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HOUSTON MAINTAINS COMPOSURE AT ARISTA GALA
Singer Refrains From Playing Imaginary Piano For Balance Of Evening
April 11, 2000

A smiling Whitney Houston showed up amid heavy scrutiny Monday night at Arista Records' 25th anniversary tribute to her mentor, Clive Davis.

"She looks fabulous," Dionne Warwick, a cousin of Houston's told the Associated Press.

Houston was scheduled to sing a medley of her hits as some of the biggest names in the label's history gathered to perform for Arista founder Davis, who signed Houston when she was 19. The two-hour special was taped to air May 15 on NBC.

Rumors about Houston have swirled in the wake drug abuse allegations, a much-discussed absence at last month's Oscars and a disjointed magazine interview. Houston has denied abusing drugs in the past.

Three weeks before the Oscars, Houston failed to appear at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dinner where she was scheduled to help induct Davis. And in January, when airport security officers in Hawaii said they found a half-ounce of marijuana in Houston's bag. Rather than wait for police to arrive, the 36-year-old Houston boarded her flight and left the islands. Houston has not been charged in the incident.

Wearing a leopard dress and white fur jacket, Houston sat smiling in the audience Monday with her arm resting on the arm of husband Bobby Brown during a medley by Barry Manilow. Seated next to Davis, Houston sang along as Manilow performed "I Write The Songs."

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