Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Selling of Whitney Houston Begins: Book, TV Shows, Home Shopping Network


UPDATE: The photo book from Atria only includes an essay by Pat Houston. The photos were lovingly handpicked by Whitney’s trusted aide and in hour pr person Lynne Volkmann. Everyone who knew Whitney loves Lynne. So we endorse the book since it was her project. Now, continue…

Whitney Houston died on February 11th. And now the selling begins. It’s not just the reality TV show that will feature real or faux drama about Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina possibly dating, marrying and having a child with an officially adopted brother, a kid who Whitney took into her home. There’s more, a lot more.

Home Shopping Network plays a big part in the selling of Whitney Houston directly to her fans. On November 5th, viewers will see a special that was taped for HSN with interviews given by Clive Davis and producer David Foster, video clips and archival material. It’s all to support a Whitney greatest hits album coming from RCA for Christmas called “Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You.”

On November 16th, there’s a one hour CBS special featuring Davis, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Cece Winans, Halle Berry and, strangely, Britney Spears, who had nothing to do with Houston whatsoever and certainly can’t sing anything like her. But the special is said to be very moving. Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, chose not to attend. But the special is said to go a long way in cleaning up Whitney’s image, and restoring some luster to it. I’m in favor of that.

All of this leads up to a book of photos and reminisces by Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister in law and manager, published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. Pat Houston was named executor of Whitney’s estate shortly after the singer died.  In court she replaced Whitney’s former attorney in that role. It was Pat Houston who also gave Oprah Winfrey an interview a month after Whitney died, in her New Jersey home.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also 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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