Is Whitney Back? Ask Clive
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
By Roger Friedman
The rumblings have been coming for some
time: Whitney Houston is joining forces again with record company impresario
Clive Davis. An announcement is said to be forthcoming.
Davis, of course, led Whitney to her tremendous successes before drugs and
excess ruined her.
Houston's last album was recorded for Antonio "L.A." Reid at Arista after
Clive's ouster and eventual triumphant return as the head of J Records (and
now emperor of all he sees at newly merged Sony-BMG) with Alicia Keys, Rod
Stewart and Luther Vandross.
Clive has pulled off many miracles in the past, but a Whitney comeback is
sure to be his greatest achievement yet.
She has the pipes, that's for sure. And even some of the songs on that last
album — like "Try It On My Own" — were not half bad. But Houston's drug
addiction and the public spectacle she made of herself contributed to the
album being a complete catastrophe.
Now it's not as if Davis is a saint, or even Oprah. He's not going to
rebuild Whitney out of selflessness.
Houston owes BMG/Bertelsmann millions and millions of dollars stemming from
the outsized deal Reid got the company into with her two years ago. I'm sure
Davis's new partners at Sony looked at this deal and blanched.
But Clive will do it — he always does. Expect to see Whitney at his
pre-Grammy dinner in February, followed by an album release and multiple
Grammy nominations in 2006.
NEWSFILE: 15 SEPTEMBER 2004