Cissy Houston built her reputation in the music industry as a backup singer for stars like Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Presley. Eventually, Cissy made a play for the spotlight, pursuing a solo career that earned her two Grammy Awards. Despite a successful music career, Cissy is best known as the mother of Whitney Houston. 

Cissy Houston is still alive and reportedly battling dementia

Cissy Houston is still alive. However, the 89-year-old is reportedly battling dementia, an ailment characterized by progressive memory loss. 

“She’s in the early stages of dementia,” a family source told Radar in 2018. “She repeats herself a lot and doesn’t remember what she says. She just says she’s getting old.”

In August 2022, Dionne Warwick shut down rumors claiming Cissy Houston had died. Gospel singer Earnest Pugh sparked the reports with a since-deleted social media post. 

“My Aunt Cissy is very much alive,” Warwick tweeted. “This Earnest Pugh needs to get a life and stay out of other people’s lives!”

Cissy’s public appearances have dwindled as she’s grown older and amid reports of ailing health. In a rare January 2023 interview, Cissy talked to 700 Club Special Correspondent Scott Ross about her faith, career, and grief. 

The He Leadeth Me hitmaker said she never questioned God when Whitney died and that her faith is still strong. “I never question Him,” Cissy said (via CBN). “Never question Him about it cause I know that’s His business, and I have nothing to do with it. The power of Him always travels with me… Always.”

In November 2020, Cissy emerged from seclusion during Whitney Houston’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Pat Houston, Whitney’s manager, said Whitney always wanted to join the pantheon of Rock & Roll legends. Cissy stated:

“I’m so very, very proud that Whitney’s being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She wanted to be something, not anything. What can I say now? If I talk too long, I’ll cry. I don’t want to cry. So thank you.”