New York Daily News: Whitney Houston's Birmingham show strengthens drug
rumors with 'appalling' performance
Thursday, April 15th 2010, 4:00 AM
Talk about damage control: The morning
after Whitney Houston bombed at Birmingham's LG Arena in the U.K., Sony
Music issued a glowing press release in an attempt to cover up the singer's
"Whitney Houston is back!" the e-mail reads. "Whitney has showed the world
she is back in full force with a strong show to entertain her fans."
Not so, says — well, nearly everyone who attended the show.
According to reports, Houston performed so ineptly during her two-hour stint
Tuesday night that fans began to boo — and some, who paid upward of $200 for
a ticket, told local outlets they wanted their money back.
Their biggest source of ire: After singing for barely 20 minutes, Houston
disappeared for a 20-minute break as her backup singers performed renditions
of "Queen of the Night" and "For the Love of You." Soon after, the audience
was treated to Houston's smash hit "One Moment in Time" — in a pre-recorded
This was all before Miss Houston began to slaughter "I Will Always Love
You": Her attempt at the award-winning ballad is currently drawing ridicule
"It was a con, a ripoff. It wasn't a concert," said one angry fan.
Added another: "She kept the crowd waiting for ages after every song, and
all she did was talk to stop her from having to sing. I was so looking
forward to it, but I appeared to have wasted [my money]."
Critics weren't kind, either: By Wednesday morning, British Web sites and
newspapers were calling the 46-year-old's performance everything from
"horrendous" to "appalling."
The flop is also strengthening whispers that Houston hasn't kicked her
addictions. Rumors of possible drug use began swirling soon after the singer
kicked off the tour in February to scathing reviews — and gained speed when
she was hospitalized in Paris for a "respiratory infection" that she blamed
Her reps declared accusations of drug use "ridiculous," but that didn't
silence critics after Tuesday night.
"Time and crack addiction have not been kind to her once astonishing voice,"
said one scribe. "Houston, we have a problem."
NEWSFILE: 15 APRIL 2010