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Is Rihanna Following in Whitney Houston’s Addiction Footsteps?

After Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) posted an eyebrow-raising photo on Instagram recently, many people started to make comparisons between her and her idol, Whitney Houston. The picture in question showed Rihanna sitting on her bodyguard’s shoulders and separating what appears to be lines of white powder on his head. A firestorm of controversy ensued from the photo and Rihanna, without regret or apology, posted on social media: “I’m crazy and I don’t pretend to be anything else.”

The paparazzi also caught Rihanna smoking what appeared to be a joint while vacationing in Hawaii earlier this year. Rihanna never denies the claims of alleged drug use and many criticize her for not taking an anti-drug stand publicly as an example for her many young fans. To that, Rihanna takes another unrepentant stand saying: “…being a role model became more of my job than I want it to be. But no, I just want to make music. That’s it.”

Many Similarities Between Whitney Houston and Rihanna

There have been rumors that Rihanna is being considered as a possible candidate to play Whitney Houston in a biopic about her life. The role may not be much of a stretch for her because, in addition to having voices with a range that is rarely seen and beauty to match, the two female vocalists have the following commonalities:

• Each woman got their start singing in their childhood church.

• Both were raised in devoutly Christian families.

• Rumors swirled around both women questioning their sexuality.

• The women endured emotionally unhealthy and at times physically violent romantic relationships.

• Both women made a leap from pop icon to movie star.

• Each singer’s drug use became more apparent and public over time.

Another Concern: Addiction Runs in Rihanna’s Family

Those who grew up with Rihanna know that she has some strikes against her when it comes to the possibility for developing an addiction problem – even if she shared no life experience similarities with Whitney Houston. Rihanna’s father, Ronald Fenty, is a recovering crack addict, and it’s a well known fact that addiction runs in families. The fact that Rihanna’s father got help and was successful in recovery bodes well for her. However, anyone with a strong family history of addiction should never experiment with drugs because the chance is just too high that an addiction will develop. Recreational use for someone with a genetic tendency towards abuse is a game of Russian Roulette.

Do you think that singers and musicians are role models? Is it okay if they drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes but not use illicit drugs? We’d like to hear your thoughts below.

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