SYDNEY (Reuters) - U.S. pop diva Whitney Houston says her tour of Australia is going great, so tell that to the swathes of fans and critics who have panned her performance.
Houston has faced a barrage of complaints since embarking on a six-date tour of Australia in Brisbane on Monday, with some fans walking out of concerts, some demanding refunds and others complaining she was off key and looked exhausted.
The backlash following Monday’s concert and a similarly criticized performance in Sydney on Wednesday prompted Houston’s publicist Kristen Stewart to release a statement, dismissing rumors that the 46-uear-old singer is having health problems.
Houston, one of the top selling U.S. female vocalists of all time, launched a comeback last year after battling drug addiction and released “I Look To You”, her first studio album in seven years that topped the U.S. and other international charts.
“Whitney is in great health and having a terrific time on her tour and with her fans,” Foster said in a statement reported by Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph.
“Her fans were dancing and singing along with her and Whitney appreciates their support.”
But not everyone agreed that Houston was in such fine voice for her first tour of Australia in 22 years. After finishing her Australian tour in Perth on March 7, she heads to France and Britain in April with her “Nothing but Love” world tour.
“She barely finished any of her songs and talked more than she sang while trying to catch a breath, as well as stopping in the middle of her songs to get a towel, reapply makeup,” one concert goer called Trista wrote on an Internet posting.
“If her voice is shot, and she knows it, how dare she get up on stage and pretend it’s not,” wrote blogger Pete of Nowra.
Disgruntled fans have backed up their complaints about Houston’s performance by posting video clips of the singer online, showing her struggling to hit some notes.
Houston had her greatest hits in the 1980s and 1990s with songs such as “I Will Always Love You” and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.”
Houston’s Australian promoter Andrew McManus said he was proud to be associated with such “an amazing talent” and people who wanted to hear Houston of 20 years ago should go and buy a CD.
“All I can say is what happened to the Australian positive support of someone who has seen difficult times and is now up on stage, warts and all, presenting herself like an open book for the world to see,” he said in a statement on his company website.
Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy