New Houston album set for holiday release

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NEW YORK -- Whitney Houston's first album of original material since 2002 will be out this year, according to BMG Label Group chairman and CEO Clive Davis.

Speaking during Billboard's Music & Money Symposium on Thursday morning at New York's St. Regis Hotel, Davis said four songs have been completed for the project, and four more will be put to tape this month.

"We're on track for a holiday release," he said. "We're not going to compromise who she is to fit into today's hip-hop radio market. The public wants Whitney material."

Tracks earmarked for the album have been produced or written by will.i.am, Sean Garrett and Akon, who told Billboard.com last year, "The voice is there; I don't think anyone could ever take that from her. As long as we apply that voice to hit records, she'll be right back where she left off."

Houston has been dogged in recent years by drug and health issues -- including rehab stints in 2004 and '05 -- a legal dispute with her father, John Houston, rumored financial problems and a troubled marriage to fellow singer Bobby Brown that ended in divorce.
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