The Tale Of The Tape...

[From Globe & Mail (Canada)]

Courtney vs. Whitney: Duelling Drama Queens

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - Page R7

They are two ladies who know how to keep their names in the news, whether they intend to or not.

Courtney Love and Whitney Houston are undeniable divas, hailing from diametrically opposed ends of the musical spectrum. They rarely have to go looking for trouble because it always seems to find them. Last Monday, Whitney entered a drug rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles to undergo treatment for unnamed substances. She went into rehab the same week her husband, pop singer Bobby Brown, was finishing a 60-day sentence for probation violation.

On Wednesday, Courtney appeared on Late Night with David Letterman where she rambled on about her recent trial in Los Angeles on drug charges, smoked a cigarette and then lifted her shirt to flash her breasts at Letterman. A few hours later, Courtney was arrested for reckless endangerment and assault after she allegedly bonked a man on the head with a microphone while performing at a New York club.

It's just another week for these sassy divas -- who together have survived repeated arrests, a bad husband, a dead husband and a lot more -- and always bounce back in manic media style. Say what you will about Courtney and Whitney, but they are never boring. This is the tale of the tape:

Courtney Love

Age: 39

Birthplace: San Francisco

Profession: rock star, actress, mother

Previous profession: Allegedly worked as a stripper in Japan; singer in all-female band Babes in Toyland.

Spouse: Kurt Cobain, deceased

Children: Frances Bean, 11

Career claims to fame: Courtney's profile as a rock-star wife was established when her husband committed suicide in 1994. Known thereafter as Kurt Cobain's Widow, Courtney nonetheless crafted her own identity with the group Hole. Since then, she's worked steadily as an actress.

Rap sheet: Courtney was arrested last October after trying to break into the L.A. home of an ex-boyfriend. She was treated for a drug overdose and charged with two felony counts of possession and misdemeanours of disorderly conduct and being under the influence. She was also arrested at London's Heathrow airport in February, 2003, for disorderly conduct on a flight from L.A.

Drug of Choice: Currently on trial for possessing prescription painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Notable quote: "The film industry is so nice," she told Premiere magazine in 1997. "It frightens me. It's like being popular all of a sudden, you know? It's like losing 100 pounds in public really quickly and not knowing you did -- and not ever knowing you were fat."

Most unsettling rumour: The 1998 low-budget documentary Kurt & Courtney posited the theory that Courtney was responsible for her husband's death and had much to gain from it. She denied all the allegations.

Career stretching: Courtney has appeared in a dozen films and received strong acclaim for her role in The People Vs. Larry Flynt.

Performance high: At the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, Courtney and her band Hole raised the roof with a crackling performance.

Performance low: At the 1995 MTV awards, VJ Kurt Loder was talking live with Madonna when Courtney decided to crash the interview, clearly inebriated but wearing a big, beaming smile on her face.

Next logical career move: She recently released a new CD, America's Sweetheart, that is doing well. Beyond that, she's still acting and it's just a matter of time before she ends up with her own kids' show.

Whitney Houston

Age: 40

Birthplace: East Orange, N.J.

Profession: Singer, wife, mother

Previous profession: Fashion model

Spouse: Bobby Brown, incarcerated

Children: Bobbi Kristina, 11

Career claims to fame: Her breakout 1987 album Whitney was the first to debut at number one on the Billboard charts. She also has the unequaled run of seven consecutive number-one records in the 1980s. Her single I Will Always Love You was number one on the Billboard charts for 14 weeks straight in 1993.

Rap sheet: Arrested in Hawaii on January 11, 2000, after she and husband Bobby Brown attempted to board a plane with a half-ounce of marijuana.

Drug of choice: So hard to choose just one. In 2002, Diane Sawyer asked about her addictions: "Is it alcohol? Is it marijuana? Is it cocaine? Is it pills?" Houston responds, "It has been at times."

Notable quote: "I've always been a thin girl," Whitney told Diane Sawyer in 2002. "I am not going to be fat -- ever. Let's get that straight. Whitney is not going to be fat -- ever. Okay?"

Most unsettling rumour: Several U.S. news outlets reported the diva had died of a rumoured drug overdose on September 14, 2001. The story was quickly retracted by Whitney's spokespeople.

Career stretching: Hollywood has exploited Whitney's icy presence in four films: The Bodyguard (1992), Waiting to Exhale (1995), The Preacher's Wife (1996) and as the fairy godmother in the 1997 TV movie Cinderella.

Performance high: Singing The Star-Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl, right in the middle of the Gulf War. Her version of the song became a top-selling single in the U.S.

Performance low: Whitney turned up to perform at a 2001 tribute for Michael Jackson looking shockingly emaciated.

Her spokespeople immediately denied the singer was sick or had a drug problem.

Next logical career move: Mostly likely an all-out return to singing, or possibly hosting her own daytime TV talk show.

Note: Whitney Houston was not arrested in Hawaii.



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