Whitney Houston: X Factor Judge?

Not twenty four hours after getting into a physical altercation with season one X Factor finalist Stacy Francis, do we hear that singer Whitney Houston is rumored to have been approached by show creator Simon Cowell to join the cast.

As has been well reported, Cowell cleaned house last week, firing host Steve Jones and judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. Since then names like Beyonce and Mariah Carey have been floating around, Cowell however shot down both options in an interview earlier this week.

The Hollywood Reporter reached out to Fox, Cowell and Houston’s reps but got no response.

Should Whitney take the gig (if it has actually even been offered), she would be an instant hit. Not only would viewers tune in, but it could be just the vehicle the singer needs to launch her own comeback.

Ashanti Channels Whitney Houston

Super producer David Foster has tapped R & B singer Ashanti to join him on his world wind ‘David Foster & Friends Tour.’

If David’s name does not ring a bell, his list of hit records surely will. For well over 30 years Foster has been penning and producing hits for people like Whitney Houston (I Have Nothing), Celine Dion (To Love You More) , Toni Braxton (Unbreak My Heart) and many, many others.

Foster chose Ashanti to join him on stage at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Buki Jalil to perform two of his most memorable productions: ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘I Have Nothing,’ both originally performed by legendary singer Whitney Houston.

So how did Ashanti fare singing such vocally intensive singles? Watch the clip below to see for yourself.

Whitney Houston to Star in Sparkle Remake

According to the Hollywood Reporter, comedian Mike Epps and singers Whitney Houston and American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, have signed on to star in the remake of the 1976 classic ‘Sparkle.’

As previously reported, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, creators of ‘Girlfriends’ and ‘The Game,’ will be writing, directing and producing the movie themselves. Distribution will be through Sony Pictures, with production to start in the summer of 2012.

Editors Note: I checked out the Akil’s Facebook pages and no casting decisions are listed there. However, the Hollywood Reporter is a trade publication and thus, I doubt they would publish inaccurate information.

That said, I cannot understand in what capacity Whitney, who lost her voices ages ago, would fit into this film. What role could she possibly play? Sista? I think not.

The first half of the film totally hinges on that character, which I can no longer picture the once mighty Houston playing. I love her dearly, but her voice is gone and this movie is all about the voices.

I am just as disappointed in the decision to cast Jordin Sparks, who clearly would be playing the title role of Sparkle. Yes, Jordin has a voice- but she lacks any type of discernable charisma. I don’t see her being able to carry a film on her name or talents alone.

The decision to cast Mike Epps however is by far the biggest mistake of them all. Mike dumbs down every movie he is in. When I think of Epps, I think buffoon.

I really don’t mean to be a negative Nelly, but if you are going to remake a classic you should think long and hard about the names you bring in to take on such iconic roles. Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps have no place in a Sparkle remake unless they are playing supporting roles.

Whitney Houston Back in Rehab

Just days after Angela Bassett announced the entire cast of “Waiting to Exhale” would be returning for the sequel, we get news that its biggest star, Whitney Houston, has once again entered rehab.

According to Whitney’s spokesperson, Kristen Foster, the 47 year old singer voluntarily entered herself into an out-patient program for drug and alcohol treatment.

As many of you well know, Whitney has battled an addiction to various drugs for nearly 20 years (yes it has been that long) and as little as two years ago via the Oprah Winfrey Show, declared herself clean and sober.

Foster says it is unclear how long Whitney would be in rehab and had no further comment on the singer’s upcoming music or film projects.

Whitney’s musical comeback back in 2009 included a #1 album “I Look to You,” as well as a commercially successful- yet critically panned- world tour.

Get well soon Whit.

Lady Gaga Thanks Whitney Houston

Lady Gaga won a Grammy earlier this evening for “Best Pop Vocal Album” and while giving her acceptance speech, thanked Whitney Houston for inspiring her to write “Born This Way.” Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, said she didn’t feel secure enough within herself to sing the tune, so while writing it she imagined Houston performing it instead.

The twenty-four year old pop diva had been criticized the past few days for reportedly borrowing too heavily from Madonna’s 1989 hit “Express Yourself.” Gaga hadn’t personally answered the charge; however tonight’s acknowledgement of Houston is seen as Gaga’s not so subliminal way of telling her critics to !@#$ themselves.

Whitney Houston And Tyler Perry Team Up

Is Whitney Houston returning to the big screen? Well, if super producer/director Tyler Perry has anything to say about it, the answer is Yes! According to an inside source, Whitney screen tested for Tyler personally in hopes of landing the lead role of a Jazz singer in Tyler’s next film “A Jazz Man’s Blues.” Word is the role may have originally been meant for Diana Ross, but once that fell through, Tyler rewrote the role specifically hoping to get Whitney to come on board. The film will reportedly be set in the 1940s and will feature Ben Kingsley as Whitney’s love interest.

As many of you well know, Whitney had an amazing movie career during the 90’s. The Pop diva’s films, “The Bodyguard,” “Waiting to Exhale” and “The Preacher’s Wife” have reportedly grossed over 300 million dollars worldwide and the singer’s soundtrack to “The Bodyguard” is still the largest selling soundtrack in history, thanks in part to Whitney’s amazing rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”

Whitney Houston Kicks Off World Tour

Whitney Houston kicked off her “Nothing But Love” tour over the weekend in Seoul, Korea. An estimated 11,000 fans converged on Olympic Park to see the singer perform her first live concert in over a decade and so far reviews have been mixed. Check out what the Korean Times had to say about Whitney’s show, as well as some tour book pics a fan sent me.

A few minutes past 7 p.m., Houston emerged clad in an all-black outfit: a turtleneck, leather pants and a floor-length coat. She sounded shaky at first, performing fast-paced songs “For the Lovers” and “Nothing But Love.” Her entrance was marred by audio and technical problems, with the backing tracks appearing to overshadow Houston’s own voice.
“Good evening, Korea. Welcome to the Whitney Houston show. This is the first show of our world tour and we’re starting here. We’re working out a lot of details, but hopefully you’ve come here to hear me sing. I’m going to sing to you from my heart. It’s hard for me to lip synch. I tried to do it, but I can’t,” she said.
The 47-year-old singer appeared to need some time to warm up her voice, which obviously was not the same powerful voice that fans remember from her memorable hits in the ’80s and ’90s.
But after the slow start, Houston sang the ballad “Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” showing that she can still hit the high notes.
“It’s been so long, 10 years since I’ve been on tour … You’ve been so kind to me, so loving, caring and warm, even though it’s so cold. Thank you so much,” she said.
Houston still has a charismatic stage presence, giving fans a glimpse of the pop diva that reigned the music world in the late ’80s and ’90s and has sold over 200 million records.
However, it was obvious Houston and her concert staff were still trying to iron out the kinks of the tour. There were awkward silences between songs, last-minute changes to the set list and on two occasions, Houston suddenly stopped singing and asked the band to start over. During “My Love,” she stopped to pick up a piece of her shoe from the floor and re-attached it.
Perhaps the first half of the show was too much for Houston, who looked out-of-breath and drenched in sweat. She asked the crowd to watch a video montage while she changed clothes backstage.
During the break, the band performed “For the Love of You,” while the back-up singers and dancers got the crowd excited with “Queen of the Night.” Two of the dancers had formerly worked with the late pop superstar Michael Jackson.
Houston later re-emerged in a white floor-length coat for the “unplugged” segment of the concert. She reminded the crowd that this year is the 25th anniversary of her debut album.
“Can you believe that? I don’t want to tell you this but I’ve been in show business for 30 years now. I can’t believe it myself. It seems like it was only yesterday,” she said, looking emotional.
Her voice sounded strong as she performed “Saving All My Love,” “The Greatest Love of All,” and “All At Once,” although the songs had new arrangements.
Houston had the crowd grooving to the hit song “Dance with Somebody,” then slowed down the pace once more with the gospel song “I Love the Lord,” from her 1996 film “The Preacher’s Wife.”
Houston looked like she was cold on stage, as she tightly belted her coat to keep her warm. “For some reason, there’s a breeze on stage. I don’t like singing in the cold, but for you I will continue singing,” she said.
She sang the deeply personal title track from her latest album “I Look to You,” while taking sips from a mug in one hand. Then with renewed energy, Houston sang, danced and ran from one side of the stage to the other for “Step by Step.”
The concert would not be complete without Houston performing her trademark song “I Will Always Love You,” and she didn’t disappoint. Throwing kisses and bowing, she graciously thanked the crowd and left the stage. After a nearly two-hour show, Houston returned for an encore, singing her latest single, “Million Dollar Bill,” and receiving loud cheers from the audience.
Houston gave another concert in Seoul on Sunday evening, then hit the road again for concerts in Japan, Australia and Europe.