Whitney's Voice Fails Her...
USA Today: Whitney Houston's voice fails her in sold-out London concert
By Traci Watson, Special for USA TODAY
LONDON — Hundreds in the audience
walked out of Whitney Houston's comeback concert here Sunday as the singer
once dubbed "The Voice" missed high notes, cut short her songs and
apologized for her shortcomings.
"She don't want to come, my soprano
friend," Houston crooned after stumbling through a gravelly version of
signature song I Will Always Love You. She blamed the air conditioning in
The O2 arena, whose 20,000 seats had sold out for her first London
performance since 1999.
"Sometimes the old girl sings, but not tonight," she said of her voice. "I
want to do it, but she doesn't want to. ... She's getting a little ...
Houston sang just one or two verses of hits such as Greatest Love of All.
She paused during songs to catch her breath and panted heavily in between.
In many songs, her backup singers carried the melody, Houston chiming in
with lines here and there.
The star was onstage for most of the two-hour concert, her first of three at
the venue, taking only two breaks to change clothes. Those three outfits —
form-fitting black leather pants, a clingy black gown and tight jeans — and
the stuffy arena may have contributed to the sweat streaming down her face.
The concert "is rubbish," said Mark Higgins of Hampshire. "She can't even
complete a song." He said he'd asked for a refund and was told to contact
the concert promoter. His daughter had given the tickets to him and his wife
for Christmas. "She's going to be heartbroken, because she saved up all her
money for this."
"I remember her 20 years ago," Dave Law, of Plymouth, said of Houston.
"She's not a patch on what she was."
Law's wife, Caroline, a longtime fan, disagreed. "There were moments I
absolutely loved. You have to take the bad with the good."
Houston's London show was the latest troubled performance in her Nothing But
Love world tour, which was supposed to mark a comeback for a singer of
outsized talent and outsized troubles. She was a no-show for her first three
concerts in Great Britain this month and blamed her absence on a respiratory
26 APRIL 2010