[From New York Post]
WHITNEY'S WAR ON HER CRITICS
By LEONARD GREENE and ALY SUJO
COURTING DISASTER: Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown leave an Atlanta court
last week after his appearance on a DUI charge.
- Frank Mullen/WireImage.com December 1, 2002 --
On the eve of the release of her much-anticipated make-or-break comeback album,
destructive diva Whitney Houston is facing the music - and it doesn't sound too good.
She's in court with husband Bobby Brown - again. She's being sued by her own father, and
the critics are waiting to rip her to shreds.
There are rumors about her health and constant chatter about how much the pencil-thin pop
Still, Houston's coming out fighting. Yet again, she's sticking her tongue out at critics,
insisting the ugly rumors about her are a pack of lies and that her career is as solid as
Her first single in four years, "Whatchulookinat," slammed the press for
supposedly making up stories about her.
Released in the summer, the single was not well received and failed to move her fans, but
that hasn't stopped Houston.
Now the diva - once famous for never doing interviews - has slated a "Primetime"
talk with Diane Sawyer that will air on ABC Wednesday, where she's set to take on
questions about her bizarre prima-donna antics and tell the world to back off - because
she's just fine.
"I'm tough enough," she says in the interview.
But is she?
Not long ago, it seems, all Houston had to do was stand behind a microphone, open her
mouth, and the cash registers would sing as loudly as she did. After all, she had already
joined the company of industry greats - Elvis, Janet, Streisand, Sinatra - for whom one
name would easily suffice.
But after nearly a decade of scandal and mystery highlighted by tales of bizarre behavior,
abrupt cancellations and a marijuana-possession arrest, which was later dismissed, the
songstress is learning that she has to be able to carry more than a tune.
"I think she's gotten through most of the storm," said late-night DJ Lenny
Green, host of Kiss-FM's popular "Kissing After Dark" program. "But no one
really knows. There are a lot of allegations and speculation."
Rumor No. 1: Bobby's been "humpin' around."
From the day Houston and New Edition bad boy Brown were married 10 years ago - yes, 10
years ago - there have been rumors of strife and a constant buzz about Bobby's alleged
Brown, who topped the charts with such solo outputs as "My Prerogative" and
"Humpin' Around," was in court recently facing his own music for dodging an
earlier court appearance on a DUI charge. The budding actor has also been arrested this
year on charges of marijuana possession and speeding.
Rumor No. 2: "I Will Always Love You" is an ode to drugs.
Between the skinny frame and the 2000 marijuana-possession arrest in Hawaii, Whitney has
had a hard time living down the drug chatter. Her skeletal appearance at Michael Jackson's
televised February concert didn't help.
During the "Primetime" interview, host Sawyer showed Houston a tape of the
concert asking for an explanation.
"I'm 5-foot-7 and thin," Houston said.
Houston also tells Sawyer that she reached one of her low points after her 81-year-old
father's entertainment company filed a $100 million breach-of-contract suit against her in
Rumor No. 3: "Didn't We Almost Have it All" could sum up her career.
Although recognized as ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^one of the generation's greatest singers,
the 39-year-old vocalist's name isn't automatic money in the bank, according to industry
insiders. Much is resting on the success of "Just Whitney," scheduled for
release Dec. 10.
"Everyone realized coming out the gate that this woman was a strong contender
vocally," Green said. "She far exceeded anyone that was out here. But this is an
ever-changing industry, with new stars coming out every week. She understands how the game
has changed. There was a time that Whitney never did interviews."
Houston's first obstacle on the road back might well have been the album's rocky first
release of "Whatchulookinat."
"Same spotlight that once gave me fame/Trying to dirty up Whitney's name," say
"Houston, you have a problem," said the music critic of the Times of London.
The diva is faring much better with the album's second release, "One of Those
Days," a confident, up-tempo tribute to self-preservation.
Although another chart-topper would be a nice Christmas present, Houston has said her true
goal has always been happiness.
"You know what I feel?" she told Rolling Stone magazine in 1993. "I feel
old. For the most part, since I was 11 years old, I've been working. I did the nightclubs,
I did the modeling, all that stuff. When I first started I was having a lot of fun. But it
ain't fun no more. I enjoy what I do . . . but it's not fun."
NEWSFILE: 1 DECEMBER 2002