WHITNEY HOUSTON: Setting the Stage
Posted Mar 23rd 2007 1:51PM by Karu F. Daniels
Filed under: Entertainment Newswire
By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices
Black America's favorite pop diva Whitney Houston is staging a major comeback.
According to published reports, the former chart-topping singer -- of formidable hit songs such as 'I Will Always Love You,' 'It's Not Right, But It's Okay,' and 'How Will I Know' -- is taking "the tentative steps toward reclaiming her once-flourishing career."
Fox News's gossip guru Roger Friedman recently reported that Houston is venturing into a recording studio with in-demand writer-producer Johnta Austin. The protégée of hip-hop super-producer and new Island Def Jam president Jermaine Dupri, Austin won a Grammy Award for co-writing Mariah Carey's gargantuan comeback hit 'We Belong Together.'
Other high powered hit-makers such as R. Kelly and Diane Warren have been associated with the project, which is expected later this year.
While some reports indicated that Houston has started recording in New York City, sources tell The BV Newswire that she is expected to start officially working next week in Los Angeles, where she was reportedly going to rehab for substance abuse.
This season, fans of the multiple Grammy Award winning chanteuse rejoiced at the fact that she appeared on the soundtrack for Tyler Perry's latest movie 'Daddy's Little Girls.' The song 'Family First' also features the voices of her family members, including pop music legend Dionne Warwick,gospel and soul music stalwart Cissy Houston and Houston's teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina.
Music industry legend Clive Davis, who is credited with discovering Houston and shaping her stellar career, will oversee the yet to be titled comeback opus.
"We are reviewing material right now," he recently commented to the 'New York Post.' "She looks radiant and is clearly together. She is talking enthusiastically and is articulate."
Platinum-plated R&B crooner Ne-Yo, who composed Beyonce's chart-topping hit single 'Irreplaceable,' is also in the Whitney mix.
The Arkansas native (legally known as Shaffer Smith) recently told MTV Radio Networks of his plans to work with the diva. "She's definitely recording; I've heard a few songs that she's cutting," he said. "Vocally, Whitney's back. Real talk. She's definitely back. I've done a few songs for her that her people have told me that they like. We just gotta find the time now to get in there and get'em done."
A spokesperson for J Records --Houston's label -- remained mum when prodded for details about the recording process today, but Davis (who made Alicia Keys an international phenomenon over the past seven years) seems quite confident of the effort.
"We are going to make a great album," he added. "In my opinion, the best singers in the world are Aretha (Franklin) and Whitney. That's not to knock Mariah. Mariah is a friend of mine, but I think Mariah would even say those two are the best."
-- Back in a big way? R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass to honor Whitney Houston. Read about it here.
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