Whitney Houston plays first UK gig in 11 years

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Whitney Houston played her first UK gig in 11 years tonight as the British leg of her world tour belatedly got under way.

The 46-year-old American diva took to the stage in Birmingham, performing to a sell-out crowd.

The singer was forced to temporarily put off three concerts at the start of the UK leg of the tour while she recovered from an infection.

She was diagnosed by doctors in Paris with an upper respiratory infection last week.

Dressed in tight white trousers and a metallic white jacket, she told the crowd: "I'm feeling pretty good myself, thank you so much for asking."

The two-hour show at Birmingham's LG Arena passed without any major dramas, despite fans becoming restless when the star's mid-show outfit change left them waiting for around 15 minutes.

On returning to the stage she joked: "I could hear you getting p***** off".

An early microphone malfunction threatened to throw Houston off pace during her second song, but a technician rushed on stage with a replacement and the singer laughed off the hiccup, telling the crowd: "My head mic broke... but I always have a spare."

At one point the star, who was due to start her UK tour in Manchester last Thursday, took a programme from a fan in the audience and signed it.

She told her fans: "Thank you so much for your love, your support and your loyalty," adding: "I have nothing but love for you. Thank you so very much."

Houston had earlier shrugged off suggestions that she could be on a downward spiral due to drugs, branding speculation "ridiculous".

Speaking as she entered the UK earlier last week, she said: "I'm feeling great, I'm just ready to move on and continue my world tour."

She added: "At this point, I just don't respond. I don't even read it.

"I'm doing what I love to do, which is singing.

"The best part is seeing all of my fans around the world."

The singer, who has sold more than 170 million albums, singles and videos, has been dogged by ill-health while attempting her big comeback.

Houston had been on a hiatus from music as she battled drug addiction and ended a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown.

But with her new album I Look To You, she has been riding high once more and has declared herself healthy and free from substance abuse.

Two songs from the new album opened the show, followed by hits including I Will Always Love You, and It's Not Right (But it's OK), which she described as "an oldie but a goodie".

A Glasgow concert which had been scheduled for Sunday has been rearranged for May 1, while last week's Manchester dates will take place at the end of the tour on June 16 and 17.

I Look To You became her fastest-selling album in the UK, and has already shifted more than 2.5 million copies.

Concert promoters Marshall Arts have asked ticketholders for the Manchester and Glasgow performances to retain their tickets, which will remain valid.

Organisers said those unable to make the rescheduled shows should apply to their point of ticket purchase for a refund.

They added that all other dates on Houston's Nothing But Love World Tour 2010 will be unaffected.

Comments