Whitney Houston is on the comeback trail, record industry icon Clive Davis told MTV yesterday during rehearsals for his pre-Grammy gala. According to Davis, Houston was expected to rehearse last night for a special performance at the event, which is always a blockbuster affair — it’s where Davis unveiled Alicia Keys and Leona Lewis. Davis also insisted that Houston, whose last album of original material was 2002’s Just Whitney, is ready to return to the spotlight.
“You wait for the great songs to be written,” Davis said of Houston’s hiatus. “The great hits Whitney has given to the public for so many years — you keep encouraging and setting the bar. R. Kelly and Whitney just went into the studio with a great song called ‘I Look to You.’ ” Davis is credited with discovering Houston, so the singer’s reclamation project is especially meaningful to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who also signed artists like Aerosmith, Janis Joplin and Donovan over his long storied career.
(Check out Rolling Stone‘s February 2008 Clive Davis profile “The Last Record Man.”)
Davis hinted at another new Houston song, a David Foster-produced ballad entitled “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.” Foster also co-wrote Houston’s “I Have Nothing” from The Bodyguard soundtrack and helped produce her 1998 album My Love is Your Love.
“The same way her debut album took a while to put together, you just don’t do it by going into a computer. You wait for the material to justify a new album,” Davis said. “Pretty much, it’s come in.” Rock Daily will be at Clive Davis’ gala tonight in Los Angeles, so make sure to check our Grammy hub to find out whether or not Houston makes a grand comeback.