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Whitney Houston is back

Whitney Houston is back — Clive Davis talks about the diva’s dramatic turnaround

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She dumped Bobby, she looks better than she has in years, and, at press time, she hadn’t announced any embarrassing new reality TV ventures. But is Whitney Houston actually ready for a comeback? According to her mentor, BMG exec Clive Davis, the former chart-topper will roll into the studio next January to record at least five new tracks. ”I’m sensing a real, clear-eyed desire to record again,” says Davis. ”And so far, I’m extremely excited by the material we have.” That includes tunes from songwriters and producers like R. Kelly, Jermaine Dupri, Johnta Austin (who co-wrote Mariah’s monster 2005 hit ”We Belong Together”), and Sean Garrett (”London Bridge,” ”Goodies,” ”Yeah!”). But just a sec — we’ve been here before: Houston’s last studio album, 2002’s Just Whitney…, fizzled, producing no hits and selling a mere one million copies. ”Well, that’s the only album that she and I didn’t work on,” laughs Davis. ”This is going to be pure Whitney.” By which we hope he means the vintage, ballad-belting version, not the messy one from the Bravo reality show.