Music mogul Clive Davis appeared on “Good Morning America” Tuesday to preview Whitney Houston’s much-anticipated new album, “I Look to You” due out Sept. 1.
“You won’t forget it after you hear it,” Davis told “GMA” co-anchor Diane Sawyer. Not coincidentally, the ABC morning show has landed Houston’s comeback concert appearance this fall, timed to the release of the album, the first new studio project by the former Atlantan in seven years.
Davis, who discovered Houston 25 years ago, re-teamed with her two years ago to work on a comeback that will hopefully make fans forget about the tabloid headlines, her high-profile divorce from Bobby Brown and her, um, memorable cameos on the televised trainwreck “Being Bobby Brown.”
Of Houston’s new single, Davis previewed: “There’s a song on the album called ‘I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.’ And it really speaks for Whitney. She tumbled but she didn’t crumble.”
Even as the hype machine spins into overdrive for “I Look to You,” industry insiders wonder if those trademark Houston pipes, reportedly ravaged from years of abuse, remain intact for a comeback. In the age of the digital download, artists depend more heavily on touring for revenue than ever before.
And unlike Britney Spears, who has staged a successful comeback this year via the live spectacle “Circus” tour, Houston made her mark in music based on her amazing vocal prowess.
It’s doubtful that fans would plunk down top dollar in this economy for a lip-syncing Houston. Complicating matters further, a fresh generation of divas, led by Beyonce and Ciara, now dominate the spotlight. Even Houston’s 1980s peer Janet Jackson, with a top record producer like Jermaine Dupri at the helm, has recently encountered trouble re-gaining her “Control” era chart-topping numbers.
What’s your take? Are you booking a flight to New York City this fall to scream down front at the “GMA” Whitney Houston concert? Will you at least slide a copy of “I Look to You” into your cart while browsing the aisles of Target? Or have you musically moved on in 2009?