The estate of the late Whitney Houston has said it is “extremely disappointed” in Kanye West’s decision to use a photo of the singer’s drug-filled bathroom as the cover for Pusha T’s new album Daytona.
West, who produced the new album from the Virginia rapper, paid a reported $85,000 to obtain the rights to the controversial picture, according to ET, in a last-minute decision made right before the album was released.
The photo was allegedly taken by a family member in 2006, when Houston was reportedly in the midst of a serious drug addiction – a few years before she died on 11 February 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. Her death was attributed to an accidental drowning in a bathtub, combined with drug use.
“This is what people need to see to go along with this music, I’mma pay for dat,” Kanye apparently told Pusha.
However, Houston’s estate has responded after considerable backlash from critics at the decision to use the photo as album artwork.
“Even in Whitney’s death, we see that no one is exempt from the harsh realities of the world,” they added.
Houstin’s cousin Damon Elliott previously said that her family did not know about the album art until it was released, and that he first heard the news from his daughter.
“She was frantic,” he told People. “She sent me this picture from the album cover and I immediately got sick to my stomach because it took me right back to six years ago.
“I’ve watched Kanye’s train wreck happening, but I didn’t think he’d go this far in invading someone’s family privacy… to do something for a publicity stunt to sell records, it’s absolutely disgusting.”