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Diva Duet...

[Article published in Sydney Morning Herald - Thanks Jason]

Multiple Award-winning producer Babyface has squashed rumours of rivalry between supesrtar R&B divas Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. The two octave-spanning singers have just recorded a duet for the upcoming animated feature, The Prince Of Egypt.

Babyface described the song, called "When You Believe", as a "gospel-tinged power- ballad" that will be the theme song to the movie, which is based on the biblical story of Moses. Babyface denied rumours of tantrums by either of the singers and laid to rest the long standing idea of intense rivalry between Carey and Houston. Asked which of the two divas had the biggest ego, he laughed and said "I don't know where this whole "rivalry" thing came from. I admit, when I agreed to do the song, I was nervous about it, but when we all got together, we just laughed! The two of them were... almost awe-struck in each other's presence." When pressed to elaborate on the divas' behaviour in studio and of reports that there was friction, Babyface said "We had a great time. They both gave it everythng they had, and at times I was blown away by the sheer power of their voices together. At times they were giggling together like schoolgirls, and talking about what direction they wanted the song to go. I think, and I don't know if they want me saying this, but I think they were surprised by how much they had in common. It was a lot of fun, and it's a great song, so I feel really honoured to have worked with these two vocal stars on this particular song."

The red-hot producer declined to pick his favourite of the two divas, saying instead "I love them both, they are both incredibly talented and I could never pick between them." Babyface also revealed that he will be doing producing duties on some songs for Houston's new album, her first full album of new material since 1990's I'm Your Baby Tonight. "We're very excited about it. Whitney wants the album to have a more "street" vibe, and we're working on some ideas now. It's gonna be something special."

The animated feature The Prince Of Egypt has been stirring up some controversy over the commercialisation of a biblical tale. When asked to respond to claims that the superstar teamup was yet another attempt to cash in on a sacred tale, the singer-producer responded "You need to hear this song to understand where it's coming from. Steven [Spielberg, executive producer of The Prince Of Egypt] and his partners have been very careful with the telling of this important story. This song is about the importance of a belief, and Mariah and Whitney are the two perfect voices to bring this song to life. The song is gospel-tinged and both of them have proved their love of gospel music through their earlier works. I don't think we could have chosen two better singers to give voice to the beautiful meaning of the song."

The Prince Of Egypt opens in the US on December 20, and in Australia in January. The The Prince Of Egypt soundtrack will be in stores in November.

NEWSFILE: 21 AUGUST 1998


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