Brits’ O’Connor Jibe Sparks Row

Whitney Houston has found herself unwittingly at the center of a local record industry tussle sparked off by Sinead O’Connor’s refusal to appear at the recent Brit Awards, local equivalent of the Grammys.

Awards producer Jonathan King ran a video of Houston singing the “Star Spangled Banner” after O’Connor won the best international female singer gong. This was a reference to O’Connor’s refusal last year to have the U.S. national anthem played at a New Jersey gig.

A spokesman for the British Phonographic Industry trade body, which hosts the televised event, said inclusion of the clip following a montage of O’Connor songs was meant as a “lighthearted joke.”

That’s not the way Chrysalis Records, which represents O’Connor, nor BMG Records, which handles Houston, saw it. Both companies have written to the BPI and producer King demanding apologies.

(BMG’s response might be slighly muted in view of the fact that Houston’s record sales have jumped since the show was aired on BBC here, per the BPI. Sales of O’Connor disks reportedly have remained stable.)

The row, in true showbiz tradition, has led to a wave of press and tv publicity for O’Connor. The Times of London ran a long (mostly positive) profile of the crop-haired singer. The tabloid Sun branded her “Sinead She-Devil” after an MTV appearance in which she questioned whether Saddam Hussein had the monopoly on evil in the Persian Gulf war. BMG has demanded an apology from the Sun and taken the issue to the watchdog Press Council.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More News from Variety

Loading