EW has confirmed the recent news that VH1 is planning a tribute to Whitney Houston to air as a part of its long-running Diva series. The special will tape in Los Angeles in December, with her longtime musical director Ricky Minor serving as executive producer. Whitney’s family — and her label at Sony — have given their blessing for the special to move forward.
Since the taping is several months away, no artists have yet to be confirmed. But that’s where we fans of Whitney can come into play, mostly by answering the question: Who is best to fete Whitney at a Divas tribute? Let’s look at the most likely suspects that might turn up:
+ JENNIFER HUDSON: She’s an obvious choice, seeing as how she already paid tribute to Houston earlier this year at the Grammys, when she flawlessly sang “I Will Always Love You.” But in the spirit of mixing things up — and Hudson maybe not wanting to overshadow what she did for Houston at the Grammys — she could also opt not to participate and let someone step into the spotlight.
+ THE DIVAS PAST: Any number of former participants would be welcome additions to a Houston tribute, as Houston herself showed up on the special in 1999 (singing “Ain’t No Way” with Mary J. Blige and “I’m Every Woman” with Chaka Kahn), 2002 (helping Mary J. Blige out with “Rainy Dayz”), and 2003 (“Something in Common/My Love is Your Love” with ex-husband Bobby Brown and “I Was Made to Love Her” in a Stevie Wonder tribute). Divas, despite their competitive nature, do tend to run together. Others Divas alums who could potential show up include Mariah Carey (who also sang “When You Believe” with Houston), Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Diana Ross, Cher, Tina Turner, Beyoncé, Adele, and Kelly Clarkson.
+ BOBBY BROWN: There’s little chance Houston’s ex-husband and New Edition singer won’t be there. The big question is: Will he perform? And if so, what will he perform?
+ STEVIE WONDER: Houston sang the mid-tempo duet “We Didn’t Know” (from her 1990 album I’m Your Baby Tonight) with the legend and also paid tribute to him at the 2003 Divas concert, so it’s pretty much a lock that he’ll be there to fete her in some way.
+ DIONNE WARWICK: She’s Houston’s cousin — and a legendary singer herself. Seems only natural that, if she’s up for it emotionally, she’d be there.
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