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Houston praises fans, bashes rumors as new album releases hide



NEW YORK (CNN) -- It isn't every day you get the two premier pop divas of the '90s together to perform a duet for a movie soundtrack.

So when word came that Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston were to record a song together for the upcoming DreamWorks picture "The Prince of Egypt," it was rumored that there was an ongoing "Celebrity Death Match" between the two.

Now the duet is a track on Houston's first studio album in eight years, "My Love Is Your Love," and Houston is pleased for the opportunity to squelch the diva-cat fights rumor. "We came to sing; we didn't come to fight," she says, denying any rivalry between her and Carey.

"I'm not going to say people are mean," she says, "even though I know there are mean people. But I do think that people expect that two vocalists of such great caliber would have nothing else to do but fight. You know, (as if) that's what we looked forward to, coming in and fighting each other. No, we looked forward to working with each other."

'They're getting it all wrong'

The studio album marks a switch for Houston, who for much of this decade has released mostly ballads for movie soundtracks -- "The Preacher's Wife," "The Bodyguard," "Waiting to Exhale."

And Carey's isn't the only extra voice on this album. Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot also collaborated with Houston, for a song whose lyrics -- "They don't know anything about it, so I know they're getting it all wrong" -- speak to the public's interest in Houston and her oft-arrested, reportedly abusive husband, Bobby Brown, and the gossip that swirls around them.

"I've read about myself and my husband and my family, to the point where they've called my parents, they've called my brothers, offering money to tell stories. They call friends of mine," Houston says. "I'd just like for them to just ... don't badger us. Don't scrutinize us. We have children and they have to live, too. It's not fair."

Whitney Houston has one other message for her fans, which she put in the title of her album. "I wanted to say something to the people -- how I felt about them for loving and supporting me all these years, and for being devoted," she said.

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