Last week Whitney Houston and music mogul Clive Davis were on hand at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, England to world premiere her new album I Look To You in front of an audience of press folks. Earlier this week Whit Whit appeared at the Lincoln Center in NYC to premiere her album in front of press and celeb friends. Last night, Whitney and Clive made their way to the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA for the third and final premiere event for her new album, due out in stores on September 1. Here are a few photos from last night’s star-studded event and a report from E! News’s Marc Malkin:
Whitney Houston’s comeback album drops in just six weeks. And it was the superstar diva herself who best summed up the excitement for her return when she took center stage at last night’s VIP-only album listening party in Beverly Hills. “I’m back home,” she said. “I’m back home where I belong.” Among the VIP guests packed into a ballroom at the Beverly Hilton hotel to hear nine songs from I Look to You were Halle Berry, Stevie Wonder, Magic Johnson, Barry Manilow, Penny Marshall, model Beverly Johnson and a slew of music industry heavyweights … Sitting in a front row seat was Jane Fonda, who attended with her music producer boyfriend Richard Perry. “When they told me you were here tonight, I almost croaked,” Houston said to the Oscar winner after the two embraced. “I was like, ‘Jane Fonda is at my listening party? How cool am I?'” Sony music honcho and Houston’s mentor since he discovered her oh-so-many years ago Clive Davis hosted the evening. And Ms. Whitney looked fantastically fabulous last night (she kept it simple with a short black dress, killer heels and little makeup). The music was true Houston. Among the songs Davis introduced and played for the crowd were the Alicia Keys-written “Million Dollar Bill,” the up-tempo “Nothing But Love,” the ballad “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” the island song duet with Akon “Like I Never Left,” and the title track, one of two collaborations with R. Kelly. The album took about three and a half years. “For the years we were apart, I felt kind of lost,” Houston said to Davis, referring to her troubled past. “But I’m home where I truly belong, don’t ya think?” The audience went wild. Pointing to Bobbi Kristina, her daughter with ex-husband Bobby Brown, Houston smiled, “There’s my baby, my inspiration. Mama loves you so much.” Looking out to Berry, Houston cooed, “How’s the baby?” “Fantastic,” Berry said. And we have a feeling Houston’s fans will be saying the same and a whole lot more when I Look to You drops on Sept. 1.
I, too, was fortunate enough to attend last night’s listening party and let me tell you … I was floored. I’ll have all of my personal thoughts on the album in a post a little later on today. But let me assure you, Whitney Houston — the voice, the diva, the legend — is back. I Look To You is packed with amazingly strong songs … powerful ballads, hip upbeat dance tracks and quite a few candidates for hit singles. It was truly an honor to be among the first people to hear Whitney’s new album in full … I can’t wait to tell you all about it later on today. After the jump, check out a few photos of Whitney posing with some of the celebrity friends who came out to the Beverly Hilton Hotel last night to share the night with Whitney and Clive …
The guest list really was a Who’s Who of big name celebs … as each new celeb showed up, I kept gasping out loud. But, it was when Stevie Wonder was led to his front row seat that folks really took notice. It was such a special night for Whitney … she was beaming from ear to ear. I’ve never been that close to her before and she looked stunning. You can tell she is very proud of her new album … and you could tell that Clive Davis is very anxious to have people hear it for themselves. The album is killer, I’m pretty confident that Whitney Houston fans will be very pleased with the final results. I Look To You hits stores on September 1, you’re deffo gonna wanna pick it up.