Duets All Round...

[AOL Report]

Whitney Houston's 3 New Duet Singles with Enrique Iglesias, Deborah Cox, and George Michael Exploding at Pop and R&B Radio, and International Markets; Internet Promotions Launched on Over a Dozen Websites, with MSN.com Logging 70,000 Downloads Initiated in 2 Weeks for 'My Love Is Your Love'


NEW YORK, May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's the day of the release of WHITNEY - THE GREATEST HITS on Arista Records and all three newly-recorded duet singles from the project are exploding at radio with #1 phone requests and double-digit airplay across the U.S. and Europe -- "Could I Have This Kiss Forever" with Enrique Iglesias at top 40 and A/C formats (powerhouse stations in every major market), "Same Script, Different Cast" with fellow Arista artist Deborah Cox at R&B (over 17 million listening audience after less than two weeks), and "If I Told You That" with George Michael on the international front (most-added at radio across the board, according to European trade publication Music & Media).

Meanwhile, over a dozen Internet websites are supporting WHITNEY- THE GREATEST HITS led by Arista.com, and including (as of press time) Microsoft's MSN.com, RealNetworks, Artist Direct (via Ultimate Band List, UBL.com), eGreetings, GetMusic (home of Connect2Music and other portals) and America Online, Yahoo!

A three-phase, six-week promotion on MSN.com offered downloads of remix versions of "I Learned From the Best" (April 7-18th), "My Love Is Your Love" (April 19-May 2nd), and currently "I'm Every Woman" (May 3-17th). In the first two weeks online, 480,000 Whitney Houston page views were detected. This was followed by 70,000-plus downloads initiated in the two-week period for "My Love Is Your Love."

Today, May 16th, marks the simultaneous in-store date for all three audio and video configurations of WHITNEY - THE GREATEST HITS, on double-CD and double-cassette, VHS home video and interactive DVD, and special limited edition four-record vinyl box-set.

Yesterday, May 15th, was also the Impact Date for "Could I Have This Kiss Forever," which has exceeded all expectations at Mainstream top 40, A/C (Adult Contemporary), and Rhythm top 40 radio formats so far. The magical combination of Whitney, songwriter Diane Warren and producer David Foster (same team responsible for "I Learned From the Best") has struck a nerve at top 40 that led programmers to jump the gun in such major markets as New York, New Orleans, San Antonio, Portland, Minneapolis, Norfolk, Washington DC, Columbus, Ohio, Buffalo, and Las Vegas, to name a few.

On the R&B side (whose Impact Date was two weeks earlier), the Shep Crawford produced "Same Script, Different Cast," bulleted onto the Billboard Monitor charts this week at #35 (Mainstream R&B) and #17 (Adult R&B). The 17 million listening audience is up 7 million over last week, and the song has already gone to #1 in Baltimore and Washington. Top 10 reports are also in from Charlotte, Chicago (top 5), Houston (#2), Baton Rouge, and Los Angeles.

The pairing of Whitney Houston and George Michael on "If I Told You That" has had an enormous reception in Europe, where Music & Media named it 'Pick Of the Week' and has it bulleted at #11; and Phono (another Euro trade paper) named it 'Highest Climber' and has it charted at #21. The single is the 'Highest Climber' on the pan-European chart, already #1 in Belgium and leaping anywhere from four points (in Italy, to #10) to 140 points (in Austria, to #24) as it heads to #1 in the U.K., Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Reports are also arriving from Asia, the Far East, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Latin and South America.

In addition to Arista.com and MSN.com, the Internet is on overdrive with RealNetwork's real.com streaming audio and rehearsal footage from the "25th Anniversary" tv special and links to join an email list. More than 50,000 cards (in two designs) were downloaded from eGreetings.com during the period of April 1-28th. Yahoo! begins its 2-song promotion on in-store Tuesday. The next day, users on Artist Direct's UBL.com Ultimate Band List will have an opportunity (via the Arista Direct Network) to win a signed Whitney Houston CD catalog and World Tour jacket. The Advance Listening Station of Getmusic.com, BMG/Universal's joint venture e-commerce site (which includes Connect2music.com as one of its portals), is offering visitors a 'sneak preview' of 30-second clips from all 36 songs on THE GREATEST HITS.

More: America Online is promoting the "25th Anniversary" broadcast to its 25 million members throughout the site's Music & Entertainment space. On in-store Tuesday, Whitney will be featured on AOL's front-page. Visitors will be driven to a specially-created page offering a full-length stream of the Deborah Cox duet and a link to Getmusic.com for a full-length stream of the Enrique Iglesias duet.



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