Whitney Houston’s first new album in seven years hits stores today. And get this: “I Look to You” is already number 1 on amazon.com in CD sales, and number 8 in downloads.

For Whitney, a seven-year curse is over. Her last album, “Just Whitney,” was a spectacular failure back in 2002.

But Houston is a beautiful case of rehabilitation and people caring, gone right. Last week she filmed not one but two videos in the same day ‘ the title track, “I Look to You,” and her Alicia Keys-penned hit, “Million Dollar Bill.”

Those are great, but Whitney has a secret’hit on the new album. It’s a’ dance version of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You.” I predict that when Larry Jackson of Arista/J Records gets the extended dance mixes out of this track, it could be a smash unlike anything Houston has had before. The track is on a par with Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” and made for success.

So congrats to Larry, and mostly, to Clive Davis. If Whitney looks to anyone, it’s to him. It was clearly Clive’s determination that he resurrect Whitney the artist, but also the human being. The complete story hasn’t yet been told how Davis got a fragile Houston into rehab and set her on the road to recovery. It’s a rare story of humanity in a business that is usually unforgiving.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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