After a public divorce, the most important thing a celebrity can do is get right back on the PR horse again. So it goes for Whitney Houston.
The incredible singer made her first high-profile public appearance since the recent split from husband Bobby Brown, as she was toasted as belle of the ball Saturday night during a benefit in Beverly Hills that raised more than $70 million for juvenile diabetes research.
“I feel great,” said Houston.
The singer was escorted to the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball by one of the evening’s honorees, her record producer Clive Davis, who told USA Today:
“She’s been through emotional trauma, and everybody’s rooting for her … We’re gonna make a killer album.”
Houston sat at the main table with Halle Berry — who herself is a diabetic — and the actress’s boyfriend Gabriel Aubry.
Elsewhere at the gala, which was hosted by Jay Leno, were Brooke Shields, Teri Hatcher, Hilary Duff, Kristin Davis, Sharon Stone, Minnie Driver, Sidney Poitier and couple Warren Beatty and Annette Bening.
Houston didn’t sing at the event – but the evening’s featured entertainer let loose. Katharine McPhee ditcher signature number, “Over the Rainbow,” in favor of Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Houston’s acknowledged the tribute by nodding at this season’s American Idol runner-up during the performance.
“It’s her first big appearance since the breakup,” McPhee, 22, said about Houston. “I would love to sing with her, but unfortunately all eyes are on me.”
Two weeks ago, Houston filed for divorce from Brown after 14 years of marriage. The couple had separated on Sept. 8. Not surprisingly, rumored Brown mistress, Karrine Steffans, was absent from this evening.