WHITNEY WOULDN'T O-BLIGE ON REHEARSAL
New York Daily News; New York, N.Y.; May 26, 2002; GEORGE RUSH AND JOANNA MOLLOY WITH KASIA ANDERSON AND LAUREN RUBIN;
If Mary J. Blige wanted "No More Drama" at the "Divas Live" concert, she shouldn't have invited Whitney Houston to sing a duet with her.
Blige and VH1 producers were said to be furious when Houston failed to show up for a rehearsal the day before the Thursday show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which also featured Cher, Shakira, Celine Dion and the Dixie Chicks.
"Everybody was waiting and waiting for Whitney, and she never showed," a backstage source tells us. "The VH1 people were pulling their hair out."
"Mary J. asked Whitney four times to perform with her," says another source. "She finally said yes. Did Mary J. and Whitney have an argument because of the delay? Yes. But they worked it out."
Houston eventually sent word that she wasn't feeling well and made arrangements for a Thursday run-through of their duet on Blige's "No More Rainy Days."
Houston's rep Nancy Seltzer said, "She was terribly sorry she missed the rehearsal. She apologized to Mary J." Blige's sister Latanya insists, "Mary wasn't upset with Whitney. I guess VH1 had some previous problems with Whitney. But Mary knew she was going to show up, and she assured them everything would be okay."
A VH1 spokesman says producers had no complaints about Houston, who was looking much healthier than she did in her appearance with Michael Jackson at Madison Square Garden in September.
"She looked and sounded fabulous," admitted one cynic.
NEWSFILE: 26 MAY 2002
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