Classic Whitney...

Quick reminder that "Classic Whitney" will air in the UK tonight at 20:00 BST.


New Soundtrack Appearance...

Leonardo Di Caprio is to star in an adaptation of a book in which he will portray a serial killer who listens to the music of Genisis, U2 and Whitney Houston.

[Thanks Danny]


MTV - Whitney & Mariah Negotiate Billing On Duet...

Pop divas Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey have come together for a new song, "When You Believe," the first single off the soundtrack for the upcoming animated film, "Prince of Egypt."

Much like the high-profile duet between Brandy and Monica on their chart-topping song, "The Boy Is Mine," the billing for the Houston-Carey track was also the subject of special negotiations between the singers' respective camps.
A spokesperson for Carey confirms reports that Houston's name will appear first on the initial set of the record's pressings, while Carey's name will flip-flop to the front on the album's second pressing.

No word yet on how Houston and Carey -- or is that Carey and Houston? -- will be credited on the video for "When You Believe," but we'll keep you posted.

[Report from MTV]


UK Radio World Exclusive...

Sunday Evening, London's Capital Radio announced that next Sunday (30 August) they would have a "Big World Exclusive First Play" of a new single. The DJ did not state who the song is by or give any hints.

This first play will occur just before 19:00 BST (18:00 GMT) following the UK Pepsi Chart No.1 single.

I must stress that at this point it's only a guess (but a possibility) that it will be Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey's "When You Believe" duet. The only other single I can think of that may get so much advance notice is the new Missy Elliott and Scary Spice single "I Think I Want You Back".

More news as and when I get it.


CNN - Houston and Carey join forces for DreamWorks...

NEW YORK (CNN) Dueling divas Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey got together in a New York studio earlier this month to record "When You Believe" for the soundtrack to the forthcoming DreamWorks animated movie "The Prince Of Egypt."
Although both artists record for different labels, they were given a private screening of the yet-to-be completed project and expressed their desire to record the movie's main song.
The track is expected to be released as a single, although that has yet to be confirmed. A DreamWorks Records spokesman said, however, that the soundtrack album's sleeve will feature Houston's name first on half the pressings, and Carey's first on the other half.

[From CNN]

23 AUGUST 1998

In Billboard's Opinion...

This could be the end of the road for "The Boy Is Mine," as Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" has an excellent chance of debuting at No. 1 on next week's Hot 100. The "Armageddon" song, No. 2 for a second week on Hot 100 Airplay, was delayed from commercial release from August 11 to August 18, and is selling for as low as 49 cents.
As for Brandy & Monica, they should savor having the top duet of the rock era while they can. Before the year is over, we'll have the first teaming of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey on a song from the soundtrack to DreamWorks' animated feature The Prince Of Egypt. If there was ever a single that could surpass the 16 week-run at No.1 of Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day," this should be it.

[From Billboard Magazine]

23 AUGUST 1998

Divas Duet...
[Article published in Sydney Morning Herald - Thanks Jason]

Multiple Award-winning producer Babyface has squashed rumours of rivalry between supesrtar R&Bdivas Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
The two octave-spanning singers have just recorded a duet for the upcoming animated feature, The Prince Of Egypt.
Babyface described the song, called "When You Believe", as a "gospel-tinged power- ballad" that will be the theme song to the movie, which is based on the biblical story of Moses. Babyface denied rumours of tantrums by either of the singers and laid to rest the long standing idea of intense rivalry between Carey and Houston. Asked which of the two divas had the biggest ego, he laughed and said "I don't know where this whole "rivalry" thing came from. I admit, when I agreed to do the song, I was nervous about it, but when we all got together, we just laughed! The two of them were... almost awe-struck in each other's presence." When pressed to elaborate on the divas' behaviour in studio and of reports that there was friction, Babyface said "We had a great time. They both gave it everythng they had, and at times I was blown away by the sheer power of their voices together. At times they were giggling together like schoolgirls, and talking about what direction they wanted the song to go. I think, and I don't know if they want me saying this, but I think they were surprised by how much they had in common. It was a lot of fun, and it's a great song, so I feel really honoured to have worked with these two vocal stars on this particular song."

The red-hot producer declined to pick his favourite of the two divas, saying instead "I love them both, they are both incredibly talented and I could never pick between them." Babyface also revealed that he will be doing producing duties on some songs for Houston's new album, her first full album of new material since 1990's I'm Your Baby Tonight. "We're very excited about it. Whitney wants the album to have a more "street" vibe, and we're working on some ideas now. It's gonna be something special."

The animated feature The Prince Of Egypt has been stirring up some controversy over the commercialisation of a biblical tale. When asked to respond to claims that the superstar teamup was yet another attempt to cash in on a sacred tale, the singer-producer responded "You need to hear this song to understand where it's coming from. Steven [Spielberg, executive producer of The Prince Of Egypt] and his partners have been very careful with the telling of this important story. This song is about the importance of a belief, and Mariah and Whitney are the two perfect voices to bring this song to life. The song is gospel-tinged and both of them have proved their love of gospel music through their earlier works. I don't think we could have chosen two better singers to give voice to the beautiful meaning of the song."

The Prince Of Egypt opens in the US on December 20, and in Australia in January. The The Prince Of Egypt soundtrack will be in stores in November.


Photo First By USA Today...

WHITNEY & MARIAH USA Today have the world's first photo of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey together during the recording session for "When You Believe" from "The Prince Of Egypt" - Here's the article which appears with the photo...

Pop Divas Unite For A Power Duet
When dreaming up the soundtrack for The Prince Of Egypt, DreamWorks execs made a wish list of artists to sing the big song, When You Believe. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston each got a special screening of the film-in-progress and agreed to be involved, says Michael Austin of DreamWorks Records. "Getting permission was complicated," he says, because the divas record for other labels. But the mission was accomplished, the recording session took place Aug. 7 in New York, and the soundtrack's due in November.
Who'll get star billing? Austin says half the albums will have Houston's name ahead of Carey's; half will bill Carey first.


Music Week Report...

[Article from Music Week - The UK music trade magazine]

DreamWorks is forging an unprecedented partnership between the genres of coutry, R&B, pop and gospel music with top recording artists lending their talents to three albums for its forthcoming The Prince Of Egypt animated film. Two inspired-by albums and a separate OST are understood to be planned for worldwide release in mid-November. One of the former lines up country artists including Vince Gill, Wyonna, Randy Travis and Clint Black while the other includes Boyz II Men, Kirk Franklin, Jars Of Clay and DC Talk.

Meanwhile high-level US discussions were continuing at press time between DreamWorks, Artista and Columbia over release plans for the soundtrack's first single. The track, performed by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey is understood to be titled "When You Believe". It will also feature on greatest hits albums by both artists planned for release in November.


Billboard Comments...

Billboard's Melinda Newman (22 August 1998) confirms a list of new albums due in the fourth quarter and cites Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits for November release. The article confirms that Mariah's new album "1" (containing her 13 No.1 singles plus her duet with Jermaine Dupri, "Sweetheart") will also feature the Whitney Houston duet "When You Believe". Mariah's album is also set for November release.

Billboard goes on to confirm that "When You Believe" will also feature on Whitney's set which could be a studio album if she finds enough material in time.


L.A. Times...

The 16th August LA Times reports in their Calendar/ Pop Music section that Whitney Houston will indeed have an all new album released in the fall with producers Babyface, David Foster, Puffy Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Missy Elliot and R.Kelly. The article also mentioned that the Whitney-Mariah duet has already been recorded and will be included on Whitney's album.

[Thanks Rod V.]


Arista's Weekly Word...

Whitney will be releasing a full arista release of new material - It is on Arista's Weekly Word Area.

[Thanks Wes H.]


Exclusive Whitney & Mariah Info...

The quite anticipation for the new Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey single "When You Believe" is building. UK music trade magazine Music Week reports that the song will appear on three albums by the end of the year, Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits, Mariah Carey's Greatest Hits and the soundtrack to DreamWork's The Prince Of Egypt.

The more surprising news is that the song may not get a commercial release in the UK following calls from industry executives to test a radio only single. The first song to undergo this kind of marketing has to be a high profile song/artist. A duet featuring Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey cannot be any more high profile.
If the plans go ahead, this will mark the first time that a "single" is issued to radio only in the UK. If this marketing plan is adopted, a commercial release may also be forfeited in other territories including the US.


Arista Updates...

Arista Records have updated their Whitney Houston site which now features a photo of Whitney not released before (from a 1996 photo-shoot with Premiere Magazine.

Arista have also taken the unusual step of citing the Mr Showbiz article which talks about Whitney's upcoming duet with Mariah Carey (see below).

It would have been good to see Arista release their own statement about the duet rather than re-publish one which isn't quite appropriate.


Luther: It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be...

Luther Vandross was recently interviewed by UK Channel 4 Teletext in which he mentioned the duet with Whitney - or rather the lack of!

"I still want to do a duet with Whitney Houston. We talk about it everytime I see her, but nothing has come of it yet"

[Thanks Sanj & Sadiq]


Whitney's Birthday Bash...

Whitney Houston turned 35 last Sunday and celebrated with 450 of her closest friends. The bash included her husband Bobby Brown, mom Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick, Puffy Combs, Forrest Whitaker, Jermaine Jackson, Lil' Kim, and other partyers. But the diva didn't get many gifts -- she asked folks to donate to her Foundation for Children instead.

[From EUR - Thanks Sadiq]


Whitney's Birthday...

[Extract of e-mail received from Arista Records]

Arista Records would like you to know that tonight you will be able to see clips from: Whitney Houston's 35th Birthday Party!!

Tune in for clips on: Entertainment Tonight, WCBS Channel 2 New York @ 7:30- 8:00 PM ET.
It may also be seen on: Access Hollywood, WNBC Channel 4 New York @ 7:30- 8:00 PM ET.

Tune in tonight Monday August 10, 1998.


Happy 35th Birthday Whitney!
9th August 1998

When You Believe...

Today is the day when the question will be answered: Can two chart-topping, octave-jumping divas cut a tune without a catfight breaking out? The New York Daily News reports that temperamental songbirds Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey are heading into a New York studio to sing together for the first time. The strong-lunged singers will record "When You Believe," the theme song from the upcoming DreamWorks animated pic, The Prince of Egypt, which tells the story of Moses.

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds will be on hand to referee, er, produce the single. The paper says that following the duet, Houston, who still shows no signs of breaking from troubled hubby Bobby Brown, will devote the next few months to recording songs for her upcoming album, her first since the 1996 soundtrack to The Preacher's Wife.

Prince of Egypt, which features the voices of Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, and Patrick Stewart, among others, is due out Dec. 18.

[From Mr Showbiz]


First Time Every I Saw Your Face...

The Associated Press in The U.S. reports that Whitney Houston is working with Lauryn Hill on a remake of the classic "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."

Arista have not confirmed this as yet.

[Thanks Marco]


Not Madonna...

The forthcoming Whitney Houston song from The Prince Of Egypt soundtrack is a duet with Mariah Carey and not Madonna.

A duet with Madonna is not planned.


Blues & Soul...

Blues & Soul magazine this month features a review - a good one of course - of one of Whitney's most prolific show of her European Tour - Manchester, UK.

Again, there are some great pictures which can be seen in the newly formed Manchester '98 Gallery which features no less than nine pictures from the show.


Arista Says...

[Extract of e-mail received from Arista Records]

Arista Records would like you to know that WHITNEY HOUSTON will be appearing on the Rosie O'Donnell Show Tomorrow. This is a repeat interview that will air on WABC in New York at 10:00 AM. Be sure to check it out.

Also let it be know that Whintey has been back in the studio and will be working on a release for later this year. It is still unclear if this release will be new material or a Greatest Hits album, but there will be a release coming this year.


Exclusive New Manchester Photo...

A fellow fan managed to get just one photo of Whitney at her Manchester gig on 9 July 1998 - The photo turned out really good - and has a unique, candid feel to it. The photo appears in the Whitney Live Gallery.

[Thanks Paul]


Classic Whitney In The UK...

Classic Whitney will air on VH-1 in the UK on 31st August 1998. The show will be for just one hour - which means that most of the show will have been cut out. Another example of how little UK broadcasters know about the true artistry of singers like Whitney. Simply Tragic.

It is not known which of the two shows will be featured although it is my guess that it will consist of thebest performances between the two shows and should also include the tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales in "Missing You" as the show airs on the first anniversary of the death of the Princess.

...Or maybe VH-1 will also get that wrong...



Xscape were on the Big Breakfast last week (A UK Breakfast TV show) and La Tocha said that she had written a song for Whitney but was waiting to find out what was going to happen to it.
Also Denise Van Outen said of Whitney "She is Fantastic, I am a big fan."

[Thanks Sadiq]


Who's Zoomin' Who?

Concert posters advertising Whitney's 1993 London shows and Janet's 1995 London shows

[I couldn't resist!]

Emmy Nominations For Cinderella...

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella which starred and was produced by Whitney Houston has received seven nominations for the 1998 Emmy Awards.

Details Of The Nominations Can Be Found Here.

[Thanks Chip]


Arista Asks It's Audience...

In a very surprising move, Arista Records mailed a number of people with three potential covers for the up-coming Deborah Cox album asking for votes on what was the preferred choice.

This is an excellent form of interactive marketing and also shows that Arista are testing the Internet for it's potential. As far as is known, no other label has done something like this before.

Lets hope that Whitney Houston will also benefit from some adventurous Internet marketing in the lead-up to the release of her new project.


Music Week Announces Greatest Hits Project...

UK music trade magazine, Music Week (the UK equivalent of Billboard) have announced that a Whitney Houston 'Best Of' album will be released in November. The article also states a Mariah Carey 'Best Of' set will be released in the Autumn.

The announcement adds more confusion to conflicting stories from all sides as to what the new Whitney Houston project will be with Whitney claiming it to be a 'new album' and Clive Davis now sitting on the fence about what will happen.

[Read Matt's Bulletin Board announcement & thoughts about the prospects of the Whitney & Mariah albums being issued].

[Thanks Matt].


Two More For Paris...

Review-fans may want to check out two really good (objective) reviews just put on the site for Whitney's show in Paris. You can find them here.

Manish In The Manchester Evening News...

As promised last week, you can see the article which has a picture of me at Whitney's only UK show in Manchester on 9 July 1998 in The Gallery.


Photos Of UNICEF Show...

I've finally managed to scan in some of the photo's I took at the 11 July UNICEF benefit show in Aschaffenburg, Germany.

The arent the best of quality but I had no idea how the organisers would react to a camera being brought into the grounds so...Judge for yourself in the gallery.


Photos Of Manchester Show...

Go to the Gallery for a couple of great photo's taken from the Manchester Evening News of Whitney's sold out show on 9 July 1998.


Whitney Dominates Versus Fashion Show...
[extracted from MTV text]

It looks like Kevin from the Backstreet Boys has been hiding his light under a bushel. In Milan recently, Kevin popped up as a model on the catwalk at a Versus fashion show for men.

Jimmy Ray provided a storming live accomaniment to the show which was watched by the likes of Carys from Catatonia, Skin from Skunk Anansie and the very gorgeous diva-of-them-all, Whitney Houston who apparently caused everyone in the room to double-take as she made her entrance!

[Thanks Sadiq]


Further Confirmation Of Whitney/Mariah Duet...

In the 'Ask Billboard' section of the magazine's online service, there is confirmation from the magazine that the duet between Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey will occur.

Click Here To See For Yourself.


Platinum Press...

The latest Platinum Press newsletter (Volume 3, Number 2) is out. In the covering letter from the fan club, it states that the Greatest Hits album will not happen, being replaced instead by the new studio album.

I know this is old news to most of us, but I think this statement conflicts with what Clive Davis has said to Billboard Magazine.

The new studio album is the most likely event considering Whitney has also talked about this rather than the Greatest Hits.


New Album Info...

According to an interview with Clive Davis in Billboard Magazine, expect a new release from Whitney Houston before the end of the year. In the interview with Billboard's Melinda Newman, Clive revealed that the project from Whitney, who goes into the studio this month, will be either a greatest-hits collection with additional songs or a complete album of new material.

You can read the complete article on the Billboard Online Site (Click Here).


Rape Allegations at Whitney's Mansion...

Whitney Houston Issues Statement After Woman Claims Rape Occurred In Houston Home

A 19-year-old woman told police that she was raped by an unidentified "rap singer" at Whitney Houston's New Jersey mansion over the weekend.

The woman, who said that attack occurred either late Saturday or early Sunday, told police that the rapper was using Houston's home studio to make a record.

Neither Houston (who is currently touring in Europe) nor her husband Bobby Brown (who is said to be in Beverly Hills) were at the home at the time of the attack.

Houston's camp released a statement concerning the incident on Monday afternoon saying, "Whitney Houston has no knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape.

She had not yet returned from Germany when the incident is said to have taken place. Ms. Houston was finishing up her European tour in Aschaffenberg, Germany with a benefit concert for UNICEF on Saturday July 11. She is hopeful that anyone with pertinent information will cooperate with local authorities, and is concerned for anyone who may have been injured."

The Morris County prosecutor's office, which is handling the case, had not returned calls for comment at the time we went to press.

[Report from MTV]


And Some More...

Following Whitney's amazing performance at Aschaffenburg at the weekend, some more reviews (and thoughts) about the events of that evening are in. You can find them on the Reviews Page.


Returning With Reviews...

I'm now back from a whirwing few days which incorporated Whitney's shows in Manchester and Aschaffemburg.

Full details of my impression of the two shows can be found on the Reviews Page.


Manchester Evening News...

It's not exactly my claim to fame, but I was very surpised to find out my photo appears on the Manchester Evening News (which is the city's main newspaper) as part of a review of Whitney's show. I hope to get the page scanned and posted on this site shortly.



Whitney On The Whoopi Show...

PASADENA, Calif. -- Whoopi Goldberg is looking forward to putting her wit on display in the revived "Hollywood Squares" game show. But less gifted celebrities are welcome, too. A staff of comedy writers will provide scripted comebacks so "even the most dense of stars can come and play this game," said Goldberg, who will regularly fill the show's center square.
Among the celebrities set to visit are Sharon Stone, Whitney Houston and Garth Brooks. The lure, Goldberg said Wednesday, is that the stars' favorite charities will benefit. Contestants in the tic-tac-toe game can come out ahead, too, with cash and prizes worth as much as $50,000. The syndicated show with host Tom Bergeron is set for a Sept. 14 debut. Goldberg said she decided to take the job because it's fun and "I don't want to work as hard anymore."
"And they offered me a really beautiful amount of money," she added.

[Thanks Sadiq]


So I'll Go, But I Know...

Can you believe how fast the time has flown? Whitney has just two dates left on her European Tour, and I will be at both these shows!

Best of all, Whitney is performing in England for the first time in nearly five years tomorrow night.

A full review of Whitney's Manchester and Aschaffenburg shows will be on this site by Tuesday next week at the latest (I return to London on Monday). If I can, I'll also try and convince Matt to review the shows so you'll get more than just my opinion.

One the the highlights for me must be the opportunity to put faces to the names I see via e-mails and postings on the Bulletin Board.

Keep the mail coming - I will endeavour to reply to it all during next week.


What The World Needs Now...

The new Dionne Warwick single, "What The World Needs Now" features Coolio, Big Daddy Kane, Veronica, 40 Thievez, Ray J and Bobby Brown. It's the first single from her new album of remakes of her classics entitled "Dionne Sings Dionne". The album is due for release in the next few weeks and features a duet with Whitney Houston.


Triple Platinum Gospel...

Whitney Houston's 1996 album "The Preacher's Wife" has officially been certified for US Sales of 3 Million Copies.

Whitney's total album sales worldwide now exceed 101 Million copies. She remains the biggest selling female artist of all time.

[Billboard data provided by Bryan]





1996 - 2000 Manish
www.classicwhitney.com - Disclaimer.