- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back in fine form

Whitney Houston made an appearance at the world premiere of her new album, “I Look to You” (Arista), in London on Tuesday.

Looking healthy and radiant, the powerhouse vocalist briefly took the stage at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge after Sony Music Chief Creative Officer Clive Davis played nine tracks from the album, due out Sept. 1 in the U.S. The U.K. release, on RCA, arrives Aug. 31, Billboard.com reports.

Miss Houston thanked Mr. Davis for his work on the album, saying: “When Clive called me I was pretty ready to buy my island home [and retire], but he said, ‘No, you’re going to sing again, people want to hear you.’ ”

Describing the album as “a labor of love,” Miss Houston added: “I hope that these songs stay with you for a lifetime.”

Another Rowe row

Debbie Rowe is firing back at a friend who released e-mails purportedly showing Miss Rowe having deep misgivings over asserting her custody rights for Michael Jackson’s two oldest children, People.com reported Wednesday.

In one of the e-mails, provided to the syndicated entertainment show “Extra,” Miss Rowe is quoted as telling Rebecca White on July 5: “Do I want the kids? Hell no. Does it look good for me to ask for them? Absolutely. I don’t want to look like the woman who gave away her kids and just forgot about them.”

“Our firm has sent Ms. White a letter disputing the truth of her statements and demanding that she make retraction in order to avoid legal action,” Miss Rowe’s attorney said in a statement.

Miss Rowe plans to attend a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing on Monday for temporary guardianship of the children, Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11, who have been staying with their grandmother Katherine Jackson at the family’s Encino home. Mr. Jackson’s youngest child, Prince Michael II, 7, was born to an unidentified surrogate.

Redford weds

Oscar-winning director Robert Redford married his long-term German partner Sibylle Szaggars in the northern port city of Hamburg last weekend, a church spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Mr. Redford, 72, and Miss Szaggars, a 51-year-old artist, have been together for more than a decade, Reuters news agency reports.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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