The Wait Is Over...

Whitney Houston's first studio album in almost seven years is released in the US and across most territories today.


Whitney Houston has filmed videos for 'Million Dollar Bill' and 'I Look To You' - both videos are being edited and are due to debut very soon.

Interview Exclusive...

Amazon.com feature an interview with Whitney Houston where she talks about her relationship with Clive Davis, some of the songs on the new album and the recording process.  Whitney talks about how the first four songs, once recorded, helped define and inspire further material to come in for the album.

[Thanks Dan]


Whitney Houston is featured on the cover of the October issue of Ebony containing the headline "WHITNEY: I thank God for never letting me go".

The preview to the magazine's interview quotes Whitney: "I shed a lot of stuff, a lot of unnecessary weight in the last three or four years. I left a lot of old luggage behind, and when I did, the blessings just started pouring on me, and the light in my spirit started to lift again," she tells the magazine. "I'm really humbled, and I thank God that people love me, but I [really] thank God that God loves me. I thank Him for chastening my heart, for never letting go. What I did sometimes ... I went off and did my thing, but He
never let me go."

As for her decision to stay out of the public eye for the last six years, she says, "I was just ready to lay back and raise my daughter and just watch her grow and nurture her. And my mother's getting older. I wanted to spend more time with my mom [because during] most of my 20s and 30s, [I] was dealing with making records and traveling the world and being this thing -- icon, you know -- whatever this has turned into."

Whitney says the time away has been good for her and16-year-old Bobbi Kristina, her daughter with Bobby Brown.

"She and I are not only mother and daughter, but we're good friends. I want her to trust me, to be able to trust in me, to know that I'm not going nowhere. If she knows that I'm there for her, she can depend on me. I'm the dependable one; she can depend on her mommy."

The October issue of Ebony featuring Whitney Houston will be on newsstands on Sept. 8.

Whitney Thankful...

Access Hollywood: Whitney says, ‘I thank God that people love me’

The former diva is releasing her first album in seven years

Whitney Houston’s self-imposed 7-year hiatus officially ends today with the release of “I Look To You,” her sixth full-length studio album. The album is getting mostly strong reviews so far from critics, and now the singer has begun her media blitz, opening up first to Ebony magazine.

In the article, Houston goes into detail about the courting process by her longtime Arista Records mentor Clive Davis to bring her back into his musical fold.

“Clive called me one day and said, ‘OK, are you ready now?’” she told the magazine. “He said, ‘I’m tired of listening to what I’m listening to, and I’m tired of seeing what I’m seeing. I want YOU back.’”

But Houston continued to put up resistance, even saying to Clive, “You have a great roster of people (Jennifer Hudson, Leona Lewis, Monica). I said, ‘Do your thing.’”

However, the music impresario only told her, “Nope, nobody’s singing like you; nobody’s going to do it like we used to do it.”

But Houston says that she was perfectly happy at the time in her dual roles of mother and daughter.

“I was just ready to lay back and raise my daughter and just watch her grow and nurture her,” she said. “And my mother’s getting older. I wanted to spend more time with my mom (because during) most of my 20s and 30s, (I) was dealing with making records and traveling the world and being this thing — icon, you know — whatever this has turned into.”

Ebony points out how the singer’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, is now a “trim and fashionable 16-year-old, who sat in the front row” at her mom’s listening party for media and celebs in New York.

“She and I are not only mother and daughter, but we’re good friends,” Houston said. “I want her to trust me, to be able to trust in me, to know that I’m not going nowhere. If she knows that I’m there for her, she can depend on me. I’m the dependable one; she can depend on her mommy.”

Houston goes on to point out that it was her strong spiritual belief that kept her strong through her difficulties in recent years.

“I’m really humbled, and I thank God that people love me,” she told Ebony. “But I (really) thank God that God loves me. I thank Him for chastening my heart, for never letting go. What I did sometime … I went off and did my thing, but He never let me go.

“I shed a lot of stuff, a lot of unnecessary weight in the last three or four years,” she continued. “I left a lot of old luggage behind, and when I did, the blessings just started pouring on me, and the light in my spirit started to lift again.”

Ebony even talked to Whitney’s first cousin, the famous Dionne Warwick, for their article.

“I am thrilled for her,” cousin Warwick told the mag. “She sounds wonderful. She sounds happy. That’s the one thing about being able to sing a song. You hear the joy in her voice. And the album cover is just flawless. You see the happiness in her eyes.”

The October 2009 issue of Ebony is on sale Monday, Sept. 7.

Salon Reviews Round Up...

Salon.com: Whitney Houston is back! Or is she?
Critics weigh in on the pop diva's new album -- and her sordid past
By Vincent Rossmeier

Aug. 31, 2009 | Whitney Houston is back ... or at least that's what she and her record label want you to believe. The pop diva who dominated the record charts in the '80s and '90s descended into drug- and Bobby Brown-fueled infamy during the last decade. And her last comeback, 2002's "Just Whitney," tanked commercially. After she gave an interview to Diane Sawyer the same year -- in which she denied using crack, saying she made too much money to use the drug -- the once-mighty Houston seemed relegated to being little more than the butt of late-night jokes.

But her much-hyped new album, "I Look to You," drops today, and she plans to appear on Oprah in early September. As for the record itself, the reviews are already in. Can Houston return as a pop force? Has her voice been ravaged by excess? Here's a look at what critics are saying about the album -- and Houston's troubled history.


On Whitney's past: "Without adversity, a diva is just a singer. It’s the back story, the tale of struggle and tenacity, that draws audiences to read more than musicianship into her performances."

On "I Look to You": Pareles thinks it "is more subdued, canny and cautious" than her previous album "Just Whitney." He writes, "She still sings about the power of love, though it’s not always benign anymore. The album is split between songs that hint at her travails and songs that try to ignore them."


On Whitney's past: "The first thing you notice about Whitney Houston's comeback-from-hell album isn't what's on it ... It's what's not ... As a hopeful bass line bounces in the background, Houston's barely accompanied voice pours from the speakers, as if to instantly argue that, despite seven years in ruinous exile, everything's fine in Whitney-ville."

On "I Look to You": Farber awards the album three stars out of five, writing, "Simply put, the voice we hear on 'I Look To You' isn't the one that made millions of jaws drop, and caused scores of fellow singers to hanging up their mikes forever."

On Whitney's past: "After years of erratic behavior in which drugs took hold of her life and her marriage to [Bobby] Brown dissolved in full view of the public (thanks to an ill-advised reality TV show), Houston was persuaded ... to re-enter the studio a couple of years ago."

On "I Look to You": "Step back from the competent but hardly inspiring quality of most of this material, and another theme emerges: that Houston is making music again at all is something of a small victory. Sure, she rides the production because her voice isn't what it used to be. But then neither is the music industry that she once ruled."


On Whitney's past: "Among other things, the '00s will be remembered as the decade of the diva flameout, a long national nightmare of public crackups, disastrous marriages and no-panty flashings from which only Christina Aguilera has emerged unscathed. Whitney Houston, 46, has had the most spectacular catalogue of troubles -- rumors of hard-core substance abuse, her once-fabled voice poised at the edge of ruin, a marriage to bad-boy Bobby Brown -- and her comeback has taken the longest; at times it seemed the most in doubt."

On "I Look to You": "'I Look to You' gets it right. It is a finely calibrated, just-modern-enough mix of mom-friendly club bangers and dauntless ballads that, in retrospect, seems like the only album she could have made. It's an Oprah's Book Club selection in album form, a collection of songs assembled around a familiar story line: a fall, a struggle for self-acceptance and love, a redemption."


On Whitney's past: On Houston's past albums, Tarradell writes, "They capture the loose, edgy and unpredictable woman who dived into a volatile marriage with singer Bobby Brown, developed the diva attitude so widely documented and experimented with drugs."

On "I Look to You": "I Look to You is easily better than 2002's disjointed disappointment 'Just Whitney,' a disc that just about everybody (including Houston) has all but disowned. If anything, 'I Look to You' sounds like the New Jersey native on her best behavior. She does seem quite focused, but perhaps more so for the sake of career preservation than creative rejuvenation."


On Whitney's past: "When she was at her best, nothing could match her huge, clean, cool mezzo-soprano -- not Madonna's canny chirp, not Bono's stone church wail nor Bruce Springsteen's ramshackle growl ... Then, like many a glorious edifice, Houston's voice fell into disrepair. Drug abuse and a rocky marriage to New Jack jerk Bobby Brown made her a tabloid staple. More tragically (for listeners, at least), her excesses trashed her instrument, which age and normal wear and tear would have imperiled anyway."

On "I Look to You": "But should we begrudge the fact that Whitney Houston now has to work at singing? It's all to her credit. What's hard to give up is the dream of painless perfection that the young Houston represented, back in the yuppie era, when her voice sounded like the easy money that was flowing everywhere. Of course, that didn't turn out so well for anyone else, either ... Though 'Look to You' doesn't soar like the old days, it's fine to hear Houston working on her own recovery plan."


On Whitney's past: "The last time Whitney Houston made an attempt at a comeback, with 2002's 'Just Whitney,' it was overshadowed by her continued free fall into tabloid infamy. Drug use, marital battles and wild behavior tarnished her once-regal image so much it was hard to focus on anything musical from Houston, and the fact that 'Just Whitney' was just OK didn't help matters."

On "I Look to You": "She appears to have put her demons behind her, and with 'I Look to You,' she has delivered a very good album that shows the pop queen still has a dazzling voice that can leave you spellbound."


On Whitney's past: "Pop stardom has 
its privileges. Unlike schoolteachers and tax accountants,
creative types with personal demons are often able to take what doesn't kill them and emerge not only stronger, but with a new sort of depth and pathos — and often, a wider audience for the pain they turn into art."

On "I Look to You": Greenblatt gives the album a B-, writing, "'I Look to You,' Whitney Houston's first album in seven years, doesn't pretend to offer the unblemished 21-year-old we met on her smash 1985 debut, but it never 
truly lets listeners inside the heart and head of the woman she is today."

You can read these and more reviews in the 'I Look To You' album reviews page.



New York Daily News: Whitney's encore: A once-broken diva finds the will - and voice - to step back into the spotlight
BY Jane Ridley
Monday, August 31st 2009

Her smile is radiant, her eyes no longer bloodshot and her once-skeletal frame is elegant again.

Billed as the comeback of the century, Whitney Houston's long-awaited return to the microphone could mark her salvation. The troubled diva, who had been trapped in a squalid spiral of substance abuse, is putting out her first album in seven years today. Friends believe the release caps the rescue of an American icon whose talent was nearly snuffed out.

"We all crossed our fingers that her beautiful story would end happily," said actor and musician Jamie Foxx, speaking about the new R&B collection, "I Look to You."

"This is a new beginning."

Houston credits her 15-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, with giving her the confidence to try to resurrect her career.

"She was with me every step of the way," the 46-year-old former icon has revealed. "She encourages me and inspires me. When I look at her eyes and I see myself, I go, ‘Okay. I can do this. I can do this.'"

If anyone could do with another chance, it's Houston.

Many people are still shocked that the one-time goody two shoes, responsible for an astonishing 170 million record and video sales, could fall so spectacularly from grace.

Now apparently free from the drugs and alcohol that brought her down — as well as 180 pounds of useless flab in the form of thuggish ex-husband Bobby Brown — she is determined to reclaim her self-respect and the love of fans.

Houston's rehabilitation involves the inevitable TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, scheduled for Sept. 14. The performer is expected to reflect on how her charmed life was rudely interrupted.

Born into music royalty in Newark (mom Cissy was a Grammy Award-winning soul and gospel singer, Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick were cousins, Aretha Franklin was her godmother), she was cosseted by a deeply religious family who closely monitored her early career.

Houston declined a number of recording offers until 1983, when music mogul Clive Davis, then head of Arista Records, offered her a 20-year recording contract.

Houston, also in demand as a model, went on to win six Grammys, was named by Rolling Stone as one of its "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" and starred opposite Kevin Costner in a 1992 romantic thriller, "The Bodyguard." Further movie projects included the lead in the critically acclaimed "Waiting to Exhale" and The Preacher's Wife" with Denzel Washington.

But it was her heart-stopping, supercharged voice — belting out chart-topping hits like "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and "Greatest Love of All" — that made her Forbes magazine's highest-earning African-American woman in 1987.

n she wed Brown. Six years her junior, the rapper had a bad-boy image at odds with his gorgeous bride's. The union had mismatch written all over it.

Reports soon surfaced about the couple's erratic behavior. There were claims of domestic violence, drug use and unsuccessful spells in rehab. In 2000, Houston was fired from the Oscars telecast because she kept fluffing her lines. A year later, she appeared at a concert in New York looking so thin and disoriented, shocking headlines implied she was close to death.

In 2002, in a now-infamous interview with Diane Sawyer coinciding with the release of her last album, a jittery Houston scoffed at claims she smoked crack.

"I make too much money to ever smoke crack," she declared. "Let's get that straight, okay? We don't do that. Crack is whack!"

In 2005, she agreed to "star" with her husband in his train-wreck reality series "Being Bobby Brown."

A few years earlier, her father, John, had warned: "Stick with him [Brown], and you're gonna die." His prediction almost came true in March 2006, when she hit rock bottom. The National Enquirer published pictures of Houston's bathroom in Atlanta, a scene littered with the drug paraphernalia of a junkie.

Mercifully, the horrendous publicity proved to be a wakeup call, the start of a long trek toward stability. Eighteen months later, Houston finally divorced Brown and won custody of their daughter.

She reconnected with her Svengali, Davis, 77, now head of Sony Music. With the help of teen Bobbi, he has led her back into the light.

"Whitney is Whitney," Davis told MTV, reaffirming his faith in his protegée. "And there ain't nobody like her."

Veteran singer Freda Payne, a Houston friend best-known for the hit "Band of Gold," endorsed her return to the recording studio.

"The public will embrace her because we miss the Whitney we adored," said Payne. "I'm so happy she is coming back. She is in my prayers."

And in the prayers of all her fans.

LA Times Review Round Up...

Los Angeles Times: 'I Look to You' launches comeback for Whitney Houston

While the second round of reviews for "I Look to You" are not as strong as those from last week, Whitney Houston could still be a major presence at this year's Grammy Awards. Remember Hollywood loves a comeback, and Whitney Houston certainly epitomizes that.

As Jon Pareles of the New York Times wrote in his review, "Seven years after her last album of pop songs, two years after her divorce, Whitney Houston re-emerges with full diva qualifications on 'I Look to You,' released Monday. Most of its revelations aren’t verbal; they’re in the husky, vehement sound of her voice."

For Allison Stewart of the Washington Post "I Look to You", "is a finely calibrated, just-modern-enough mix of mom-friendly club bangers and dauntless ballads that, in retrospect, seems like the only album she could have made."

However, Jim Farber of the New York Daily News sounded a cautionary note: "Houston still owns an instrument most singers would kill for, with a broad range and a respectable force. And she gets to apply it to some catchy and pleasing new songs here. But there's no getting around the fact that something key is gone. Namely, her genius. The tone of epic clarity, the lungs of steel, the notes that seemed to sail higher than any musical staff could hold -- all those things are behind her now."

And Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Despite the machinations of top-tier producers and songwriters such as R. Kelly, Diane Warren, Akon, Stargate and David Foster, nothing else feels quite as elegantly ebullient. Nor does she ever cut loose; at times it feels as if Houston is just a pretty ornament on her producers' tracks. In the past, her voice was big enough to tower over lackluster material, but no more."

Houston's record label Artista was so sure of the success of "I Look to You" that it moved the release date up to today – the cut-off for Grammy Awards eligibility. Houston won the first of her six Grammys way back in 1985. But her most recent victory was a full decade ago.

Houston first came to fame with a self-titled debut disc in 1985 that won her a Grammy for best pop vocal performance and contended for the top prize of album of the year (Phil Collins won for "No Jacket Required"). And she earned an Emmy for her performance of "Saving All My Love For You" on that Grammycast. Her single "The Greatest Love of All" lost record of the year the following year to "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood.

Houston won another pop vocal Grammy in 1987 for "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," off her second album, "Whitney." That disc also competed for album of the year but lost to U2 for "The Joshua Tree."

Her third studio album, 1990's "I'm Your Baby Tonight," did not net her any Grammys. However, the soundtrack for her film debut, "The Bodyguard," won album of the year in 1993, while her rendition of the Dolly Parton tune "I Will Always Love You" won record of the year and a third pop vocal Grammy.

Houston's fourth studio album, "My Love Is Your Love," included the track "It's Not Right but It's Okay," which won her a sixth Grammy, completing her current collection, for R&B vocal performance in 1999. Her last mainstream album, "Just Whitney," was released in 2002 but did not contend at the Grammys. Neither did her 2003 holiday album, "One Wish."

You can read these and more reviews in the 'I Look To You' album reviews page.

: 31 AUGUST 2009

Review Round Up...

Rap-Up.com have produced a summarised list of some of the headline reviews for 'I Look To You' as noted below.  You can read these and more reviews in the 'I Look To You' album reviews page.

Review Roundup: Whitney Houston – ‘I Look to You’

Whitney Houston’s first album in seven years, I Look to You, arrives on Monday. Has the comeback queen recaptured her glory days? Find out below.

Rolling Stone: [I Look to You] is a modern soul record, a collection of sleek, often spunky, love songs that aim at something more immediate and tangible than nostalgia or catharsis: Houston wants back in the diva stakes. 3.5 out of 5

Entertainment Weekly: I Look to You, Whitney Houston’s first album in seven years, doesn’t pretend to offer the unblemished 21-year-old we met on her smash 1985 debut, but it never truly lets listeners inside the heart and head of the woman she is today. B-

The New York Times: I Look to You, with Ms. Houston’s longtime mentor Clive Davis as her co-producer, is more subdued, canny, and cautious. She’s tentatively climbing back into the pop machinery, no longer invincible but showing a diva’s determination.

Los Angeles Times: The best giant ballad is the Warren-penned, David Foster-produced “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” an exhibition of battle scars that’s richer for the weary, injury-protecting quality of Houston’s vocal. If she does earn the Grammy she’s virtually been promised for a song from this set, it should be for this one. 3 out of 5

USA Today: Returning to her classic sound, Houston should have no trouble reconnecting with those longtime fans who will always love her. Whether her more contemporary collaborators can help her engage a new generation of fans and radio programmers remains to be seen. 3.5 out of 4

Newsday: “Salute” is what Houston sounds like when she’s connected to a song and firing on all cylinders. It’s imaginative and dramatic and, yeah, it has an air of invincibility. It’s also the kind of song that her true “comeback” album will be built around. I Look to You isn’t it.

Chicago Tribune: Despite the machinations of top-tier producers and songwriters such as R. Kelly, Diane Warren, Akon, Stargate, and David Foster, nothing else feels quite as elegantly ebullient. Nor does she ever cut loose; at times it feels as though Houston is just a pretty ornament on her producers’ tracks. 2 out of 4

Boston Herald: In the end, Houston’s sixth album is as much about forward strides as limitations. While it unites a collection of power players to breathe new life into her career—and proves that Houston is still capable of having a career—many of the songs shun urgency and power in favor of safety. B

Chicago Sun-Times: The first thing that strikes you when listening to I Look to You is that despite all of those stylistically diverse egos in the kitchen, I Look to You doesn’t sound overcooked at all: The sound throughout is clean, modern, unfettered and consistently designed to keep the focus on Houston’s singing, whether it’s on the moderately bouncing club tracks or the requisite ballads.
3 out of 4

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Million Dollar Bill,” “Call You Tonight,” “Worth It,” “Salute”

: 30 AUGUST 2009

Billboard Reviews...

ALBUM: I LOOK TO YOU (Arista/RCA Music Group)

NEW YORK (Billboard) - The imminent release of Whitney Houston's "I Look to You" (her first studio album in seven years) keeps prompting the elephant-in-the-room question: How does she sound? Well, Houston turns in a solid performance on this 11-track set. And it underscores her still-considerable gift for delivering the emotion in a song, which is especially showcased on the title track/lead single.

While Houston may not top her iconic performance of "I Will Always Love You," she more than holds her own on this R. Kelly-penned ballad about finding strength in the face of adversity. She gets her party swerve going on the album's standout cut, "Million Dollar Bill," produced by Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.

Another keeper is the midtempo, relationship-themed "Like I Never Left" featuring Akon. Primarily comprising up- and midtempo selections -- including an amped cover of Leon Russell's "A Song for You" -- "I Look to You" finds Houston channeling the self-assured singer she exhibited on 1998's "My Love Is Your Love."

The set is a nice welcome back and a new beginning.

More reviews added to the 'I Look To You' album reviews page.

: 29 AUGUST 2009

The Album is Out...

'I Look To You' becomes available in parts of continental Europe today - Here's an exclusive look at the booklet of the CD:

[Click on imagine to view larger scale]


I Look To You in stores in Rome:

[Thanks Luca]


High Hopes...

Reuters: Label has high hopes for Whitney Houston comeback
Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:40pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Don't call it a comeback. I've been here for years," Whitney Houston sings on what is, in fact, her latest comeback album.

The 46-year-old pop singer, a long-term resident of the record charts during the 1980s and '90s, officially ends a seven-year hiatus on Monday with the U.S. release of her sixth studio album, "I Look To You."

Early reviews are promising and Houston's Sony Corp-owned Arista Records label hopes it will become one of the biggest sellers of the year.

The music industry desperately needs a hit. Annual U.S. sales in 2009 are on track to slide for the eighth time in nine years, ravaged by the recession, piracy and competition from other forms of entertainment such as video games.

Houston could also do with a hit. Her previous album "Just Whitney" in 2002, also was billed as a comeback and was the worst-selling of her career. She got more attention in the ensuing years for her rocky personal life, including multiple stints in drug rehab and a bitter divorce from former R&B star Bobby Brown.

In fact, she half-jokingly said last month that she had been planning to retire to an island when her mentor, record-industry chieftain Clive Davis, phoned 3 1/2 years ago to lure her back to the studio.

Davis, who has closely overseen Houston's career since signing her at a New York nightclub in 1983, lined up such A-listers as R&B singers Alicia Keys and R. Kelly, and prolific tunesmith Diane Warren to write songs for Houston.


Keys wrote the single "Million Dollar Bill," which received a warm reception at radio stations earlier this month. But will that translate into big album sales, especially when there's a new crop of superstars in the spotlight?

"It's a Beyonce world," said Caryn Ganz, an editor at Rolling Stone magazine. "I don't think Whitney has a clear place anymore."

She predicted early sales would be strong, then taper off.

Arista agrees with the first half of that assessment. Industry sources expect the album will sell between 300,000 and 400,000 copies across the United States during its first week, easily taking the No. 1 spot during a late-summer slump.

"This is a cultural event," said Scott Seviour, the label's senior VP of marketing and artist development. "The enthusiasm and the energy for this release is palpable."

Such a start would outpace first-week tallies for recent releases by Kelly Clarkson (255,000) and Madonna (280,000) but fall short of those for Mariah Carey (463,000), Beyonce (482,000) and Britney Spears (505,000).

"Just Whitney," the only album that Davis did not work on, debuted at No. 9 in 2002 with 205,000 copies and sold about 730,000, overall. Houston's worldwide sales of albums, singles and videos stand at 170 million units, according to Arista.

The label has left no marketing stone unturned, targeting Houston's core fan base of 30- to 55-year-old women, as well as the gay and lesbian community, Seviour said.

For her part, Houston has adopted a low profile. As with her 2002 album, she has consented to only one big TV interview, this time on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which will air on September 14. Next Tuesday, she will tape a performance in New York's Central Park for ABC's breakfast show "Good Morning America."

A few magazine cover stories are in the works, including the next issue of Ebony, and there probably will be a concert tour next year, Seviour said.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Bill Trott)


The Sun [Money Section]: Houston, We Have a Money Problem
By TIM HEMING, Sun Money
Published: 28 Aug 2009

WHITNEY HOUSTON releases her first studio album for seven years in the US on Monday - but it could cost her a whopping £6.8million.

That's the amount leading accountancy firm AAT has calculated it will take for the pop queen to launch a comeback in these credit crunched times.

The legendary solo artist's record label faces shelling out £675,000 for an album, £5.6million for a world tour, an image update at £16k and nearly £11k for a team of hairdressers, stylists and make-up artists.

But with Whitney such a global star, even if the album flops, the investment should be handsomely recouped through tour ticket sales.

And the fitting first single to be released from the album? Million Dollar Bill!



In Her Own Words...

Urbanbridgez.com: Whitney's 'I Look To You': In Her Own Words

In the twenty-five years since she recorded her history-making debut album, Whitney Houston has become a superstar, a legend, an icon. One of the bestselling female artists of all time, she has sold over 140 million albums worldwide. She has been cited as an influence by the likes of Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, and Leona Lewis, and last year, Rolling Stone listed Houston as one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” But when her longtime mentor Clive Davis, currently Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide, first approached her about recording her first album since 2002’s Just Whitney, Houston didn’t think that she wanted to get back in the game.

“When Clive called me and said, ‘Are you ready?,’ I said, ‘Ready for what?,’” she recalls. ”

Fortunately, though, Davis was persistent—and the result, almost three years later, is the remarkable new album I Look to You. The disc matches Houston with some of the hottest writers and producers in pop and R&B (including R. Kelly, David Foster, Akon, Stargate, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz) for a set of songs full of her signature vocal power and passion. The album is built on a strong message of survival and perseverance, and reflects the hard-earned lessons of the high-profile personal challenges Houston has encountered in recent years.

A key song for the project was “Nothin’ But Love,” a propulsive dance groove co-produced by Fernando Garibay (Britney Spears, Lady GaGa). “If there was anything I wanted to say after some of the things I had gone through,” Houston says, “it was that I had nothing but love, regardless of the situation. Maybe that’s just the way I was raised, or maybe I had just gotten to the point of, it’s all behind me now and I’m moving forward.”

Davis, the album’s Co-Producer, brought R. Kelly’s composition “I Look to You” to Houston, and her reaction was instant—though she hadn’t been given all the information. “I heard the song, and I loved that it was so short and sweet,” she says. “And then I got to Chicago, and Robert told me there was still another verse to write and a bridge! So he stood there with me in the studio and wrote the second verse right off the top of his head. He closed his eyes, we kinda leaned on each other. As he was singing, I was praying, and the words just came out.”

The song (one of two Kelly contributed; he also delivered the defiantly funky “Salute“) would go on to give the album its title, and she credits Davis with understanding what the lyrics would mean to her. “When Clive heard ‘I Look to You,’ because he knows my background in gospel, he knew that song would put it all in check for me,” she says.

The relationship between Houston and Davis goes all the way back to 1983, when he signed the young artist to Arista Records. He oversaw the development and marketing of her thirteen-million-selling debut, Whitney Houston. After all these years, he remains so close to the singer that she refers to him as “my father in the industry.”

“Clive and I are partners,” says Houston. “He still loves music, still loves lyrics and melodies. He’s one of the few people who still has that gift of knowing what song fits with what voice. Clive is able to go beyond the personality and see what’s inside a person, what really motivates them.”

“To be reunited with Whitney is so fulfilling,” adds Davis. “The album provides the most exciting challenge I’ve ever had and whatever happens, I know it’s very special. Its music and her voice will once again impact millions all over the world for many years to come.”

Even with a few strong songs in motion, though, Houston still wasn’t sure that she had found the direction she was looking for. Surprisingly, it’s the most light-hearted moment on I Look to You—the disco-flavored roller-skating jam “Million Dollar Bill“—which she considers the turning point.

“I worked with Alicia Keys on that one,” she says, “and it was probably the most fun, but it also felt like I was working with someone who understood me, who could relate to me, singer to singer. At that point, I knew that it was coming together, that this was the album that I wanted, and that it was going to get done after two-and-a-half years in the making.”

Akon, another 21st-century hitmaker joined forces with Houston for “Like I Never Left.” She notes that the singer was a favorite among the friends of her daughter, Bobbi Kristina; “they all had his songs as their ring tones,” she says. Houston praises the “island feel” of Akon’s work, and adds that when she heard “Like I Never Left,” she thought, “that sounds like it could be an album title for me.”

Perhaps the most memorable recording session came on the powerhouse ballad “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” written by Diane Warren. The song reunited Houston with producer David Foster, who worked with her on the incomparable soundtrack to the 1992 film The Bodyguard, one of the biggest selling albums in history. Foster’s home was damaged in the Malibu fires of
2007, and when Houston came in to record her vocal, he was working out of a small apartment.

“Basically, I recorded in an office, next to the bathroom, with some sheets up near the microphone,” she says. “It was totally different from doing ‘I Will Always Love You’ in a beautiful studio, or ‘I Learned From the Best’ in David’s beautiful home. But when I listened to my vocal, it was real, it was passionate—which is most unusual when you’re singing next to a bathroom! “I wasn’t thinking only in terms of myself,” she continues. “I was thinking about other people and other struggles. I thought about becoming a single mother, I thought about my mother, my cousin Dionne, my sisters-in-law. I thought about people with sicknesses, people who triumph in the face of adversity. The simplicity and strength that came out in my singing made me know how strong that song could be for a lot of people.”

One of the most welcome elements of I Look to You is hearing Houston reconnecting with the dance floor and delivering uptempo songs with finesse and joy. Even the album’s lone cover—Leon Russell’s immortal “A Song For You,” which has been recorded by greats from Ray Charles to the Carpenters to Donny Hathaway—begins at its traditional, stately pace but then breaks out into a celebratory, irresistible club beat.

Houston says that she enjoyed bringing that side of her singing out again, but that her heart will always be with the slower, more emotional numbers. “I love the uptempo songs, but I’m a balladeer,” she says. “I can take a ballad and it gets in my heart, and I can understand where it’s coming from.”

Most of all, Whitney Houston believes that she is a link in a chain of vocal tradition, and that I Look to You is one more extension of the sounds she was raised with. “I hope that the gospel tradition in my voice—which is just my soul—that it comes out, and that it is heard and felt by those who come after me.”

: 28 AUGUST 2009

Billboard Chart Update...

The Billboard update for the week ending 5 September 2009:

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Up to No.56 (from No.72) - 3 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - Up to No.56 (from No.72) - 3 weeks on chart.

Hot 100 - Re-Entry at No.99 - 2 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Down to No. 26 (from No.23) - 5 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - Down to No. 26 (from No.23) - 5 weeks on chart;
Hot Adult R&B Airplay - Up to No.6 (from No.8) - 5 weeks on chart;
Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop - Down to No.35 (from No.32) - 3 weeks on chart;
Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks - Up to No.23 (from No.24) - 3 weeks on chart;


The great reviews for Whitney Houston's 'I Look To You' album are coming in fast - go to the 'I Look To You' Album Reviews page to read what Billboard, LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today and Chicago Sun Times had to say.

Industry Looks To Whitney...

USA Today: Music industry looks to Whitney, likes what it hears
By Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY

When Whitney Houston's first album in seven years arrives Monday, it'll launch what's sure to be one of the most closely watched comeback campaigns in decades.
Since the release of 2002's Just Whitney, Houston has had more publicity for personal drama — her rocky marriage to Bobby Brown, her stints in drug rehab — than for the formidable talents that brought the singer fame in the '80s. But industry insiders are rooting for Houston and seem cautiously optimistic that fans will be similarly inclined.

Certainly, Houston's label, Arista, is pulling out all the stops. Originally scheduled to arrive Sept. 1, I Look to You has been pushed up a day, which makes it eligible for next year's Grammy Awards and extends the window for crucial first-week sales.

Houston is set to tape a live performance Tuesday in Central Park to air the following day on Good Morning America, and she sits down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sept. 14.

Clive Davis, who signed Houston as a teenager and oversaw her rise, enlisted top writers and producers, from younger urban icons such as StarGate and Akon to adult-contemporary giants Diane Warren and David Foster.

This summer, Davis held "listening sessions" in New York, Los Angeles and London, playing tracks for celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and Jane Fonda. "There was a roaring ovation after every song," he says. Several major media outlets, including USA TODAY, have given the album positive reviews.

The public reception will be more relevant to the album's success, of course. Singles I Look to You and Million Dollar Bill were, respectively, sent to urban radio in July and pop and rhythm formats in August. Both achieved most-added status. Davis points out that Bill "beat out Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus on top 40, which has a young demographic."

With that kind of rollout, "I think (I Look to You) will be No. 1 the week it comes out," says Keith Caulfield, senior chart manager at Billboard. "And we should be surprised if it's not a solid seller going into Christmas."

Caulfield concedes that a solid seller in today's market isn't what it was at Houston's peak: "Find me an artist that could sell 10 million right now. But people who still buy albums, as opposed to iTune tracks, tend to be older consumers, and that could work in Whitney's favor."

So could positioning Houston as a survivor, says Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis. "America loves a redemption story. If (Whitney) tells her story and seems in a good place, people will respond to that."

Warren has little doubt that fans will receive both Houston and her music with open arms.

"Look at what happened to Michael Jackson," Warren says. "That could have been Whitney if she hadn't straightened her life out. But she has, thank God, and we all want her to win."

: 27 AUGUST 2009

Taiwan Promotion...

Whitney Houston looking stunning in this promotional advertisement for 'I Look To You':

Whitney's New Look...

Variety: New 'Look' for Whitney Houston
Album crafted as year's biggest comeback story


Anybody looking to fashion a narrative for Whitney Houston on the eve of the release of her first album of new material in seven years need look no further than the songs on "I Look to You."
With titles like "Million Dollar Bill," "Nothin' but Love," "Like I Never Left" and "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," themes of undying love, unyielding faith, triumph over adversity and defiance against the "doubters and the haters" point to an album (to be released Monday by Arista) custom-crafted to frame Houston as the year's biggest comeback story.

It won't be an easy task. Her last mainstream studio effort, 2002's "Just Whitney," peaked at No. 9 on Billboard's Top 200 current album chart, selling some 730,000 units. By contrast, Houston's last No. 1 album, the soundtrack for "The Bodyguard," topped the chart for 20 weeks in 1992-93 and sold 42 million discs, according to Gary Trust, charts manager for Billboard.

What "Just Whitney" didn't have was the careful, nurturing guidance of Clive Davis, who signed Houston to Arista in 1983 and has been behind her most successful recordings. Davis coaxed Houston out of semi-retirement with a phone call 3½ yeas ago. "I just said, 'It's time,' " Davis told Daily Variety. "I was getting so much mail literally from all over the world. People wanted their Whitney. They missed her; they missed what she stood for, and I just relayed that to her."

As he did with her first album -- "Whitney Houston" (1985), which topped the Billboard 200 chart for 14 consecutive weeks, making it the bestselling debut album by a female artist -- Davis spent more than 2½ years compiling material for the new package designed to best showcase her talents. "What we have tried to stand for is great songs done by a great vocalist," he said. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Songwriters and producers on the disc include proven hitmakers like Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, Diane Warren and David Foster. It includes a mix of uptempo numbers, power ballads, dance grooves, the proverbial duet and even a classic cover, Leon Russell's "A Song for You." The album has been the centerpiece of a carefully calibrated campaign by the label dating back to June, when a timer on Houston's official website, Whitneyhouston.com, began counting the days, hours and minutes leading up to the album's launch. It could also be seen as the countdown to the relaunch of Houston's career.

Despite her chart-busting success in the 1980s and '90s, Houston's star has dimmed in the new millennium amid rumors of substance abuse, flighty behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown that ended in divorce in 2006.The slow build for "I Look to You" began in earnest at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party in February, when Houston followed perfs by Barry Manilow, Jennifer Hudson and the Kings of Leon with a closing medley in front of a packed house of pop royalty and rising stars, including Paul McCartney, Prince, Quincy Jones, Babyface, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Katy Perry.

"She came on after midnight," Davis recalled, in front of a room full of "gilt-edged, class-A celebrities. Everybody stayed." Jamie Foxx reportedly shouted, "She killed it!"

In July, Davis hosted a trio of listening sessions for the new album in London, New York and L.A. that were designed to reintroduce the singer to the public. Invitees included "tastemakers, industry people, radio sales, critics and music writers," said Scott Seviour, senior VP marketing and artist development, RCA Music Group. As at Davis' party, the celeb quotient was high at all three events, including Martha Stewart, Dionne Warwick and Diane Sawyer (to whom Houston uttered the infamous "crack is whack" remark in a 2002 interview) in New York and Stevie Wonder and Jane Fonda in L.A.

Two singles were released on the airwaves last week, "I Look to You," targeting the urban marketplace, and "Million Dollar Bill," sent to Top 40 radio. There was also a free giveaway of the title track to anyone who visited Whitneyhouston.com last week between Tuesday and Friday. On Monday, the album became available as an official stream on Houston's website.

Online previews of the album have been mixed but largely positive, with the L.A Times describing Houston's vocals as "more brawny than soaring these days." USA Today declared the disc "worth the wait."

Seviour said the label plans on shipping 600,000-700,000 units to retailers. "If this was five years ago, we'd probably be shipping 1.3 million records," he said. "But because digital is such a variable, and it's unlimited, the (shipping) number doesn't look that big." Since both Seviour and Davis see the album as loaded with singles potential, digital downloads could make up for less-than-stellar disc sales.

With No. 1 debuts over the course of 2009 mostly in the low six-digit range, industry watchers are keeping a close eye on the album's opening salvo. Eminem's "Relapse" has been the only album to breach a half million in sales (608,000) during the calendar year, with U2 the next closest at 484,000, according to Trust. The last artist to top a million was Lil Wayne in June 2008, said Trust. There are currently no plans for Houston to tour, and the label, with the help of PMK-HBH, is limiting Houston's exposure to a few key TV appearances for now. Houston will perform Sept. 1 on "Good Morning America," which has been trumpeting the singer's appearance for weeks, and she'll also be on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which will devote the entire hour to the singer on Sept. 14.

"I'm sure that she will have more live engagements," said Davis, "but I'm more interested in her doing these shows. When she does television engagements, you're talking about reaching millions of people, not 15,000. She's really more akin to Streisand than she is a rock artist. You're not going to get Whitney Houston doing one-nighters."

Questions regarding Houston's health and stamina, or whether she has anything to prove, were brushed aside by Davis. "I'm not trying to sugarcoat anything," he assured, "but she did speak at length at those presentations. And don't forget she did perform at my Grammy party last February."

As to whether Houston's career can thrive in today's pop paradigm, Davis -- who has a hand in reviving and reinventing the careers of Carlos Santana and Rod Stewart -- underscored Houston's timeless appeal. "She's in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Streisand -- there are just a handful who are the voices of all time. Plus, she looks great."

: 26 AUGUST 2009

On Set...

Whitney Houston pictured on the set of her new video, 'Million Dollar Bill':


US store Walmart have confirmed they will be stocking Whitney Houston's 'I Look To You' next week after initial concerns they would withold the sale of the album.  A Walmart rep confirmed “Walmart will in fact be selling Whitney’s new album in all stores 8/31. We’re excited about Whitney’s new album!” via Twitter.

: 25 AUGUST 2009

Streaming Album...

Whitney Houston's 'I Look To You' can be heard in its entirety at her newly designed official site, www.whitneyhouston.com - check it out.


This new promotional picture of Whitney Houston has been made available today - expect it to feature in the artwork of the new album out next week in the US and in most countries around the world.

Million Dollar Release...

'Million Dollar Bill' is available from today itunes in the US to download.

Instant Thoughts...

Los Angeles Times: Whitney Houston's 'I Look to You': Instant track-by-track thoughts
August 24, 2009 | 3:01 pm

Just in time for Grammy consideration, and a week earlier than expected, Whitney Houston’s comeback effort, “I Look to You,” has made its way to the Web as an official stream. The album will officially be available on Aug. 31.

Times pop music chief Ann Powers will provide a thorough analysis of the effort in the coming days, but Pop & Hiss is getting the conversation started now. Here’s some insta-track-by-track thoughts. All of the thoughts below were written based solely on one listen. Pausing, however, was allowed.

1. “Million Dollar Bill.” This is a refreshing album opener, as it’s right in Houston’s comfort zone. There was the fear that Houston might try to belt one right out of the park from the start, what with Alicia Keys listed as the songwriter, and Swizz Beatz, whose credits include everyone from Beyoncé to Jay-Z, leading the production credits. That’s not the case, as it’s a swift and easy retro R&B cut. In fact, Houston returns with an album opener that feels lifted direct from the '70s. That’s not an accident, as it features a sample of Loleatta Holloway’s mid-'70s cut “We’re Getting Stronger (The Longer We Stay Together).” Here’s a handy-dandy comparison.

2. “Nothin’ But Love.” Houston’s sound gets a little more modernized here, courtesy of Timbaland associate Nathaniel “Danja” Hills. It’s upbeat, and it starts as a tale of survival and strength, with Houston generically referencing “all the things that I’ve been through” in the song’s opening moments, and offering a casual brush-off to the “haters” as the song builds to the chorus. But don’t go looking for personal details, as the song fits in nicely with the '80s synth revival currently on pop radio, and is a love letter to family bonds. A nice touch, though, is the sparse second verse, framing a wiser, raspier-sounding Houston than we’re used to.

3. “Call You Tonight.” We’re settling in here for a relatively mid-tempo, easy-listening R&B pop record. Houston’s voice is framed by what sounds like some heavily produced acoustic strings, and a brief, mournful guitar. It is, however, a nice showcase for her vocal command, letting her notes quiver and trail off ever so slightly.

4. “I Look to You.” We’ve heard and discussed this one before, and it’s not any more impressive on the album. The production is downright cheesy, with sparkling, futuristic effects twinkling in the background throughout the song’s full four-plus minutes. This is an end-credits song.

5. “Like I Never Left.” Akon marks his territory, announcing his production hand in the song’s opening moments. He would have been better to keep his mouth shut, as his studio-enhanced vocals laden this comeback tale with clichés. Akon doesn’t really sound the lover, more the Whitney fan, cheerleading her return.

6. “A Song for You.” The classic Leon Russell tune, perhaps best known in its Donny Hathaway cover, and now an “American Idol” audition staple. Give Houston, who has tackled the song before, credit for playing with the arrangement, turning it into an upbeat pop number. But this version isn’t going to bring anyone to tears, and I’m not sure it’s going to bring anyone to the dance floor. It made me miss Houston’s earlier, shout-to-the-rafters rendition.

7. “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.” Another one we’ve heard before. Over time, this one has grown on me as a powerful statement of survival, while the title track isn’t something I need to hear again. It suffers again from the random electronic skittles in the background, but if Houston is no longer straining her vocals to the max, there’s something very resilient in the way the song builds, and she sounds sturdier here than on any other track.

8. “Worth It.” With “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” building to a show-stopping finale, “Worth It” doesn’t make an effort to maintain the momentum. Instead, we divert back to a hand-clap-laden ditty. Honestly, after the personal take of the last ballad – a should-have-been album closer – this is hitting me as filler.

9. “For the Lovers.” Now it’s becoming more apparent why Arista / RCA teased with the ballads, as when Houston slides into Top-40 mode, the songs are loaded with so much production, they sometimes feel as if they could be sung just as successfully by any number of pop stars. That being said, this is the most forceful dance cut on the record, and it’s got club-hit written all over it. Compared to recent Mariah Carey and Madonna tracks we’ve heard, this is far a more aggressive, groovy and catchy tune.

10. “I Got You.” Akon returns with his second cut on the album, and it’s definitely a more interesting one than “Like I Never Left,” with its finger-picked strings and grand, synthesized orchestra. Houston’s vocals are more brawny than soaring these days, and the song’s brick heavy production is built to withstand them

11. “Salute.” R. Kelly also fares better on his second cut, although the backing singers are on equal ground as Houston here. But it’s a biting, angry send-off for the album, an acerbic wave goodbye to a lover, as well as any doubters. “Don’t call it comeback,” Houston forces out through gritted teeth. “I’ve been here for years – through all the drama and the pain.” While gossip hounds will want to parse the lyrics, the album could have used more of this – it’s a fiery, passionate Houston, and one ready to tackle, confront and conquer her long absence from the pop landscape.

Be sure to stay tuned to Pop & Hiss, as Powers will offer a deeper look at the album, and its place in the Whitney canon, in the coming days.

-- Todd Martens


First Listen...

Billboard: Whitney Houston's 'I Look To You': First Listen
by Gail Mitchell, L.A. | August 24, 2009 10:27 EDT

Finally, the moment is almost here: the release of Whitney Houston's long-anticipated new studio album after a seven-year break. "I Look to You" (Arista/RCA Music Group) will arrive in stores Aug. 31.

Here's a track-by-track rundown of what's in store:

1. "Million Dollar Bill" (3:24)
Opening the proceedings is this club jam that practically screams remix. Produced by Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz, it's accented by a catchy hook on which Houston emphatically notes, "If he makes you feel like a million dollar bill, say it." The song contains a sample from "We're Getting Stronger" as performed by Loleatta Holloway.

2. "Nothin' But Love" (3:35)
Behind the production helm are uptempo specialists Fernando Garibay and Nate "Danja" Hills. Houston proclaims that after everything she's been through, she has nothin' but love for family, teachers and "anyone who tried to hate on me/ Even the ones who tried to break me take me down."

3. "Call You Tonight" (4:09)
This is a lilting mid-tempo tune about love, a cornerstone subject in Houston's storied career. Her assured, distinctive vocals are front and center on this Stargate production.

4. "I Look to You" (4:26)
The first single and title track is one of two R. Kelly compositions on the album. It's a simple, inspirational ballad that comes closest to Houston's iconic "I Will Always Love You"; co-produced by Tricky Stewart and Harvey Mason Jr.

5. "Like I Never Left" featuring Akon (3:49)
Akon produced this easygoing, mid-tempo groove about reconciling lovers. His musical tenor is the perfect complement to Houston's resonating, gospel-honed voice. She also co-wrote the song.

6. "A Song for You" (4:11)
The album's only cover is a classic penned by Leon Russell and recorded by a number of artists, most notably Donny Hathaway. Houston puts her own stamp on the track, starting slow and then revving up the tempo. Remindful of Houston's 1993 cover of "I'm Every Woman," this is another Stargate-produced track.

7. "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" (3:40)
It wouldn't be a Whitney Houston album without at least a couple of ballads. This dramatic anthem -- heavy on the piano, drums and synths -- was penned by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster.

8. "Worth It" (4:39)
An understated but still sassy and saucy Houston goes to work on this mid-tempo song about knowing when love is worth it. She sings, "This is for the lovers just getting on their feet; for the lovers 20 years deep." It's produced by Eric Hudson (Kanye West, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige).

9. "For the Lovers" (4:13)
Houston ratchets up the beat on this outing, whose contemporary, infectious rhythms signal another potential club and/or top 40 single. Nate "Danja" Hills produced.

10. "I Got You" (4:12)
With its atmospheric backdrop, this cut is a heart-felt declaration about the never-fading chemistry between two former romantic partners. Akon steps back in as producer on this mid-tempo selection, also co-written by Houston.

11. "Salute" (4:10)
Minimal accompaniment -- keyboard, drums and guitar -- provides the backdrop on the second of R. Kelly's contributions. With conviction in her voice, Houston is ready to shed no more tears as she salutes a departing lover. You can fill in the blank.

: 24 AUGUST 2009

iPhone Application...

Sony have released a free iPhone/iPod Touch Whitney Houston application that features a discography, latest news and biography - as well as counts down the final few days until the release of 'I Look To You'.  Download it from itunes:


: 23 AUGUST 2009

Return to Germany...

Whitney Houston is set to appear on Germany's biggest TV show, 'Wetten, dass..?' on 3 October and is expected to perform 'Million Dollar Bill'.

[Thanks André]

Billboard Chart Update...

The Billboard update for the week ending 29 August 2009:

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Down to No.72 - 2 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - Down to No.72 - 2 weeks on chart.

Hot 100 Airplay - Down to No.74 (from No.73) - 2 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Down to No. 23 (from No.19) - 4 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - Down to No. 23 (from No.19) - 4 weeks on chart;
Hot Adult R&B Airplay - Up to No.8 (from No.9) - 4 weeks on chart;
Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop - Remains at No.32 - 2 weeks on chart;
Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks - Up to No.24 (from No.25) - 2 weeks on chart;

Spanish Love

Whitney Houston is featured on the cover of Spanish magazine, Shangay.

[Thanks Josep]

Not Crazy...

TMZ: Whitney Houston -- I'm Your Crazy Tonight!
Posted Aug 21st 2009 1:15PM by TMZ Staff

She was talkative, polite and super-friendly -- but for some reason Whitney Houston told our photog that she looked "crazy" while she was rollin' through LaGuardia airport in NY yesterday.

Whitney Houston: Click to watch

Whitney and daughter Bobbi Kristina plowed through the airport with their little doggie, where she joked about her appearance. We thought she looked pretty good.

Flying In...

Whitney Houston pictured Thursday night flying into LaGuardia Airport, New York.

: 21 AUGUST 2009

Oprah Interview...

BBC News: Whitney Set for Oprah Interview

Singer Whitney Houston is to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show, giving her first full-length interview in almost seven years.  The 46-year-old will be the first guest of the US chat show's new series on 14 September to promote her new album, I Look to You.

On her website, Winfrey called the star's appearance "the most anticipated music interview of the decade".

Houston's last TV interview was in 2002 with ABC's Diane Sawyer.  During that interview, the star famously addressed questions about her drug use by saying: "Let's get one thing straight. Crack is cheap.   "I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack."

The singer, who enjoyed huge success in the 1980s and 1990s with hits including I Wanna Dance With Somebody and I Will Always Love You, has not released a studio album since 2003.  She is one of the best-selling artists of all time but her career stalled as she battled drugs and endured a troubled marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

I Look to You is being released on 31 August in the US and in October in the UK.

[Thanks Dan]

Grammy Race...

New York Newsday: Whitney Houston looks to get a jump on Grammy race
August 20, 2009 By GLENN GAMBOA glenn.gamboa@newsday.com

With this year's pushed-up Grammy deadline arriving Aug. 31, a lot of last-minute contenders will be landing this week and next in hopes of snagging some of that Grammy gold.

The most talked-about entrant is obviously Whitney Houston's comeback album, "I Look to You," which moved to an unusual Monday release of Aug. 31 to beat the deadline. Her chances got a lot better in a lot of peoples' minds after her groovy female-empowerment single "Million Dollar Bill" - co-written by Grammy fave Alicia Keys - hit the airwaves.

The delay of Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," originally slated for a Tuesday release, but now pushed back until Sept. 29, doesn't hurt, either.

However, Houston and other contenders, such as U2 and Green Day, will have to get past two upcoming collections ripe for Grammy love and arriving Tuesday. Both of them even have links to Grammy queen Norah Jones. Willie Nelson's "American Classic" features the legend singing American Songbook classics such as "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "Since I Fell for You," and a duet with Jones on "Baby It's Cold Outside." Perhaps even more Grammy-ready is Smokey Robinson's "Time Flies When You're Having Fun," which includes his take on Jones' "Don't Know Why" as the first single.


X Factor...

UK Press Association: Whitney Houston on The X Factor?

Whitney Houston is apparently set to perform on The X Factor.  The pop diva - who is in the midst of launching her comeback - will perform a song from her new album on the TV talent show, reports the Daily Mirror.

And it seems Whitney, who releases her new album I Look To You later this month, might even hold a master class for this year's crop of finalists.

: 20 AUGUST 2009

The Most Anticipated Music Interview of the Decade...

New York Daily News: Oprah Winfrey will interview Whitney Houston to open new season of hit daytime talk show
Wednesday, August 19th 2009, 4:38 PM

Whitney Houston speaks!  And she will probably sing, too, when the trouble-plagued songstress goes head-to-head with daytime queen Oprah Winfrey in September.

Winfrey will launch the 24th season of her hit daytime talk show Sept. 14 (seen locally on WABC/Ch. 7, at 4 p.m.) with an exclusive interview of Houston. Winfrey called the visit "the most anticipated music interview of the decade."  She's not lying.

Houston, once one of the biggest stars in music who also made a foray into acting, has been plagued by tabloid tales and a troubled marriage to Bobby Brown.  Indeed, she's made more ugly headlines than anything else in recent years.  The Winfrey appearance — and confessional, some watchers no doubt hope — is her first interview in nearly seven years.  Her last, the memorable sitdown with Diane Sawyer on ABC in 2002, had Houston dealing with allegations of drug use and more.

"First of all, let's get one thing straight," Houston responded to Sawyer's questions about drug addiction. "Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Okay? We don't do crack. We don't do that. Crack is wack."

Houston, one of the biggest selling music artists in the world, divorced Brown in 2007 and has been attempting to rebuild her singing career since.

Houston's new CD, "I Look To You," hits stores Aug. 31 and is already being billed as her big comeback.


R Kelly...

Rap-Up.com: R. Kelly's Advice for Whitney Houston: 'Go Get Clean'

R. Kelly and Whitney Houston may have their differences, but at the end of the day, it’s all love.

The Pied Piper of R&B and superstar diva worked together on Houston’s new album I Look to You. R. Kelly crafted two records, including the title track and “Salute.”

Houston spoke about her collaborator at a listening session in Beverly Hills last month, hinting that it was somewhat of a challenge working with The R. “Some people just have their own world and R. Kelly, he has his own world,” she joked. “I kinda stepped in and stepped out for a minute.”

At a listening for his album, Untitled, earlier this week in Chicago, R. Kelly turned the tables, revealing the advice he gave his friend to stage a successful comeback. “Go get clean and go get refreshed,” he told Houston. “If you sing [like you did on] ‘I Will Always Love You,’ you’ll be right back on top.”

Kellz said the two share a sibling-like relationship. “That’s like my sister,” he continued, lovingly referring to her as “Buckethead.” “We get into it all the time. Toni [Braxton] didn’t understand it either.”


New York Daily News features a small segment about Whitney's 'I Look To You' release in a report by gossip columnists Laura Schreffler and Amanda Sidman.  The relevant excerpt about Whitney reads:

Houston is hoping the record's second single, the Alicia Keys/Swizz Beatz-penned track "Million Dollar Bill," will make her some big bucks - it's being released just five weeks after "I Look to You."

Says Houston's rep: "Our strategy has always been to release a song to urban formats ('I Look to You') and a song to pop formats ('Million Dollar Bill'). The reviews [for 'I Look to You'] have been glowing. In fact, Billboard has said this single 'signals the long-awaited return of a true diva.'"



'Salute', the R Kelly penned track from Whitney's upcoming 'I Look To You' CD has leaked today - the song is getting positive press from fans and bloggers.

: 19 AUGUST 2009

Million Review...

Digital Spy: So, this new Whitney Houston single...
Monday, August 17 2009, 17:23 BST
By Nick Levine, Music Editor

There were rumours that a Diane Warren ballad called 'I Didn't Know My Own Strength' was going to be Whitney's comeback single, but thankfully that turns out to have been rubbish or Clive changed his mind or Whitney put her foot down... Whatever, her actual new single is called 'Million Dollar Bill' and it's out in the UK on October 5.

Written by Alicia Keys and produced by Swiss Beatz (probably best known for Beyoncé's 'Check On It' and 'Ring The Alarm'), it's a midtempo disco track with an unabashedly feelgood message. "If he makes you feel like a million dollar bill," Whitney sings on the chorus, "Say oh-oh-oh, say oh-oh-oh". The Voice, as we noted when we wrote about 'Strength', is deeper and raspier than you might remember, but she's still capable of going for a money note.

Our verdict? Well, 'Million Dollar Bill' won't be storming any barns in a hurry, but it's a classy, dignified and thoroughly likeable comeback effort. Whitney, it's good to have you back.

: 17 AUGUST 2009

Million Dollar Release...

'Million Dollar Bill' is scheduled for UK single release on 5 October, two weeks ahead of the album which, as reported here last week, is now released in the UK on 19 October.

Whitney Strictly for the Club...

Exclusive: the Sound Off Music Blog by DJ Taj features the following remixes for you to stream/listen to:

I Didn’t Know My Own Strength (Peter Rauhofer Remix)
I Didn’t Know My Own Strength (Daddy’s Groove Remix)
Mega-Mix (Jody Den Broeder/Warren Rigg Remix)

DJ Taj comments: Ladies & gentlemen, the remixes have arrived!!! Whitney Houston has just released a remix package for her dance music fans with 2 new remixes of “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” (produced by Peter Rauhofer & Daddy’s Groove) and a Jody Den Broeder/Warren Rigg Club Mega-Mix. This is what we’ve been waiting for from Whitney!!! All 3 of these remixes are BLAZIN’ HOT and take Whitney to that next level that has been lacking with the original version of her new music. Goes to show how much of a difference a good producer can make.

The mixes featured come from an upcoming digital remix pack that is due with the following tracks:

- I Didn't Know My Own Strength (Peter Rauhofer Club Mix) (7:41)
- I Didn't Know My Own Strength (Daddy's Groove Club Mix) (7:24)
- The Mega Mix (Jody den Broeder / Warren Rigg Club Mix) (8:42)
- The Mega Mix (Jody den Broeder / Warren Rigg Extended Club Mix) (9:23)

The Mega Mix contains samples of the following Whitney classics:

I Will Always Love You
Greatest Love Of All
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
It's Not Right But It's Okay
I'm Every Woman


Expect a Whitney Houston video soon - Arista have been reviewing ideas from different directors in recent days.

Sounding Good...

Detroit Free Press: Whitney Houston's Sounding Good

The first thing you notice about Whitney Houston's new single is that you've never noticed a Whitney Houston single like this before.

With a bright, organic vibe lifted straight from late-'70s R&B, "Million Dollar Bill" promptly makes its point: After seven tumultuous years off the recording scene, Houston intends to return with a fiery grace.

The upbeat, feel-good cut -- streaming at WhitneyHouston.com -- follows a pair of leaked ballads ("I Look to You" and "I Didn't Know My Own Strength") that flummoxed fans who were craving a more rousing comeback.

"Million Dollar Bill" is the answer they needed. Co-written by Alicia Keys, the disco-touched tune is the official first single from the album "I Look to You," arriving Aug. 31. Most promising is the apparent state of Houston's voice. Silky but assertive, limber but in control, Houston provides a blast of hope simply by sounding good.

: 16 AUGUST 2009

New Photo...

whitneyhouston.com: New Whitney Photo

We have a new photo of Whitney that is really fantastic and we wanted to share it with all of you. Hope you enjoy!

Important Good Morning America Performance Details...

whitneyhouston.com: More Details on Whitney's GMA Performance!

We have some additional details of Whitney's anticipated performance on Good Morning America this September. Be sure to mark your calendars for this once in a lifetime event!

Good Morning America
September 1, 2009
Whitney Houston Live Performance
Central Park, NYC
Enter at 69th Street and 5th Avenue
Gates open at 11am


Amazon UK are previewing 30 second clips of all the songs from the new 'I Look To You' set.  Follow the link if you can't 'stay strong'.



Hi Gary,

Whitney Houston and Madonna are making simultaneous returns to the charts, harkening back to the diva rivalry the two staged in the '80s. Which one of these pop stars has sold the most albums? Conflicting sources show one selling more than the other, and vice versa. I know you will have the most reliable information.


Neil Massey
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Ask Billboard...

Ask Billboard: Madonna vs. Whitney: Who's Sold More?

MATERIAL GIRL VS. EVERY WOMAN - Below is an extract from 'Ask Billboard' where a reader is asking about album sales by Whitney Houston and Madonna:

Hi Gary,

Whitney Houston and Madonna are making simultaneous returns to the charts, harkening back to the diva rivalry the two staged in the '80s. Which one of these pop stars has sold the most albums? Conflicting sources show one selling more than the other, and vice versa. I know you will have the most reliable information.


Neil Massey
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Hi Neil,

Houston and Madonna do indeed grace a number of charts this week, including the Billboard Hot 100, to which each superstar returns. See yesterday's Chart Beat for details.

As for who has sold the most albums since the singers' arrivals, let's use two sources. Because the pair enjoyed major successes prior to the advent of Nielsen SoundScan data in 1991, let's first look at Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) figures, which encompass the spans of both singers' entire extraordinary careers.

According to the RIAA, Madonna holds a slight edge over Houston. Madonna ranks 15th all-time with 63.5 million units certified. Houston places 20th with 54 million. (The Beatles lead with 170 million units certified).

Using Nielsen SoundScan data (again, since 1991), Madonna holds a much wider lead. She has sold 26,347,000 albums, compared to 9,489,000 for Houston. Part of the reason for the discrepancy is that Nielsen SoundScan categorizes 1992's "The Bodyguard" as a soundtrack, while the RIAA considers it a Houston album. It has sold 11,808,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. If we were to add that album's sales to Houston's other efforts, Madonna would still lead, as Houston's sum would be 21,297,000. And, to add further unavoidable confusion, "Waiting to Exhale" (5,100,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan) is considered by both sources to be a soundtrack, while "Evita" (2,000,000) is a soundtrack to SoundScan and a Madonna album for the RIAA. All told, Madonna would still lead even if those sets were included in each artist's totals.

Here are Madonna's 10 best-selling albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan:

5,777,000, "The Immaculate Collection" (1990)
3,837,000, "Ray of Light" (1998)
2,923,000, "Music" (2000)
2,309,000, "Bedtime Stories" (1994)
2,086,000, "Something to Remember" (1995)
1,890,000, "Erotica" (1992)
1,695,000, "Confessions on a Dance Floor" (2005)
1,385,000, "GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2" (2001)
725,000, "Hard Candy" (2008)
675,000, "American Life" (2003)

Here are the totals of Houston's five studio albums to date, plus her best-of and holiday sets:

2,753,000, "My Love Is Your Love" (1998)
1,728,000, "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (1990)
1,644,000, "The Greatest Hits" (2000)
1,038,000, "Whitney Houston" (1985)
972,000, "Whitney" (1987)
737,000, "Just Whitney" (2002)
433,000, "Holiday Album" (2003)

The next showdown is set. Houston releases "I Look to You" Aug. 25, and Madonna offers "Celebration," her third hits compilation, Sept. 29. The latter date is scheduled to feature new albums from two other female superstars, which should make for a notable scramble for the top of the Billboard 200: Mariah Carey releases "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" and Barbra Streisand returns with her first studio album since 2005, "Love Is the Answer." Female-led alternative rock act Paramore, featuring singer Hayley Williams, will also compete for the summit the same week with its sophomore set, "Brand New Eyes."

: 14 AUGUST 2009

Billboard Chart Update...

The Billboard update for the week ending 22 August 2009:

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - New Entry at No.71 - 1 week on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - New Entry at No.71 - 1 week on chart - Hot Shot Debut.

Hot 100 - New Entry at No.74 - 1 week on chart;
Hot 100 Airplay - New Entry at No.73 - 1 week on chart;

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Up to No. 19 (from No.20) - 3 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - Up to No.19 (from No.20) - 3 weeks on chart;
Hot Adult R&B Airplay - Up to No.9 (from No.13) - 3 weeks on chart;
Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop - New Entry at No.32 - 1 week on chart;
Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks - New Entry at No.25 - 1 week on chart;
Hot Digital Songs - New Entry at No.97 - 1 week on chart.

Chart Beat Facts...

Billboard Chart Beat:

STILL IN VOGUE: Madonna and Whitney Houston arrive on the Billboard Hot 100, upping their already impressive counts for career chart appearances.

With "Celebration," new at No. 71, her 55th entry, Madonna moves within one of Dionne Warwick for second-most Hot 100 hits among women.

At No. 74, "I Look to You" marks Houston's first Hot 100 hit since 2003 and her 38th overall. The bow lifts her past Mary J. Blige into a solo share for 10th-most charted titles among women in the Hot 100's history.

Here is an update look at the women who've made the most Hot 100 visits:

73, Aretha Franklin
56, Dionne Warwick
55, Madonna
53, Connie Francis
48, Brenda Lee
41, Barbra Streisand
40, Mariah Carey
40, Diana Ross
39, Janet Jackson
38, Whitney Houston
37, Mary J. Blige

Among all artists, Madonna ties the Beach Boys for a share of 13th place for most Hot 100 entries. Elvis Presley is the overall leader with 108 Hot 100 appearances.

"I Look to You," the title cut to Houston's album due Aug. 25, also returns her to the Adult Contemporary chart (No. 25) for the first time since 2003. On R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the R. Kelly-penned ballad pushes 20-19, while the new set's second single, "Million Dollar Bill," co-written by Alicia Keys, claims Hot Shot Debut honors at No. 71.

On the Hot 100, Madonna and Houston had made simultaneous Hot 100 starts twice before. On Aug. 17, 1985, Madonna unveiled the eventual No. 5-peaking "Dress You Up" at No. 36, and Houston debuted at No. 53 with "Saving All My Love for You," which would become her first No. 1.

On Feb. 19, 2000, Madonna arrived at No. 43 with "American Pie," and Houston began at No. 83 with "I Learned From the Best." Again, though Madonna launched at a higher spot, Houston's track would peak higher. The former title reached No. 29, the latter No. 27.

Rumour 1: Whitney To Sing 'Will You Be There'?...

TMZ: Usher & Whitney 'Will Be There' for Jacko
Posted Aug 13th 2009 1:15AM by TMZ Staff

No need to call a doctor -- Michael Jackson is about to be remade again ... but this time by John Mayer*, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston.

Larry King's wife Shawn tells us Usher, Dionne Warwick, Wyclef and Jermaine Jackson are joining Mayer, Richie and Houston in recording a remake of Jacko's "Will You Be There." Shawn, who is spearheading the tribute and sings on it as well, tells us she's not sure if Jennifer Hudson -- who sang the song at Michael's over-the-top memorial last month -- will be involved with the project, as she just gave birth.

The proceeds from the song will be split 50/50 between The Larry King Cardiac Foundation and LaToya Jackson an unspecified charity close to MJ.

*UPDATE: Mayer's rep denies he's a part of the project, saying, "John is currently in the studio working on his upcoming album, this report is false."

Rumour 2: X Factor Appearance?...

Telegraph: Madonna and Robbie Williams sign up for X Factor

Madonna and Robbie Williams will make appearances in the new season of The X Factor

The choreographer for the television talent show has reportedly let slip that the singers will act as mentors to contestants during filming.

Brian Friedman also revealed that Simon Cowell, the founder of the reality TV contest, has hired Whitney Houston and Rihanna, the Umbrella singer.

A source told The Sun that the details had not yet been officially revealed but Mr Friedman, 32, could not resist "blabbing" about the signings.

"Brian is really excited about this year's show because there are some great artists involved. He is proud to be part of it and admires Simon's ability to attract A-listers."

Madonna, Williams, Houston and Rihanna will give personal masterclasses to some of the contestants during the finals of the show, which starts later this month.

Last year mentors included the boyband Westlife, Take That's Gary Barlow and Mark Owen and R'n'B singer Beyoncé.

The revelations show that ITV producers have decided to dig deep into their budget as they compete with other programmes for viewers.

But the programme will no longer have to compete with Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday evenings. The BBC is to abandon its Sunday night results show for an extended Saturday slot to avoid any clash with the X Factor.

Couples will compete, face the public vote and have the dance-off all in a single show as the corporation attempts to make Saturday night ''Strictly night''.

It is understood that part of the reason for the change is the desire to avoid a possible clash with the X Factor results show, which may be shown on Sundays this year.

The new series of Strictly will begin in September with two special Friday night launch shows, but will switch to Saturdays only from then on.


: 13 AUGUST 2009

Good Morning America Concert Special...

Good Morning America: Grammy Award-Winning Superstar Whitney Houston's New Album, Legendary Career

The Multi-Talented Singer Will Perform on 'Good Morning America' on Sept. 2

The one and only Whitney Houston is coming to "GMA"! Houston, whose new album "I Look to You" will be released on Aug. 31, will perform on "Good Morning America."

You're invited to see Whitney Houston perform live in a free concert Tuesday, Sept. 1 in Central Park's Rumsey Playfield! Gates open at 11 a.m.

Then on Wednesday Sept. 2, don't miss the Whitney Concert Event on "Good Morning America!" Keep checking back for more details.

Houston is the most honored female artist of all time. She's the only artist ever to have seven consecutive multiplatinum albums, beating out even the Beatles.

Legendary music producer Clive Davis remembers Houston as that young girl who first gave us her remarkable sound, made famous in songs like "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You."

Just the name Whitney Houston brings to mind that voice: the musical range, the enormous range of emotion, and a kind of power that can make a perfect arrow out of just one note.

"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club called Sweet Waters right here in Manhattan ... it was such a stunning impact," Davis told "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer. "To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine."

Houston's first single, "You Give Good Love" went to number one on the Billboard charts. Then came a string of number one hits -- seven in all -- breaking a record set by the Beatles.

And now more than seven years since we last heard from Houston, she's releasing a new album.

The man who discovered her says he wants to show that Houston "still stands for the best of song writing, the best of singing -- and we know the public wants it."

"You won't forget it after you hear it," Davis said, calling the album a labor of love for all involved. "There is a song on this album which is called 'I Didn't Know My Own Strength' and it really speaks for Whitney. She tumbled but she didn't crumble."

Kevin Costner, her co-star from "The Bodyguard" says we'll be glad she's back.

"I knew this day was coming for her," he said.

Stay tuned to ABCNews.com for updates and more information about Whitney Houston on "GMA" and CLICK HERE to visit Whitney Houston's official Web site for more information about her new album.

GMA Dedicate Page to Whitney...

whitneyhouston.com: GMA Dedicates Entire Page to Whitney!

On the heels of Whitney's highly-anticipated new album, I Look To You, Good Morning America has put together an entire page focusing on the upcoming release and legendary career of Whitney Houston. The page is full of great Whitney videos, a "Whitney Through The Years" photo gallery and different news articles about her new album. If that's not enough to keep you busy, they also have a great teaser of Whitney's GMA performance for this September!

GMA Profile 'Classic Whitney'...

Good Morning America's new Whitney Houston page profiles classicwhitney.com in its links section!

UK Release...

Both HMV & Amazon UK report 'I Look To You' will receive its UK release on 19 October, 7 weeks after the US/International release of the album.  More details on the marketing plan that supports the delayed release to come soon.

MJ Concert Appearance Denied...

World Entertainment News Network: Madonna & Houston Deny Jackson Concert Reports

 star-studded tribute concert honouring late superstar MICHAEL JACKSON has been thrown into jeopardy after representatives for WHITNEY HOUSTON and MADONNA denied the singers have signed up to headline the show.

Plans to honour the late King Of Pop with a gig in Vienna, Austria next month (Sep09) were confirmed by Jermaine Jackson earlier this week (10Aug09). Jackson is co-ordinating the event with talk show host Larry King's wife Shawn.

Usher, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston were all confirmed as performers at the memorial show, in the grounds of the city's former imperial Schoenbrunn Palace, by Shawn King's spokesman Howard Rubenstein.

Producer Georg Kindel from World Awards Media, the company behind the event, also hinted that Queen Of Pop Madonna was set to pay tribute to the Thriller hitmaker.

But spokespersons for Houston and the Holiday hitmaker have hit back at reports of the stars' participation in the extravaganza, according to New York gossip column PageSix.
Madonna's rep Liz Rosenberg says, "It's not true. She's still on tour," while Houston's spokeswoman Jill Fritzo adds, "(No). Not that I am aware of." The concert will be broadcast live on TV and over 85,000 fans will be given the chance to attend. Ticket sales for The Tribute go on sale on 20 August (09).




Billboard: 'I Look To You' Single Review

Whitney Houston
I Look To You (4:21)
Producers: Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Emanuel Kiriakou, Harvey Mason Jr.
Writer: R. Kelly
Publishers: R. Kelly Publishing/Universal Music-Z Songs (BMI)

On the lead single from her first album in seven years, Whitney Houston is both vulnerable and in control. The singer re-enters the spotlight with a stoic ballad about rising again after a fall from grace, with all the literal resonance that brings. "As I lay me down/Heaven hear me now," Houston sings, punctuating each syllable with strong-willed aplomb. "After all that I've been through/ Who can I turn to?" The lyrics are penned by R. Kelly, himself no stranger to career downturns and revivals. And the minimalist production, which features a lone, sullen piano and soft synths, exists purely to cushion Houston's moving vocal performance. "I Look to You" stands firmly in the tradition of her most emotive hits ("Greatest Love of All," "I Will Always Love You") and signals the long-awaited return of a true diva - Monica Herrera

: 11 AUGUST 2009

Happy Birthday Whitney!

Whitney Houston's fans at Classic Whitney wish her a very Happy Birthday and a fantastic year ahead.

: 9 AUGUST 2009

Million Dollar Bill...

Whitney Houston's 'Million Dollar Bill' will be released to US radio stations tomorrow, 7 August.  The song is already creating a buzz tonight over the internet.  'Million Dollar Bill; is the second single from the upcoming album, 'I Look To You' and was written by Alicia Keys and produced by Swizz Beatz.

Billboard Chart Update...

The Billboard update for the week ending 15 August 2009:

Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles - New Entry at No.18 - 1 week on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Up to No. 20 (from No.27) - 2 weeks on chart;
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay - Up to No.20 (from No.27) - 2 weeks on chart;
Hot Adult R&B Airplay - Up to No.13 (from No.23) - 2 weeks on chart.

: 6 AUGUST 2009

Rolling Stone...

whitneyhouston.com: Rolling Stone Preview's I Look To You

Rolling Stone features a great article on Whitney's new album I Look To You, available everywhere August 31st. The preview article gives a snapshot into the many different producers and songwriters who contributed to the new album and insight into a few album tracks. Check it out below!

Michael Jackson Tribute?...

MTV: Jacko Tribute Album? Stars to cover MJ's greatest hits for King of Pop tribute album...
10:57, Wednesday, 5 August 2009

A hoard of stars including Madonna and Beyonce have been rumoured to appear on a tribute album for Michael Jackson.

The album, which is set to feature the likes of Whitney Houston, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie will see the artists perform many of Jacko’s most well-known hits from his career which spanned almost five decades.

Britain’s Got Talent star Shaheen Jafargholi is also said to be appearing on the album after the Welsh schoolboy wowed the world at MJ’s memorial service with his rendition of the Smokey Robinson classic Who’s Loving You.

The memorial service at the Staples Center in LA last month is reportedly the main inspiration behind the tribute album after stars such as Mariah Carey and Usher performed cover versions of Jackson’s hits.

A source has said: "The idea came from the memorial concert. Many fans asked if cover versions would be released and it seemed a wonderful idea. Some of the biggest stars in the world have indicated they'd like to take part to pay their own respects and tributes to the King of Pop.”

"This covers album is sure to be a massive worldwide hit with fans and could raise a fortune for Michael's favourite charities."

A source has also told The Daily Star that the UK’s very own Robbie Williams is being lined up to deliver his rendition of the Jacko classic Man In The Mirror whilst his former band Take That are rumoured to be covering ABC, Working Day and Night or Don't Stop Til You Get Enough.

The Millennium hit-maker has already stated that he is working on a King Of Pop tribute song for his forthcoming album and has reportedly been asked to replace Jacko at the O2 after Michael sadly passed away before his This Is It tour.

Whitney Houston who is gearing up to release her new album I Look To You is also rumoured to fill the gap at the arena in London.



'Looking' for Radio Reception...

New York Daily News: Whitney Houston's 'I Look to You' figures for a strong radio reception
By David Hinckley

Monday, August 3rd 2009, 9:44 AM

Whitney Houston conquered every corner of radio on her first go-round, which it's hard to believe started 25 years ago.

She was America's Sweetheart, with a voice and face so angelic it almost seemed too good to be true. Subsequent events, sadly, suggested it was, which is why Whitney's first new CD in seven years, "I Look to You," is so highly anticipated. It drops Aug. 31, in time to be Grammy-eligible.

As for how radio will embrace a prodigal daughter, most programmers seem eager to give her a shot. There is a potential split at top 40, where WHTZ (100.3 FM) seems more enthusiastic than WXRK (92.3 FM).

"I was at the release party and heard at least four potential radio singles," says Skip Dillard, program director of WBLS (107.5 FM). "[There] was a very nice balance of ballads, upbeat tracks and midtempo songs that all seemed to fit Ms. Houston perfectly.

"It will be one project I honestly want to stick into my CD player and drive with from start to finish. Something I've missed for a very long time, until Maxwell's return earlier this month."

Jill Strada, program director at WRKS (98.7 FM), says, "She has uptempo songs as well as ballads that will be successful at radio. Everyone loves a good comeback story, and her story is unforgettable."

Houston could even slip onto hip-hop radio, says WQHT (97.1 FM) program director Ebro Darden. He points to "Million Dollar Bill," which features Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats.

Houston is also looking good at top-40 WHTZ (100.3 FM), which loved her 20 years ago.

"There are two songs in particular that I can see Z100 playing," says program director Sharon Dastur. "'I Didn't Know My Own Strength' is a power ballad that really shows that Whitney is back - vocally and with emotional lyrics to what she's been through over the years. So powerful!

"I also like 'A Song for You' because it starts out slow and kicks into a dance beat."

Houston may not make the air right out of the box at top-40 WXRK (92.3 FM), however.

"I want to give it a chance to prove itself a little nationally before we commit on now," says program director Dom Theodore. "It's hard to say this early. There will certainly be curiosity because of who she is."

Adult contemporary WWFS (102.7 FM) also expects to wait and see, says Theodore.



Ring The Alarm...

E! Online: Whitney Houston, We Have a Problem...With the Alarm Clock!
Sun., Aug. 2, 2009 9:28 AM PDT by Jefferson Reid

Good Morning America can't get a rise out of Whitney Houston. According to Page Six, Whitney isn't a morning person. News flash, right? A source tells the gossip spillers that "lots of singers don't like to perform at 7:30 in the morning," though lesser stars often get their arms (and vocal cords) twisted to perform.

But Miss Houston will prerecord her segment for a September GMA gig, thankyouverymuch! Whit gets diva treatment because, well, she's a diva!

And seriously, we can't blame her. We've got to do a vocal warm-up just to watch TV at that hour!

You know her name is not Susan, of course, but there's much more you don't know about Whitney Houston's big comeback.





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