London Evening Standard: Houston (and Robbie), you have solved O2’s
By Amar Singh Last updated at 09:36am on 30.07.09
Williams and Whitney Houston are set to make their respective comebacks with
a series of concerts at the O2 arena early next year.
AEG, the US entertainment giant that owns the 20,000-seat venue, has been
searching for “marquee names” to fill some of the 23 dates in early 2010
when Michael Jackson was due to
With both Williams, 35, and Houston, 45, releasing long-awaited new albums
this year, they believe they have found two artists with the profile and
repertoire to sell out several gigs at the east London venue.
The move will save millions for AEG, which has failed to book new shows for
20 nights this year, left open after Jackson's sudden death last month.
An AEG source told the Standard: “Robbie's eagerly-awaited album will be out
soon and he is likely to be touring Europe next year. It will be perfect for
him to start with shows at the O2.
“Whitney Houston has been on the O2 arena wish-list for a while — she has
the voice and hits to sell the arena out several times over.”
Williams's new album Reality Killed the Video Star will be released in
October, with the singer's manager David Enthoven promising fans “a big pop
record with four or five smash hits”. It will be Williams's first album
since his 2006 flop Rudebox, and follows two successful comeback tours and
albums from his former band Take That.
Houston was one of the biggest-selling artists in the late Eighties and
early Nineties, before drug and alcohol addictions derailed her career. Her
new album I Look To You is being released next month and will be her first
release since 2002's Just Whitney.
This month she announced her comeback at the Mandarin Oriental in London
before a VIP crowd of record executives and entrepreneurs including
Topshop's Sir Philip Green and music guru Clive Davis.
Both singers will perform their greatest hits in addition to material from
their new albums.
While neither artists' spokesman would confirm the shows, it is believed
they will take place in January, February and March, when Jackson was due to
perform the last 23 of a 50-date residency at the O2. Other performers
likely to have gigs at the O2 next year include Eminem and Bon Jovi.
30 JULY 2009