[ Article]

Spousal Arousal

Whitney Houston and hubby Bobby Brown marry their talents at the Aladdin
By Steve Bornfeld

They've had some problems lately.

Maybe you heard.

But hey, when it comes to entertaining audiences--Houston, we've got no problem. The diva and the dynamo--Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown--who also double as husband and wife, will double-team Las Vegas when they storm the stage of the Aladdin on Nov. 10.

Houston you know intimately. She's your baby, tonight. She just wants to dance with somebody. She's your greatest love of all. She will always love you. Her rhythm - and - blues - belting other half has made more headlines than hits in recent years. But he's got his own claim to music fame with a string of successes: "My Prerogative," "Girlfriend," "Don't Be Cruel," "Roni," "Every Little Step," "On Our Own," "Rock Witcha," "Good Enough" and the unromantically titled "Humpin' Around," all enhanced by his breezily confident delivery and electrified by his sexually charged dance moves. The couple married their vocals on the duet "Something in Common."

"He's my greatest supporter and inspiration," Houston told the Boston Herald about her husband, whom she credits with pushing her toward the hip-hop beats that increasingly pepper her soulful pop. "He's the hip-hop king, man. He knows all about it. It's wonderful when you have a partner you can relate to and absorb certain things from. It's very cool." Brown, who left behind the kiddie funk of the vocal group New Edition in 1986, found considerable success as a solo artist--unfortunately linked to tabloid infamy.

"Trouble must like being in my shadow or something," Brown told Upscale magazine. "But the media was calling me a 'bad boy' all the time because of the way I act and feel onstage. None of them have ever taken the time to get to know me when I climb offstage. I could really care less what they think about me, but at the same time, I do have something to prove--that I have more hits in me. I have a lot more to say."

Brown has had a lot to say musically already, but it's his wife who has redefined the image of pop princess over the past decade--her golden-throated vocals setting the lofty standard of the times. Originally from Newark, N.J., and blessed with an unparalleled musical pedigree--her mom is gospel great Cissy Houston and her cousin is pop legend Dionne Warwick--Houston polished her pipes in the church choir, where she developed into a soloist by age 11.

By her mid-teens, she was singing back-up for Chaka Khan and Lou Rawls, appearing in concert with her mom and gracing New York clubs, before teaming with Teddy Pendergras for the 1984 hit "Hold Me."

The following year, the Houston rocket took off when music mogul Clive Davis, president of Arista Records, signed her to the label and guided her through her debut album, which yielded the now-classic hits "You Give Good Love," "Saving All My Love For You," "How Will I Know" and "The Greatest Love of All."

Davis, the architect of her phenomenal recording career, remains its foundation 15 years after launching her into the superstar stratosphere. "Clive is an adviser, a teacher," Houston told the Boston Herald. "You have to listen to him, learn from him, watch him every time. He's definitely hip. Clive is the man."

And Houston's the woman, piling credits on top of credits. Beyond her multiple hits and bona fide "diva" rep--keeping company with the likes of Tina Turner, Cher and Aretha Franklin on that score--Houston has conquered both the big and small screens as an actress with starring roles in The Bodyguard, The Preacher's Wife, Waiting to Exhale and Cinderella. What's left to conquer? The stage of the Aladdin with her hip-hoppin' hubby.

Houston, we've got no problem.



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