Whitney Houston returns to stage, critics divided

Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:43am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. singer Whitney Houston kicked off the British leg of her tour late on Tuesday after cancelling a string of gigs due to illness, but some critics were less than impressed with her performance.

"Houston, we still have a problem" was the conclusion of the bestselling tabloid the Sun on Wednesday in a brief review of the 46-year-old's concert in Birmingham.

"It was not the performance fans were hoping for."

The BBC's Colin Paterson said there were "great moments" during the show, highlighting "It's Not Right, But It's OK" and "How Will I Know."

"But 'I Will Always Love You' will live long in the memory, and not for the right reasons," he wrote, adding that Houston appeared short of breath throughout the show which she blamed on a cold and the air conditioning.

"Those going to see Whitney tonight in Nottingham will hope things are alright. If they are even OK, it will be an improvement on last night," he wrote.

Alison Dayani of the Birmingham Post also said the singer appeared breathless, and broke up the set with water breaks and chats with the audience apparently to give her time to recover.

"The straw that finally broke the crowd's back" came as Houston took a 15 minute break, and when a video of "One Moment In Time" was played there were boos in the arena, she added.

The Independent's Elisa Bray was more positive, saying that Houston, hospitalized in Paris this month after suffering a respiratory infection, had learned to pace her set better than in Australia where she was panned by fans and critics.   Continued...

<p>Whitney Houston performs "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, November 22, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>