For the first time since Whitney Houston's death, her ex-BF Ray J has returned to the hotel where she died back in February ... TMZ has learned.
Ray J -- who was one of the first people to arrive at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on that fateful day -- had avoided returning to the hotel for months because it was "too hard" for him to return to the scene.
But today, Ray J had to overcome his fears to do a scheduled media event at the hotel for his new TV project, "The Rickey Smiley Show" ... an event he couldn't afford to miss.
Sources close to Ray tell us ... the singer was overcome with emotion when he arrived to the hotel ... telling friends "it hurt inside" to have to relive his most painful memory. He also said it was "very weird" walking the halls again.
Still, Ray J is telling friends ... Whitney wanted him to do well and would be proud of him.
I Refuse to Sleep in
Whitney's Death Hotel
6/30/2012 12:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Cissy Houston was not happy this weekend when she was booked at the same hotel where her daughter Whitney Houston died ... but she does want to visit her daughter's death room at some point ... TMZ has learned.
Whitney's mother is in Los Angeles this weekend for the BET Awards (where Whitney will be honored) and we're told she felt uncomfortable when she was set up at the Beverly Hilton -- the same hotel Whitney passed away in back in February.
Our sources say Cissy does want to visit room 434 for closure and is planning to contact the hotel this weekend ... but that she wants to do it on her own time.
According to our sources, Cissy's reservation was moved to the Regent Beverly Wilshire instead.
Whitney Houston's Family
Cissy is EXPLOITING
Whitney's Death For Cash
6/10/2012 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Whitney Houston's mom is pulling a Joe Jackson -- cashing in on her child's tragic death ... that's what some family members think of Cissy Houston's plans to write a tell-all book.
Sources close to the Houston family tell TMZ ... Cissy's new publishing deal with Harper-Collins for a memoir is merely a lame attempt to make money -- since Whitney left everything to Bobbi Kristina -- and not at all about honoring the late singer.
One source said the book -- which is slated for release next year -- could also be a PR move for Cissy, claiming ... "She will try to come out looking like the world's greatest mom, when in actuality, she wasn't."
Off the Hook In
Underage Gambling Case
6/6/2012 2:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Bobbi Kristina won't be prosecuted for gambling underage at a Vegas casino last month -- TMZ has learned the cops have closed the case due to insufficient evidence.
TMZ posted the video -- showing what appears to be 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina gambling at a slot machine with her 22-year-old boyfriend, Nick Gordon, at the MGM Resort and Casino. The legal gambling age in Vegas is 21.
As we reported, the incident was investigated by the enforcement division of the Nevada Gambling Control Board, but Deputy Chief David Salas tells us, "We have completed our investigation and there is not enough evidence to support criminal charges."
Salas adds, "We are going to close the case."
We're told the MGM was very cooperative with the NGC during their investigation.
Whitney Houston's Family
LOVED My Billboard Song
6/1/2012 7:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jordin Sparks had the daunting task of singing the Whitney Houston classic "I Will Always Love You" at the Billboard Awards -- and she told us that she got two thumbs up on her performance from the people who really matter ... Whitney's family.
Sparks told our photog she got a chance to talk to Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, after the tribute in Las Vegas on May 20. Sparks said it was the first time she met Bobbi and Pat, both of whom told Sparks her performance was epic
The former "American Idol" champ also says she's gotten great feedback on her duet with Whitney from the upcoming movie "Sparkle."
And best of all ... she gave our a photog a little XYZ moment as she walked away.
Bobbi Kristina Did NOT
Walk Off TV Show
5/30/2012 1:41 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Tyler Perry is calling BS on reports Whitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina walked off the set of his TV show "For Better Or Worse" -- claiming the rumors are "not true at all."
Bobbi Kristina has a small recurring role on the show -- but reports have been circulating she called it quits before wrapping the season, storming off the set in tears.
Now Tyler -- the creator of the show -- has taken to his website to dispel the rumors, writing, "There is no way that she could have walked off the set because we have finished taping the season."
Tyler writes, "Were there tough days for her? Yes of course. Not because of the acting or any job-related issues but because of the fact that she had just lost her mother."
He adds, "So yes she was grieving, but grief aside, she managed to finish her obligation and did a great job at the same time."
Whaddya Know ... I Found
Missing Death Room Duds
5/30/2012 7:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
How convenient ... just hours before TMZ posted a story about a stylist suing Ray J over designer clothes that went missing from Whitney Houston's death room in February, the singer found them.
We posted it a few hours ago -- Ray J's being sued by an L.A. stylist named Marc Littlejohn, who claims he gave Ray J $2,880 in designer threads for a Grammy event ... and they were never returned. According to the lawsuit, they were left in the Beverly Hilton hotel room where Whitney died and haven't been seen since.
But now Ray J's rep tells TMZ the mystery was solved last night when one of Whitney's associates handed the clothes over to the singer. Sources tell us the items were taken from Whitney's room along with the rest of her belongings. We're told Whit's people couldn't get in touch with Ray J because he changed his phone number.
The pricey fabrics include two suits and one jacket.
We're told Ray will be reaching out to the stylist today to settle the pesky legal matter.
Ray J Sued
For Ditching Clothes in
Whitney's Death Room
5/30/2012 12:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
When Whitney Houston died, a little bit of Ray J went with her -- well, Ray J's clothing anyway ... and now he's being sued for the expensive items that mysteriously disappeared from room 434 at the Beverly Hilton.
In recently filed legal docs, L.A. Stylist Marc Littlejohn claims he was hired to do Ray J's wardrobe styling on February 10 for a Grammy related event ... problem is, he alleges all the duds he let the singer borrow were left in Whitney Houston's room.
Houston died the next day in that room and, according to the lawsuit ... the pricey clothes haven't been seen since.
Now Littlejohn is suing Ray J for $2,880 -- the cost of the missing clothes -- insisting he's reached out to both the singer and his mother/manager repeatedly to get some cash or the threads.
So far, he has neither.
5/22/2012 6:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ray J crashed and burned the morning after the Billboard Music Awards ... and landed in the hospital ... TMZ has learned.
We're told Ray J was extremely upset after his confrontation with Whitney Houston's family -- notably Pat Houston -- during the awards ceremony. On Monday morning, someone went into Ray J's hotel room and realized the singer was "out of it" and couldn't get out of bed.
We're told Ray J was extremely disoriented and was immediately taken to the hospital by ambulance.
As for what happened ... it's looking like a combo of exhaustion and dehydration. Ray J had just returned from a quick, 32-hour round trip to China for business and when he landed he immediately drove 4 hours to Las Vegas for the awards show.
Ray J is still in the hospital. No word on when he'll be released.
The LAST Recorded Song
5/21/2012 7:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The VERY last song Whitney Houston ever recorded has finally been released ... a duet with Jordin Sparks ... which Whitney performed just 4 days before her death.
The song is called "Celebrate" -- from her upcoming movie "Sparkle" in which she plays Jordin's mother.
After Whitney died, officials found evidence of hardcore drug use in her hotel room and in her system ... but producer Harvey Mason Jr. didn't seem to think her addiction had an affect on the quality of her performance.
Mason Jr. told People.com, Houston was "really positive" during the recording ... saying, "We ended the session dancing around the control room while she said 'Turn it up! Turn it up!' She was so fun-loving."
The movie is scheduled to be released in August.
Billboard Awards Showdown
Whitney's Family Demands
Ray J Move ... Or Else
5/21/2012 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ray J was almost physically removed from the Billboard Music Awards last night after angry members of Whitney Houston's family ordered their security to get him away from them ... TMZ has learned.
Pat Houston's blood was boiling because she, Bobbi Kristina and other family members were seated next to Ray J, the person Pat believes was a very bad influence on Whitney. Minutes before the tribute to Whitney, Pat asked her security to remove Ray J from his seat, but he refused to budge.
Our sources say ... Pat's security summoned hotel security, along with several uniformed officers to physically remove Ray J.
Just before push was about to come to shove, security warned Pat that things would likely get physical and it would almost certainly be caught on video, just as Whitney was about to be honored. Sources say Pat then grudgingly recanted and Ray J kept his seat.
For his part, Ray J groused to friends, "Pat ruined what was a great opportunity to honor the woman who I loved."
11:40 AM PDT -- A rep for the Houston family tells TMZ ... Pat's assistant DID ask for Ray J to be moved from his seat ... but only after an official from Billboard told the family they needed to move to the seat that Ray J was already using.
Since Ray J had a ticket with the proper seat number, he refused to budge ... so Pat's assistant called for security to help sort out the situation.
The Houston family rep insists Pat does not have a problem with Ray J.
Family BATTLES Over
Billboard Tribute Award
5/20/2012 8:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Whitney Houston's sister-in-law -- Pat Houston -- is waging war against Bobbi Kristina because she desperately wants to accept Whitney's Billboard Music Award on her behalf ... and only BK is standing in her way.
Sources closes to the situation tell TMZ ... Pat is trying to force herself into the spotlight by accepting Whitney's Millenium Award at the ceremony in Las Vegas tonight ... and producers of the show are pissed.
We're told the show really wants BK to accept the award and make the speech on the late singer's behalf ... but Pat won't stand for it and is making life hell for them as she tries to worm her way into the segment.
Sources tell us ... the show's producers feel BK is the best choice to represent Whitney's legacy and they're convinced Pat is simply exploiting the situation to get publicity for her upcoming reality show.
Song for Whitney Houston
'Don't Let Me Die'
5/17/2012 6:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Bobby Brown has debuted a new song he wrote about life since Whitney Houston's death ... in which Bobby admits he "messed up pretty bad" and begs his late ex-wife ... "Don't let me die."
An emotional Brown -- sporting sunglasses and leather pants -- performed the song on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" ... featuring the lyrics, "I didn’t realize that every breath I took was from you ... You were my air.”
Brown also sings,"I guess I messed up pretty bad ... I didn’t know who you were ... I didn’t know what we had. Now I’m stuck living in the past ... trying to get the pieces back ... but I guess now you’re gone."
Brown is releasing the song on his new album, which drops in June ... just 4 months after Whitney died.