Monday, September 14, 2009

Whitney Houston will address the issue that had to be addressed

When a major label musician or music group launches an album, all of the middle managers and PR experts and social media experts and everyone else need to construct a plan for how the album is going to be launched. Great effort is taken to construct the appropriate plans, budget the appropriate resources, and execute the appropriate public relations strategies.

There's a singer named Whitney Houston. I've previously covered some aspects of the marketing push behind her new album (namely the "sizzle reel"), but all of the photos and crowd pictures and song samples and everything else only answer part of the questions that we have about the singer, who has been absent from the public eye for so long.

So, at about the time the album was being released, Whitney Houston appeared on Oprah. But before Houston appeared, Oprah had a question.

Before Oprah Winfrey sat down with Whitney Houston for her first post-"crack is whack" interview...the talk host wanted to make sure the resurgent singer was up to the task. Her response? She wanted to "tell the truth" about her troubles, namely her high profile fall from R&B superstar to drug-using punchline.

Now many would not consider Oprah Winfrey a professional journalist, but Winfrey certainly knows her audience, and what they are expecting out of an interview. Once Winfrey was assured that the interview would deliver what the people wanted, she became as much a publicist as Houston's record label or Houston herself.

Winfrey refers to a Diane Sawyer interview from 2002. Here's an excerpt from what Houston said to Sawyer:

Presumably Houston is in a different frame of mind now. It's impossible to read her intentions to know whether this is a therapeutic experience for her, a cynical album promotion experience for her, or whether she just knew that this was going to happen and that she might as well get it over with.

Regardless of Houston's true intentions, it appears that the interview, which will air later today, will address many of the questions that have been in the minds of fans all these years.

But let's forget about cocaine and everything else for the moment. Here's the title track to "I Look To You."

blog comments powered by Disqus