Newcastle JournalLive: Whitney Houston to play in Newcastle
Oct 12 2009 By Gordon Barr

Pop diva Whitney Houston is to play her first ever Newcastle show, we can reveal today. The chart-topping superstar will appear at the Metro Radio Arena on April 22 next year, with tickets on sale from Friday.

The gig is a coup for the Toon, with only four other cities being included on the singerís British tour. The dates will mark Houstonís first live performances in this country in over a decade, and follow years of turmoil in her personal life.

Houston has battled against drugs and booze and will make her first UK TV appearance in 12 years on the X Factor this weekend.  "This is my first full tour since the My Love Is Your Love tour and I am so excited to be performing for my fans around the world after all this time," she said.  "I am putting together a great show and cannot wait to perform the songs from my new album I Look To You along with some of your favourites."

Todayís announcement comes a week before she releases her long-awaited new album, I Look To You.  Her European tour will see her perform in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium as well as the UK.

In the 25 years since she recorded her history-making debut album, Whitney Houston has become something of an icon.  One of the best-selling female artists of all time, she has sold over 140 million albums worldwide and is the most awarded female artist in history - with 411 gongs to her name. Her longtime producer Clive Davis encouraged her to hit the comeback trail after more than a decade away form the business.

Houston will also play Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London as well as Newcastle on the UK leg of the tour.  Born in 1963, the daughter of Cissy Houston, cousin of Dionne Warwick and goddaughter of Aretha Franklin, she began singing at her New Jersey church as a member of a junior gospel choir at age eleven.  After she began performing alongside her mother at night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis.

Houston released her debut album, Whitney Houston, in 1985 and it became the best-selling debut album by a female artist and featured the worldwide smash Saving All My Love For You.

Her second studio album, Whitney, became the first album by a female artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the US, while the lead-off single I Wanna Dance With Somebody was another world hit.

Following her marriage to fellow singer Bobby Brown, she appeared in her first starring role, in the film The Bodyguard in 1992.  Its soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and became the world's best-selling soundtrack.  The theme song, I Will Always Love You, became one of the best-selling singles in music history and spent 10 weeks atop the British charts, and 14 weeks in pole position in the US.

After the release of her fourth studio album My Love Is Your Love in 1998, she renewed her recording contract with Arista Records for $100 million.  She is ranked as the fourth best-selling female artist in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 54 million certified albums.

Known as "The Voice" for her "powerful, penetrating pop-gospel" vocals, she has been listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Houston recently told American chat show queen Oprah Winfrey that her now ex-husband Bobby Brownís jealousy over her success brought tension into the marriage, which led to him drinking and emotionally abusing her.  She became addicted to weed and cocaine and divorced him two years ago.

* Tickets for Whitney Houstonís concert at the Metro Radio Arena on April 22 next year go on sale at 9am on Friday.



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