Singer Cissy Houston performed onstage during the 2012 BET Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on July 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images For BET)
(USA TODAY) -- Gospel singer Cissy Houston sits down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview, marking the one-year anniversary of daughter Whitney Houston's Feb. 11 death.
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Cissy, 79, has written a memoir, Remembering Whitney, and Oprah asks her about her memories, along with her thoughts on Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, drugs and rumors that Whitney was involved in a gay relationship with her assistant. More than once in the chat, airing at 10 p.m. Monday on OWN, it appears from clips, Cissy wipes away tears.
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One particularly moving moment comes as Oprah notes that Cissy begins the book recalling where she was when she found out her daughter had died. She recounts the scene for Oprah:
"My son called me and he was screaming, 'Mom, Mommy,' "Then, oh God. I said, 'What is wrong, what's wrong?' He just said, 'Nippy. Nippy.' I said, 'What's wrong with Nippy?' " (Nippy is what the family called Whitney.)
"He said, 'I don't know, I can't go back up there ... ,' " referring to the singer's Beverly Hilton room.
" 'They found Nippy.' I said, 'They found her what, what?' " Houston said. "And I was getting annoyed because he wasn't telling me anything.
"He said, 'Mommy - ' I said, 'Is she dead?' And he said, 'Yeah, Mommy, she's dead.' And I don't remember too much else after that."
Cissy, shaking her head, says she was alone at the time of the call. "I was a wreck," she said. "I was just a wreck."