Pusha-T’s new Kanye West-produced album DAYTONA uses a photo of the late Whitney Houston’s drug-covered bathroom as its cover art. Unsurprisingly, this was a last-minute decision by Kanye. “This is what people need to see to go along with this music. I’ma pay for dat’,” Kanye told Pusha during a phone call just a few days before DAYTONA’s release last Friday. Today the Whitney Houston estate responded to the controversy.
In a statement to ET, the estate writes that they are “extremely disappointed in Kanye’s choice…Even in Whitney’s death, we see that no one is exempt from the harsh realities of the world.” Kanye paid $85,000 for the rights to the image, which was reportedly taken by a family member in 2006, six years before she died from drug use and drowning in her bathtub.
Houston’s family have also responded to the to cover. Her cousin Damon Elliott told People that the family didn’t know about the album art until it came out. Elliott first heard the news from his daughter. “[She was] frantic. 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,” he said. “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.” Apparently, Elliott is now requesting an apology from West and a promise to change the artwork.