Tyler Perry.com


Whitney. Still Praying.

For many years, I couldn’t turn my ringer off on my phones because my mother was very ill.  My phone would be on all night. This is tough for me because I’m the type of man who loves to be in pure quiet when I’m home. No TV, no radio, no nothing. Just quiet. Mainly because there is so much noise in my life.

After my mother died in 2009, I started turning my ringer off without the fear of missing a very important call. After you lose someone you love, nothing seems very important. So I was at my house in L.A. last year on February 11th, dreading facing February 12th. That would have been my mother’s 67th birthday. I’m always a little sad around that time but that morning started out okay. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get through the 12th. All I had to do was protect my spirit, let me just leave the TV off and turn the ringer off so that I could not be reminded of the grief that I had been enduring.

I decided to turn in early. I was getting in the bed and my cell kept lighting up. So I finally looked at my phone and I had text about Whitney. The one that was most shocking was a friend who said, “Tell me it’s not true.” I immediately knew what that meant. I tried to call Pat, her sister-in-law, but couldn’t reach her. Within a few minutes Pat called me back and asked me to come down to the hotel.

I went to the Beverly Hilton Hotel, got out of the car and I thought it was some kind of sick joke. There were hundreds of people standing around, laughing, drinking and screaming for autographs from celebrities as they arrived for a Grammy party. People were screaming my name and taking pictures as I pushed through the crowd. I went up to the floor and saw the police and coroners outside of the room. I went into the room and Whitney’s family was broken down, inconsolable. We must have been right above the party because there was a glass of water on the nightstand that was vibrating from the bass and the screams below. It was so surreal. Such a juxtaposed position to see this family breaking down and hear laughter and cheers from below us. It really made me think about her life. While her voice brought so much joy, there was so much sadness inside of her.

As I am seeing all these tributes to her on this one-year anniversary of her death, I want you to know something: Whitney was a fighter. She really tried to get herself together. She really tried to overcome. She really wanted to, and I also know that, like me, a lot of you were praying and rooting for her. So, for all of us that were praying for Whitney’s full recovery, for all of us who cared that she was on this planet, for all of us who loved her, I just want you to know that even though she is gone, there are still things that we can do for her. We can keep her daughter and her family lifted up in prayer. We can also pray for other people in this business, especially these young people who come in so bright eyed and eager, only to have it tear at their very souls.

I thank God I didn’t become successful until I was older. The younger you are when you start in this business, the more at risk you are.  Speaking of that, we can also pray for the children of these people. If you only knew what people in this business have to endure to sit in their seat. I’m not asking you to feel sorry for anyone. I’m simply asking you to pray for us all.

God bless. Miss you Whitney.

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  • Itumeleng South Africa

    Hi T! Thanx for the story abt ur mother,it's like u were looking @ me crying as I was thinking abt my late mom. She passed on 12yrs ago & the pain,the missing is so intense. Ur words inspired me to b strong & accept. Oh Whitney!!! I have the Greatest Love of All for her. Thanx my brother.. :))

  • tachah wade yorkville il

    No matter what keep praying for that person no matter how bad it gets there is always God and hope. Whitney lived a life that was her life we don't have the right to judge but we can pray power is in the tongue of the believer. I love Whitney even more than before and her time came too soon but she will forever live with me and most importantly never be forgotten.#adivaforever

  • Melissa

    So beautifully said...God bless you...

  • Colettoo US

    I Love Whitney forever....... She Still lives on for me. I play her songs and I am strongly comforted. Whitney made me love music right from a tender age till date. Whitney Smile on. Tyler Thanks for this beautiful tribute. May the Holy Spirit continue to send you a word of cormfort concerning ur mother and close friend Whitney my Idol forever.

  • lovingly Atlanta, Ga

    I still hear her song, The Greatest Love of All, and the year this song literallly changed my life. I never met Whitney, but she was a huge part of who I am today. I think that it was maybe around the first year the song hit the radio somewhere between 1984 and 1985. My elementary school teacher would play this song atleast three times a day, The Greatest Love of All gave me hope, faith and a better outlook. The song taught me to look past my tumultous situation. Every time I wanted to give up some how this song would play over and over and over again in my mind. I said all of that to say this, it doesn't matter how anyone else viewed Ms. Whitney, or what challenges she may have faced in life. I personally believe that she helped, encouraged and loved those whom God told her to. I miss her voice dearly and I miss her as a person. The one thing I will never forget is that we all have weaknesses, but God saw her weakness, allowed her to come back stronger, impress and encourage many lives while she struggled to be free. It is my belief that she accomplished her goals, she fought and good fight and her legacy will live forever in our homes as well as in our hearts. Love you Ms Whitney

  • enas jewaid River of Jordan, Jordan


  • LA Rockville, MD

    Hi Tyler: Very good points regarding Whitney and family - - thanks for sharing. I still miss her terribly and I agree prayer is the best way to be proactive. I pray your comfort in the Lord as you continue to deal with your mourning as well. Remember what your Mom would continue to want for you while you are on this side and this will keep you going (I know that this helps me after 13 years of missing my Mom). God bless.

  • Ladie Jaie Florida

    Hi Tyler I just read your post and I must say I agree with you on a couple of things...mainly, when I go through something very tragic in our lives (be it death, persecution or other horrific items) the only thing I want to do is be secluded. Right now my family is going through something that I would not wish on my worst enemy, but I know the outcome is in GOD's hands. I promise to keep all of you in my prays...and I can only hope that your prayers just might include us right now. Thank you for being the rock that you are... Enjoy your day and May GOD Continue to Keep You and Yours Blessed!!!

  • Briana Azar Trinidad, West Indies

    I don't know if Tyler Perry will ever see this. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. But I just wanted to say, I am a 20 year old girl, dreaming that dream. To sing, to act, to use my life for good. And everday, I question it...What kind of life is it really? To have the entire world know your name, your story...your gifts and your short comings. The pressure, the fear of not ever being good enough when you have already proved you are more than enough just as you are. I pray for Whitney too. For a woman whose voice touched millions, whose love for God changed people's lives and whose fighting spirit influenced so many to walk on-as Oprah says to belive big and pray bold-in their faith and believe in their self-worth and in the power of their dreams.

  • Sheneith Hawkins Dallas,Tx.

    Hey T! That was your serious mood. Lord Bless! Father God, we know that all things work TOGETHER for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. We all hate to see the ones we love so dearly leave, T! But we can't change it. Only God knows why. And we do know He makes no mistakes. Peace! And if we couldn't bear it, then He wouldn't have allowed it. And it would good that we been afflicted. That's the time to give His name all the glory. My prayer is, that whoever God allows to go home that we each are prepared to accept that. Even though it work so bad. And we miss them. Or at least their presence. Cause we always have the memories of each of them. They're the ones gone on to another height. Pass our knowledge, feelings, understanding, etc. But we gotta thank God for giving them each to us. For if He hadn't, then & only then could we not feel as we do. So, we have to appreciate Him for all the years & times. What gives us the right to be selfish? If He so choose He's ready for what's His. Don't He have the right & the say?! Peace! God is the one who KNOWS EACH OF OUR HEARTS! Ppl might not! God our Father, He knows ALL!!!! As long as He knows all! Then its all GOOD! We have to GIVE THANKS IN ALL THINGS!!! NOT JUST THE PARTS THAT FEELS GOOD TO OUR FLESH!!! Smh! I hope u feel better. I love you! Ttyl...

    • LA Rockville, MD #1796787

      AMEN!!!! Thank you for the prayer, it touched my soul.

    • enas jewaid Canada #1796799

      Thank you. God bless

  • Lisa Smoot Nashville

    Dear Tyler, Your blogs, your posts and your movies get me through hard times and make me reflect upon myself. I appreciate you being a servant of God and sharing your inspirations and stories. Peace, Lisa Smoot

  • Letlhogonolo Mashori South Africa

    Your are truely a gift to the world, may our God Bless you with more wisdom so that you continue to share your talent. Tomorrow is the 12 of February and I'm turning 24,I'm glad to know that I shared a birth day with the woman who gave birth to the man who touches the world and million hearts with his talent. God Bless you and keep up the good work :)

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