March 28th, 2012
06:21 PM ET
Although Whitney Houston died of an accidental drowning on February 11, the coroner's report released last week notes that cocaine was a contributing factor - news that shouldn't be a huge surprise, says Houston's good friend Kim Burrell.
"To me, it's being presented like, 'Can you believe cocaine was in her system?!' I mean, the world saw her come out of rehab from being accused of that," the gospel singer tells HLN's "Showbiz Tonight" in an exclusive two-part interview airing Wednesday and Thursday.
Houston had openly struggled, Burrell continues, noting that the entertainer "did interviews about that. She admitted. Anybody could look at the interview she had with Oprah – the last one she had - and not be shocked that some kind of drug was in her system. She admitted to that, so it's just unfortunate that it was in there when she died."
Rather than dwell on the way she died, Burrell would rather focus on how we remember the legend.
"Whitney was beautiful inside and out," she says, adding that she was happy with where her career was at the time of her death.
Houston's upcoming feature with Jordin Sparks, "Sparkle," "was exciting for her," Burrell says. "She would call me while filming 'Sparkle,' and say, 'today was a good day.' She was bragging so much about Jordin Sparks. And I was just happy to see her happy doing something that was going to continue in the vein that she loved so much."
As for the public, Burrell adds, "I want the people to always remember, she gave more with her life than they need to try to discover in her death. That's all."
Part one of "Showbiz Tonight's" interview with Burrell airs tonight at 11 p.m. ET, with part two airing Thursday, March 29.
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