Whitney Houston refused to play Melbourne’s second concert because the venue was on “Whiteman Street”
Beloved 80s soul singer and actress Whitney Houston withdrew from her second concert in Melbourne in 1997 because she believed the venue was located on a street with a racist name.
Houston was scheduled to perform at the Crown Casino, located along Whiteman Street, when she unexpectedly retired at the last minute.
Former great footballer Sam Newman, who attended the concert, claims Houston withdrew because she objected to the name.
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âSomeone said the real reasonâ¦ Whitney Houston didn’t sing is because the Crown Casino – listen to this, you’re going to love this – was on a street called Whiteman Street,â Newman said.
Houston had previously given Crown a show, which received rave reviews, before pulling out of the second without warning.
Speaking to fellow former footballer Don Scott on their “You Cannot Be Serious” podcast, Newman said he attended the second scheduled show when Houston suddenly pulled out.
Sam Newman (right) told Don Scott (left) the “real reason” Houston gave up on their second concert in Melbourne in 97
âBobby and Whitney said they weren’t going to sing at a facility on a street called Whiteman Street,â he said.
Houston’s failure to perform the second show grabbed the world press.
She was still at the top of her game having dominated the ’80s and early’ 90s with hits such as “I Will Always Love You”, “I Want To Dance With Someone” and “The Greatest Love Of All “.
The official reason Houston canceled the concert was because she claimed she was suffering from exhaustion.
Newman claimed that when Houston was not forward he was forced to take the stage himself with legendary Australian artist Bobby Valentine.
âI was sent to hold the sheet music for Bobby Valentine, who got up the second night,â said. “He dragged me and I just stood next to him while Bobby sang.”
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Houston won’t return to the Australian shores for 13 years in what would be some of his last performances.
She died just two years later after being found face down in a tub filled with water with drug paraphernalia nearby.
Although Newman declined to comment on who told him the ‘real’ reason Houston canceled the concert in ’97, entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins told a similar story on Women’s Day in 2012.
âBobby was asking that the name of the street be changed. Things were quite strange, âhe told the publication at the time.
Wilkins claimed Houston partied after receiving a standing ovation the night before.
âAfter the first gig, she was filmed on CCTV at Fidels, the cigar bar under the casino, smoking and partying until the early hours of the morning.
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Mom and daughter in 2011. They both reportedly died a few years after this image was taken.
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âThe next day, she canceled the second concert claiming that she was suffering from exhaustion.
âThe organizers were furious and after heated negotiations threw them out. So I thought, “Wow, what are you doing ma’am? “This girl was just blessed, she had it all, money, fame, voiceâ¦ and seemed to throw it all away.”
In 2010, Houston, now a shadow of herself, returned to Melbourne.
At the time, then 46, she had just finished a performance about a “car accident” in Brisbane, in which she struggled to get through the show.
“She couldn’t entertain a dead rat,” commented one person in the audience at the time.
Houston’s daughter to Brown, Bobbi Kristina Brown, died in much the same way as her mother three years later.