Bobby Brown is "beside himself," a source tells People magazine. The ex-husband of Whitney Houston made calls to family and friends on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, to notify them of the singer's passing.
"He wanted to tell everyone about it before it hit the news," one of his relatives told the magazine. "He didn't want any of us to hear about it on television."
While the couple had a tumultuous relationship, there was never love lost between the dynamic twosome, who married in 1992. So on Saturday as Brown delivered the sad news, shock quickly turned to grief. "He could hardly get the words out when he called me," says the relative. "He was sobbing, and by the end of the call, I was sobbing too. He's beside himself right now."
Brown issued an official statement to People on Houston's death, saying, "I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time."
A source told People that he learned the news while in Memphis, where he is currently located for a New Edition concert. He is "shattered and beyond devastated," says the source. The couple has a daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
"They had Bobbi Kristina in common, and were determined to be co-parents to her. They didn't hate each other,” the relative said. “In fact, there was a lot of respect. So this has hit Bobby really hard. He is devastated. He loved her very much. This is a very sad time for him."
In fact, Brown was sobbing backstage before his New Edition show in Memphis on Saturday evening and refused to take the stage for the first song, Us Weekly reports. He later rejoined the group onstage, but broke down again while singing "Tenderoni." At the end of another tune, he blew a kiss to the sky and said, said, "I love you, Whitney!"
Keep clicking to see photos of the couple throughout the years