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The Greatest Wait of All hide

Whitney Houston records her new album in just six weeks

Whitney Houston unveiled her first studio album in eight years Thursday afternoon at Sony Studios in New York City, where she thanked Arista Records president Clive Davis for getting her "back to work." "My Love Is Your Love" (Nov. 17) includes 12 original songs written, produced, and sung with some of R&B's most notable faces, including Missy Elliott, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Faith Evans, and Rodney Jenkins. Made in just six weeks, Houston's album was originally scheduled to be a greatest-hits compilation with only a few new cuts. But thanks to Davis and the A-list musicians, Houston, 35, said the offer to create an album of all-new songs was too good to refuse.

"People ask me why I waited eight years for an album that took six weeks to make," Houston said after the album premiere. "I got a call from my dad in the business (Davis) who said, 'It's time for you to come back to your job. We want to hear you again on a studio-recorded album without a movie attached to it.'" Houston was the voice behind the soundtracks for "The Bodyguard," "Waiting to Exhale," and "The Preacher's Wife." (Houston's erratic behavior last year -- her bewildering live HBO special, her last-minute cancellation of the Rosie O'Donnell show, and her mysterious facial slash while on vacation in Italy with her husband, Bobby Brown -- caused some to wonder if everything was all right with the three-time Grammy winner.)

"My Love" contains Houston's much-hyped duet with Mariah Carey, "When You Believe," from the upcoming DreamWorks animated epic "The Prince of Egypt." Asked about reported competition between the two multi-octave singers, Houston said: "We came to sing, not to fight. Mariah and I have never had a rivalry because we didn't know each other enough to have one."

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