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Watch Whitney Houston Belt With Stevie Wonder at VH1 Divas 2003

August 18, 2009 1:11 PM ET

As Rolling Stone reported last month, VH1 will revive their Divas special for the first time since 2004 on September 17th with a live show featuring Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus and Adele broadcast straight from New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music - Howard Gilman Opera House. Buzz over this year's event is already building on the show's brand-new Website, Divas.VH1.com, where special clips of ultimate Divas moments from years' past will be posted. And Rolling Stone has an exclusive video right now: click above to watch Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder's powerhouse performance of "I Was Made to Love Her" from VH1 Divas 2003.

Houston — perhaps the ultimate diva — will be making her grand return this fall with her first studio album of fresh material since 2002. Rolling Stone was there when Houston debuted I Look to You at a star-studded New York gala, where the 46-year-old star said, "I had plans to live on this little island and open a fruit stand a call it a day. But I got this call from Clive [Davis], and he said, 'No, that's not what you're gonna do.' "

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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