Kanye West Paid $85,000 for Whitney Houston's Drug-Filled Bathroom Photo for Cover Art

Kanye West Paid $85,000 for Whitney Houston's Drug-Filled Bathroom Photo for Cover Art

Kanye West is no stranger to controversy, and his latest move shows he clearly doesn’t shy away from it. New reports claim he paid $85,000 to acquire the usage rights of a photo of Whitney Houston’s bathroom — taken after an alleged drug binge, complete with drug paraphernalia — for a new album cover.

Pusha T’s latest release, “Daytona,” came out late last month and was produced in its entirety by West. Pusha told a radio host at the time that the change in creative direction came last minute, having previously had a photoshoot for the cover.

However, the night before release, West had a change of heart and spent $85,000 of his own money to acquire the rights of the photo for usage as part of the artwork. West is quoted as saying “This is what people need to see to go along with this music.”

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I finally got my album art... #DAYTONA 5/25

A post shared by Pusha T (@kingpush) on

The photo in question was taken by one of Houston’s family members in 2006, a number of years before her death, at her Alabama home. The bathroom counter is littered with various apparatus used for consuming drugs, after the star had allegedly binged.

West has come under fire for his usage of the image from Houston’s estate, who say they are “extremely disappointed.” They added, “Even in Whitney's death, we see that no one is exempt from the harsh realities of the world."

Lead image by SOCIALisBETTER via Flickr.

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12 Comments

Just goes to show you can't buy taste or class

user-189304's picture

It's his money, and it will be his album, and he can do whatever he wants with both.

That said, it's a pretty clever marketing decision.

william mitchell's picture

Boycott the jerk.
This promoting drugs as lifestyle and being proud to have never read a book.
Why is he famous ?
Would F stoppers run the same article as news if a nobody produced the album ?

He's famous for being a musical genius.

No F-stoppers probably wouldn't have run this article if some nobody produced the album.

Phil Wright's picture

Wait...musical genius? Are we talking about the same person?

Michael Comeau's picture

No, he paid $85,000 to get people to talk about Pusha's T new album.

Spy Black's picture

Right. Marketing. He's good at creating a scene and keeping him on the radar.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Isn't marketing, and keeping on the radar what the dozens of articles on this site about branding and fine tuning your social media are preaching?
And for once someone paid for the rights to a photo! Good for Kanye!

Spy Black's picture

Correct. Pure business.

Jonathan Reid's picture

Still trying to work out what this has to do with photography?

raquel-edison-photography's picture

Well, he could never have been "tasteless" if some "tasteless" person didn't first sell it to him.

Patrick Karbownik's picture

Why would it be distasteful? Because it's Kanye and you don't like him (I don't either)?
Because it's drugs and the tools to consume such? Or BecauseWhitney is dead?