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Whitney Houston Debuts "I Look To You" Songs, Album Cover

July 15, 2009 5:31 PM ET

Whitney Houston premiered tracks from her upcoming album I Look To You last night at London's Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Clive Davis, who discovered the singer and shepherded her career, was also on hand to present nine unfinished songs from the LP, Billboard reports. Houston also officially unveiled the album's cover art today (see above). As Rolling Stone previously reported, I Look To You — Houston's first non-Christmas LP since 2002's Just Whitney — will be released September 1st.

"When Clive called me I was pretty ready to buy my island home [and retire] but he said, 'No, you're going to sing again, people want to hear you,' " Whitney reportedly told the audience at the Mandarin Oriental. New song "I Didn't Know My Own Strength," which was written by Grammy winner Diane Warren and produced by "I Have Nothing" producer David Foster, leaked several weeks ago. Other collaborators on I Look To You reportedly include Alicia Keys, Stargate, R. Kelly and Akon, who features on the track "Like I Never Left," Billboard writes.

The album also reportedly includes possible first single "Call You Tonight," "Million Dollar Bill," "Nuthin' But Love," the R. Kelly-penned title track, "Worth It," "For the Lovers" and a rendition of Leon Russell's oft-covered 1970 hit "A Song For You." Davis made mention that the album was not yet complete and that many of the songs were still under construction. A press release for the album indicates similar listening events will be staged in Los Angeles and New York next week.

Related Stories:
Whitney Houston's Long-Awaited Comeback LP Due in September
Whitney Houston Ready For Comeback, Clive Davis Says
Clive Davis' Biggest Hits: The Legendary Record Man With His Famous Artists

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Song Stories

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Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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