Do the diva and the ex-Prez deserve the millions they've just been offered?

By Karen Valby and Evan Serpick
Updated August 17, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Houston: Steve Granitz/

Whitney, you can exhale. Bubba, go ahead and inhale. In early August, two jaw-dropping deals rocked the entertainment world. How will we know if Whitney Houston and Bill Clinton are as good as gold? Only time will tell.

THE DEAL Arista will pay $100 million, plus bonuses, for six new albums and two hits compilations.
PRO With eight consecutive multiplatinum albums, six Grammys, and 11 No. 1 hits, her track record is stellar. Says Arista chief Antonio ”L.A.” Reid, ”She’s such a major star I don’t think there’s any risk for us at all.”
CON It’s been three years since the embattled singer’s last studio album, and a 2000 greatest-hits disc sold just 2 million copies. ”She’ll have to sell tens of millions of records for them to make their money back,” said Fred Croshal of rival label Maverick. With an aging fan base, Houston, we may have a problem.