With a tight band piloted by musical director Rickey Minor, and the complementary harmonics of four backup singers which included brother Gary, Houston's show was broken up into two distinct segments: the first focused on her older material, while the second half was dedicated to "The Bodyguard," which to date has sold nearly 52 million copies.

With a tight band piloted by musical director Rickey Minor, and the complementary harmonics of four backup singers which included brother Gary, Houston’s show was broken up into two distinct segments: the first focused on her older material, while the second half was dedicated to “The Bodyguard,” which to date has sold nearly 52 million copies.

Houston also performed two songs from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and the powerhouse “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls.” Her interpretation of the latter was one of the many highlights.

A Whitney Houston concert would not be complete if she did not perform the songs which firmly established her as a pop diva, such as “You Give Good Love, “”Saving All My Love for You” and “I Want to Dance With Somebody,” which featured a sensitive sax solo by guest artist Kirk Whalum. She received a standing ovation as she fiercely sang “Don’t Walk Away,”closing the first part of the show. Her final farewell was “I Will Always Love You.”

The Prince of New Jack, Bobby Brown, obviously moved by his wife’s performance, ventured to center stage as the elegant Houston was encoring with “I’m Every Woman.” After being greeted with a playful kiss, Brown carried Houston up the stairs and offstage.

Whalum performed “Love Is a Losing Game” and “The Language of Love,” cuts from his latest Columbia release, “Cache,” the followup to his 1989 critically acclaimed “The Promise.”

Show opened with the youngest siblings of the Winan dynasty, Angie and Debbie , whose performance featured songs from their debut release on Capitol, aptly titled “Angie & Debbie.”

Whitney Houston

(Hollywood Bowl; 17,905 seats; $ 75 top)

Production

Promoted by Bill Silva. Bands: Whitney Houston: Rickey Minor, Bette Sussman, Wayne Linsey, Carlos Rios, Kirk Whalum, Bashiri Johnson, Michael Baker, Gary Houston, Olivia McClurkin, Patti Howard, Josie James. Kirk Whalum: Dwight Sills, Rik Jackson, Don Patterson, Herman Matthews. Angie & Debbie Winans. Despite all the negative press about Whitney Houston in recent weeks, at the Hollywood Bowl last Sunday evening Houston gave what could only be described as a stellar performance before an enthusiastic, sold-out audience. It was an evening about singing, and she did just that for nearly two-hours, with a voice as luxurious as sable and as brilliant as the Hope Diamond. After opening with a few bars of "The Greatest Love of All" and gracefully descending the stairs, Houston announced that she would be doing some old songs, some love songs and songs from the chart-busting "Bodyguard" soundtrack.
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