George Michael Duet...

Whitney warms to George duet after 10 years of frosty silence.

02/27/2000
The Express On Sunday
Copyright (C) 2000 The Express On Sunday; Source: World Reporter (TM)


IT has taken 10 years for the frost to thaw between two of the world's biggest-selling singers. But George Michael and Whitney Houston have finally drawn a line under a decade of bitter relations and agreed to record a romantic duet.

The diva, who is as famous for her fiery moods as she is for her singing, has forgiven Michael for snubbing her in 1989. He turned down her offer to team up for a ballad because her famous voice "left him cold".

Whether Houston has forgotten his slight is doubtful - her allies made it clear the former Wham! heart-throb was not her first choice as a singing partner. The 37-year-old US star had been hoping to record with Michael Jackson but the two could not agree on their "artistic direction," Jackson's producer admitted.

Rodney Jerkins, a 22-year-old master mixer who has been hired by the Spice Girls as well as Houston and Jackson to keep them in touch with teenage tastes, agreed the original plan had not gone smoothly. "The song was meant to be for Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson but we couldn't make that happen," he said. "The next person in line was George Michael." Now the duo are set to record If I Told You That later this year. A studio source said: "We tried to decide which two stars the world would most like to hear and, short of bringing Elvis and Lennon back from the grave, this was the most popular combination."

Michael, also 37, has just seen off a 7million lawsuit brought by the Beverly Hills policeman who arrested him in a public lavatory and is said to be looking forward to getting back to the recording studio.

He has had a number of successful chart-topping duets, which may have been behind his rejection of Houston's first double-act request. He turned her down after his 1987 hit with Aretha Franklin, I Knew You Were Waiting, went to number one for nine weeks.Michael had more success with Elton John and their hit Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, an international number one. But Houston has had a much less distinguished career as half of a duo. She, too, has sung with Aretha Franklin but their It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be only reached number 29 and a joint venture with Mariah Carey, When You
Believe, only reached number four.

NEWSFILE: 28 FEBRUARY 2000

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