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"Whitney and I are not doing the diva-y thing," said Mariah Carey. "If anyone would have told me a year ago that we'd record a duet and I'd be honored by her, I wouldn't have believed it."

"We don't box: we sing," Whitney Houston said of Carey. "We get along fine."

Carey was an honoree Sunday night at a gala benefitting the Starkey Foundation and the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children. Houston's hubby, Bobby Brown, just released from jail after serving a five-day sentence for drunken-driving, performed.

The couple brought their 5-year old daughter, Bobbi Kristina. At dinner, Brown affectionately rubbed his wife's back as they sat with Cissy Houston (Whitney's mom) and Babyface Edmonds. Six security guards were assigned to their table. The duo stood and danced in place when Chaka Khan, Michael McDonald, Phoebe Snow, and Sam Moore sang.

Whitney and Bobby are "very happy" said Cissy Houston. "Bobby is a great father...He's finally growing up now, and he needs to do what he needs to do. I think he's learning."

NEWSFILE: 17 OCTOBER 1998

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