WHITNEY LAUNCHES COMEBACK!

whitney2As Whitney Houston continues her strategically choreographed “listening tour” – stops have included Beverly Hills and London – to begin the drum beat for the release of her new album “I Look to You” on September 1, I  spoke with two friends of Asbury Park and attendees of last Tuesday’s party in New York’s Time-Warner building.  Over cocktails on Watermark’s new and gorgeous 2500 sq. foot cedar deck, our friends gave me the exciting first-hand scoop:

“So we are in this amazing space overlooking Central Park.  The tone of the event was very formal – everyone sat and listened to the nine tracks and Clive Davis talk a bit in between each track.  Normally, at album listening parties the guest are all milling around and talking.  Not this one.

whitney“Clive talked about the four year journey to produce this album in front of an amazing group of guests, including:  Martha Stewart, Diane Sawyer, Alicia Keys (who wrote one of the tracks), Gayle King, Vivica Fox and tons of the most powerful music and radio industry executives.

“The album will be a huge hit.  Whitney is totally, completely back.  It’s great to see.  There is one pop track that everyone will love and dance to – ‘Million Dollar Bill’ (by Alicia).  The track will be another ‘It’s Not Right, But it’s Okay’ remixed a million times.  There are a few ballads were you hear her voice has matured and is still smooth and powerful.  It will give you goosebumps.

“After about nine tracks were played completely, Whitney came out looking absolutely amazing – glowing, to a loooong standing ovation.  It was obvious everyone was rooting for her.  She smiled her gorgeous smile.  She seemed nervous but really, really happy.  Her mom Cissy and her daughter Bobbi were in the room too.

“Whitney took the microphone from Clive, then shared that she was torn as to whether to make this album.  She said she seriously considered going south to some tropical island with her daughter and living there selling fruit from a roadside stand and be happy for the rest of her life.  She said her mom told her that God gave her the gift of her voice and she needed to share it with everyone again.”

“THOSE TWO DIVAS FOUGHT LIKE DRAG QUEENS FOR AN UMBRELLA ON A RAINY ASBURY DAY…”

Amen.

My friends, I told you Whitney was back and looking great in my January 8 column, after bumping into her in Neiman-Marcus at the Short Hills Mall.  It’s thrilling to know that she is reaaaaaally back and in the game again.  I can’t love her enough.

I understand Whitney will be sitting down with Diane Sawyer in a few weeks – when, I am sure ABC will become the Whitney Houston Network for a week.  It will be curious to see if Whitney performs on GMA and if its live or taped.  Last time, she taped her “live” performance in front of Lincoln Center on Sunday afternoon for a Monday airing because “her voice is better later in the day.”  But, that’s also when she was allegedly higher than the Condors.

You’ll remember when Diane and Whitney spoke previously, Whitney, with that disgusting human being Bobby Brown by her side, said to Diane, “crack is cheap…only poor people smoke crack.”  Ug.

And…Oprah Winfrey may own the world but don’t expect to see Whitney on the Oprah Show.  Unless the diva barrier has been broken recently – if it was, I would have expected Oprah to be at the listening party BTW – I heard those two fought like drag queens for an umbrella on a rainy Asbury day during their last interview, more than a decade ago, when I was working at Maury Povich and we had our moles in Chicago.

It’s all history now – Whitney is back, baby!

Richard@TheBPlot.com

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