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Tag: Whitney Houston (1-10 of 21)

'The Christmas Song': You pick the best version, in our Twelve Days of Christmas Classics -- POLL

The Twelve Days of Christmas Classics is on! Starting with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” EW is putting the best versions of the most-covered Christmas songs up to a daily vote to compile the ultimate holiday playlist. If your favorite singer isn’t in the list below, you better not pout: Each artist will only appear once throughout the next 12 days. Listen to our top six, vote for your favorite, and let us know why you made your pick in the comments below.

UPDATE: The polls are closed, and we have our winners! Listen to YOUR ultimate holiday playlist here.

Our Twelve Days of Christmas Classics continues with the most-performed Christmas song of all time, simply titled “The Christmas Song” — but you might know it better by its first line: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”

The song’s toasty lyrics — invoking the holiday imagery of mistletoe, flying reindeer, and bundling up like Eskimos — were written by crooner Mel Tormé and composer Robert Wells back in 1944. Tormé’s 1954 version is included in our top six below, but is it the ultimate “Christmas Song”? Kids from 1 to 92 (and beyond) can make their pick below:
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'Glee': Madonna! Stevie Wonder! The top ten tribute episodes -- ranked! VIDEO

As anyone with even a passing familiarity with Glee — or iTunes charts — is aware, the show knows its way around a tribute episode, a.k.a. an episode where all of the music is from one artist or film. A ‘tribute episode’ also typically means there are seven or eight songs in the hour-long dramedy, as opposed to the usual standard of four. Great news for those of us who are watching the show for the karaoke! (I can’t be the only one dancing around my living room to Madonna or Lady Gaga Glee covers, right?)

Last night, Glee added Stevie Wonder to the diverse group of icons the show has celebrated, which got me thinking — where does Wonder fall among the Glee kids’ homages? Below, check out our rankings of the top ten tribute episodes Glee has undertaken in the past four seasons — along with some videos of the best performance from each musical-icon-filled hour.
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Whitney Houston's brother to Oprah: I gave Whitney drugs first -- VIDEO

Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy and brother Michael sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a special Oprah’s Next Chapter as the first anniversary of the Whitney’s death draws nearThe interview, which focused primarily on Cissy Houston, was at least in part promotion for Houston’s upcoming book, Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped. Among the many revelations in the chat, which aired in full last night on OWN, was Houston’s brother’s admission that it was he, not Bobby Brown, who originally introduced Whitney to drugs in the early 1980s, far before she ever met Brown.

Talking about the “demons” he struggled with since Whitney’s death last year, Michael discussed how close he always was with his younger sister. “I’m living, but I’m not alive without her,” he explained. “I feel responsible for her, I always have. I just felt like I should have taken better care of her,” and “Everything we did together growing up, when I started [using] drugs we did that together too. It just got out of hand.”

Watch below: READ FULL STORY

Cissy Houston talks Whitney in emotional 'Today' interview -- VIDEO

Warning: Watching the following segment will probably give you a serious case of the sads.

Gospel great Cissy Houston stopped by the Today show this morning to talk about her new book, Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped – and while the singer remained calm and composed even as Savannah Guthrie asked tough questions about her daughter’s drug abuse, Cissy’s quiet, stoic grief was somehow even more poignant than hysterics would have been.

The 79-year-old is still clearly in mourning — “I miss her so much I can’t even express it,” she said at one point. Cissy told Guthrie that she doesn’t blame Whitney’s ex-husband Bobby Brown for anything, and that sometimes tragedies are just inexplicable — “Good mothers and good fathers and good families don’t always have great children. Bad people have good children… It’s all their responsibility when they get to a certain age to choose their way. [Whitney] was taught, she knew the way.”

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Great moments in lip-synching, from The Beatles to Jennifer Hudson -- VIDEO

There’s a silver lining to yesterday’s whole Beyoncé lip-synching debacle: If Bey did, in fact, mouth the words to the national anthem at Monday’s inauguration, at least she’s in good company.

As Jennifer Lopez noted on The Daily Show last night, basically every major musician has relied on pre-recorded tracks at some point — even giants like The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston. (Not to mention lesser beings like Ashlee Simpson and Milli Vanilli.) So in honor of the earpiece-removal that scandalized a nation, let’s look back at some of music history’s most memorable lip-synching moments — both famous and infamous.

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'VH1 Divas' Jordin Sparks, Melanie Fiona, and Ledisi celebrate Whitney Houston -- VIDEO

Divas may not be known for playing well with others, but there’s one thing on which they can all agree: Whitney Houston was their queen. And at last night’s VH1 Divas concert, the grand dame of divadom got a fitting tribute from a trio of young upstarts. Of course, none of those ladies sounded quite as wonderful as Whitney in her prime — but the number was moving and groove-worthy all the same.

After an introduction courtesy of Brandy — who played the title character to Houston’s Fairy Godmother in 1997′s CinderellaAmerican Idol winner Jordin Sparks kicked things off with “I’m Every Woman.” As colored lights glinted on a giant, crystal-encrusted “WHITNEY” sign, the song bled into Grammy-winner Melanie Fiona’s joyous take on “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which she sang while leading a crowd of dancers through a psyched-looking audience. Once she reached the stage, Fiona switched gears for a few verses of “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” — paving the way for the jazzy soul singer Ledisi, who couldn’t quite hit all of “How Will I Know”‘s punishing high notes.

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Whitney Houston's teenage daughter is engaged -- UPDATE

Seven years after Being Bobby Brown fascinated and horrified TV audiences, a new reality show about Whitney Houston’s family is coming to cable. Lifetime’s The Houstons: On Our Own follows the late star’s relatives — including her mother, Cissy, her brother, Gary, and her sister-in-law and manager, Pat — as they try to keep their family together in the wake of Whitney’s sudden death.

But show’s main focus is 19-year-old Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s daughter with ex-husband Bobby Brown — who is apparently engaged to Nick Gordon, a 22-year-old who was informally adopted by Houston 10 years ago. And as this preview clip shows, Bobbi Kristina’s family isn’t exactly thrilled when they hear the news:

UPDATE: A rep for Bobbi Kristina tells CNN that the two aren’t engaged, but adds, “You have to watch the show!!!!”

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Spontaneous subway dance party! What song would get you moving?

The greatest love of all may be the fondness Americans share for peak-era Whitney Houston. Want proof? Check out the following video — courtesy of Gothamist — which shows what happens when a pair of buskers start performing “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” on a Brooklyn subway platform:

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Whitney Houston in 'Sparkle': How will she rank among these posthumous performers?

Nobody wants to join the list of actors whose last movies were released after they died — but you’ve got to admit that the company is good. And as of today, that unfortunate club has another illustrious member: Whitney Houston, star of the Jordin Sparks vehicle Sparkle. (Not to be confused with Marian Carey’s Glitter, though both are lustrous tales of up-and-coming singers.)

EW’s Owen Gleiberman wasn’t a huge fan of Sparkle; he gave the film a B- in EW this week, calling it “an overheated mediocrity.” He does, however, praise Houston, applauding her “gravelly conviction” in his review. “This could have been the first step not merely in a comeback but in a major re-invention,” he continues. “She had the instincts of a superb character actress.”

So Whitney’s last movie isn’t exactly Oscar material — but could she still enter the pantheon of stars who gave especially memorable posthumous performances? Let’s take a look at some of her competition:

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Newark mayor responds to high cost of Whitney Houston funeral. But what is the price of mourning?

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Whitney Houston’s death continues to generate headaches for New Jersey’s leading politicans. First, Governor Chris Christie was criticized for lowering the flags at state government buildings to half-staff to honor the late singer. Now, some Newark residents are unhappy that Whitney Houston’s February funeral cost the city more than $187,000 in police overtime. The figure equals roughly 5 percent of Newark’s annual police overtime budget ($4 million), reports CBS New York.

EW reached out to Newark mayor Cory Booker’s office, who said, though no formal complaint has been lodged, it’s incumbent upon him to exercise caution at such ceremonies. “As with any major event, and Ms. Houston’s funeral was an international event, our police department’s priority is to keep both citizens and visitors alike safe when they come to our city,” said Booker’s communication director Anne Torres.

Democratic councilwoman Mildred Crump agreed, telling CBS, “I was able to be witness to the thousands upon thousands of people who were desperate to attend [Houston's] service but held back by barriers and officers of the law. If they had not been there someone may have been trampled, seriously hurt.”

Indeed, for such a large-scale event as Houston’s funeral, the costs (beyond what the celebrity’s estate covers*) quickly move from intangible — crowd control, safety, security — to tangible, life-threatening even. It’s hardly the first time a departed celebrity has cost a city some cash. READ FULL STORY

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