07/03/2012 05:03 pm ET Updated Jul 05, 2012

BeBe Winans, Whitney Houston's Friend, Set To Publish New Book On The Late Singer

It's not just Whitney Houston's mother who is writing a book about the late singer. Houston's close personal friend, gospel singer BeBe Winans, has written a book, "The Whitney I Knew," scheduled to be released July 31 -- leaving many to wonder why.

"There was no thought of a book, but a month after the funeral I received a lot of phone calls from people saying thank you for what I said at the funeral, that they didn’t know that Whitney and it made their hearts happy,” Winans said. “My first reaction [to the prospect of writing a book on Houston] was no. And after about a week I called the family and asked what they thought, and they gave it the green light. So I jumped in.”

Saying that through the writing process he learned to embrace death and the pain of missing his friend, Winans wants to show a side of Whitney that very few got to see, he said.

"Whitney never took a drug in front of me," Winans said. "I never saw drugs in the 26 years of our relationship. Now, we spoke about drugs, sex, marriage -- we talked about everything because that was the relationship."

"And the reason we could have a conversation about everything was because it stayed there," he added. "It was a sanctuary. Success can be so tricky and deceiving, you realize that not only is there not a sanctuary with friends but that family can go left on you."

For Winans the biggest betrayal of Houston came after her death, when images of her in a casket were sold to a tabloid, which Winans says didn’t surprise him.

“It broke my heart. Knowing her, she would laugh," he said. "The reason I say she would laugh is because she found laughter to be a medicine. Laughter can bring you through the hardest and most painful moments of your life,” said Winans, who explained that years earlier he had received a call saying that his friend was dead. When he called her and she picked up, she laughed after he told her what had been said.

"She started laughing and said if I am, I’m calling you from heaven," Winans recalled. "So she learned how to laugh through difficult painful things. But that moment [when the casket picture was leaked] was not surprising. You do everything you can to keep things like that from happening but as I write in the book there was no escaping."

Winans claimed the singer had planned to retire from singing a long time before she passed away but kept getting swept back into the music industry. "People were reporting she was so sad because she didn’t have the voice," he said. "A long time ago, before 'The Bodyguard' even started to record, Whitney had planned on retiring. She was done with singing,” he said. "She would say, You all think I'm playing; I'm not playing. But one of the things unfair about having the gift and being born to sing was you can't run away from it. She was a simple girl with an enormous gift."

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