WHITNEY Houston appeared “joyful, excited and vibrant” the day before she died, her make-up artist said yesterday.
Reginald Dowdley said the pop star chatted happily to him about her plans for the future and showed “no signs of stress” during the three hours he spent with her on 10 February.
The 48-year-old singer was found submerged in the bath in her hotel room a week ago.
He said: “There was no indication she wasn’t going to be here beyond the weekend so I was extremely shocked to hear of her death.”
It was the first time Mr Dowdley worked with Houston, who had booked him to make her up for an event with singer Kelly Price in Los Angeles that evening, called For the Love of R’n’B. Speaking on the eve of her funeral, which will be held today in the New Hope Baptist Church in New Jersey, where she sang as a child, Mr Dowdley described himself as a big fan of the singer and said she had been “everything I thought she would be”.
“She was warm and inviting and welcoming. She seemed more like family than a pop star. She didn’t seem erratic. I didn’t get any of that from her at all.”
She told him of her plans for a range of candles she had in mind, and made some business calls while he was with her, he recalled. On Saturday morning, he received a message asking him to do her make-up again for an event that evening – a pre-Grammy gala party at the Beverly Hilton for her long-time mentor, record producer Clive Davis.
But before Mr Dowdley set off, he heard that her body had been found.
“I got the call that morning and was told Whitney wanted me to come back at 5:50pm and she really liked my work,” he said. “So I was making plans to head there when I got a call from a friend of mine saying she had passed and I couldn’t believe it.
“I’m still shocked now because I was taking in that I had just worked with her and she wanted to work with me again.”