[From New York Daily News]
Whitney still hits a high note
She was nearly an hour late and stumbled a little on one song, but Whitney Houston belted out a performance yesterday in Lincoln Center Plaza that signaled she still has some dynamite diva in her.
The afternoon miniconcert for about 3,000 people was Houston's first live public performance in the United States in 15 months and marked a giant step in her comeback from her hazy days of drugs.
"I love you, each and every one of you. I truly do," Houston said as she took the stage blowing kisses to the adoring crowd.
The Grammy Award-winner appeared much healthier than in September 2001, when she last performed in the United States looking like a famine victim during a Michael Jackson tribute at Madison Square Garden.
Yesterday, the 39-year-old entertainer wore form-fitting designer jeans and a floor-length suede coat over a sheer white turtleneck top. Her hair was in curls with red highlights, and she beamed smiles at fans - some of whom had waited for hours to hear her.
Houston showed up 50 minutes late because she got caught in traffic, her spokeswoman said. But once on stage, she proved she hadn't lost the magic that made her a platinum-selling songbird.
She flawlessly performed two songs from her new album, titled "Just Whitney." The performance will air tomorrow on ABC's "Good Morning America." Houston received deafening rounds of applause after singing "One of Those Days" and "Tell Me No."
Her only miscue came when the 35-member choir from Talent Unlimited High School on W. 68th St. joined her in a gospel rendition of "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
After a few verses, Houston suddenly shouted, "Stop! Stop! We're going to start this again." Then she and the choir took it from the top and ended up hitting all the right notes, and had the crowd singing along.
It marked Houston's first public appearance since her interview on ABC's
"PrimeTime Live" last week. Houston admitted to using a smorgasbord of illegal
drugs and hinted that she had nearly died from overdoses.
NEWSFILE: 8 DECEMBER 2002
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