Back in the day, no one could tra-la-la like Miki Howard. From the mid-'80s to the early '90s, Howard had numerous Top 10 hit records, including "Come Share My Love" and "Baby Be Mine." She was beautiful, she dated Gerald Levert, the "velvet teddy bear" himself, and her name and Whitney Houston's were often mentioned in the same breath. But like many stars from that era, a cocaine addiction threw her life off track.
Howard survived, unlike some of her contemporaries, and TV One gave the Grammy-nominated singer the biopic treatment with Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story. Now older and wiser, Howard sat down with REVOLT to talk about the experience of seeing her life (and dirty laundry) onscreen. Here's what we learned:
1. Yes, she was embarrassed watching her younger self:
"There are moments in the film I don't wanna relive in my life. Watching them sometimes it's just like, 'What the hell? You are so dumb.' But of course you're dumb at 27!"
2. She and Whitney Houston had beef.
"You're not enemies, but you are in competition to a certain extent — especially when you young. And record companies would put us against each other because African-Americans only had so many outlets, and if you weren't crossed over, then you weren't gonna be successful. So we would be jealous of each other sometimes."
3. Not reaching the heights of success was actually a blessing:
"I couldn't have handled the Michael Jackson success, or Whitney Houston. I would have been dead long before they were."
4. Fame and drug culture feed into each other.
"The schedules are crazy, you're like up in the morning at 7 o'clock and down at like 3 or 4 in the morning, maybe. Everybody wants to hang around you, and it's this euphoria. You can't explain it, and then the only thing that brings it to you is drugs. So it's a vicious cycle."
5. Drug addictions often have innocent beginnings.
"Most of the time it starts with physical ailments, for the good guys like the Princes, the Gerald Leverts...it's like go to the doctor, you have a hurt this or you can't sleep, and you start to get narcotics that you never would use."
6. It's a myth that only bad people fall into drugs.
"Nobody that I know that ever got into the drug thing really just came from a drug family. Most came from good families and parents that wanted them to do well, and fell into it."
For more gems from our exclusive interview with Miki Howard, check out the video below:
Reporting by Erin Ashley Simon