in yet. I have not had an opportunity to really mourn or completely break down, which I will do, I know that."
As for Cissy, Dionne said the mourning mother is doing as well as could be expected given the circumstances.
"I am so proud of her. She's really holding up so very well. She has her moments, of course, and will continue to have her moments. I think she's coming to terms with it just about now. It's going to take quite a bit of time.
But despite their own personal pain, the whole family has rallied around to support Bobbi Kristina, who it was revealed yesterday will inherit the whole of her mother's fortune, and who has been hospitalized for stress and anxiety in the weeks since her mother's death.
"She will have it [support], of course," Warwick said. "That's the one thing I love about my family. We are family. She has the support that she actually needs."