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Why Whitney Houston was banned from Prince concerts


Prince may well have been a trailblazing icon in his day, but he was no stranger to the occasional spat. He notoriously feuded with Michael Jackson following a bizarre ping pong incident, he refused to sing along to ‘We are the World’ and simply stood still sucking on a lollipop, and apparently, he even temporarily banned Whitney Houston from attending his concerts.

It is well known that Prince was a perfectionist, in fact, there is a school of thought that he actually scrapped more albums in his career than he released. He would often or everyone to leave the studio and simply record and produce every element of the song himself. This attention to detail extended to his live shows and an overzealous Whitney Houston seemingly found herself on the receiving end. 

The late ‘I Will Always Love You’ singer had a lot of well-documented problems in her life and during Prince’s Welcome 2 America tour these came to the fore when her fangirling for the Purple One proved a bit too much for the meticulous late star. During one of his performances, Whitney was invited up from the front runner to sing a quick verse after tirelessly summoning the attention of Prince. 

However, her shaky performance prompted Prince to quickly take the microphone back off her after only a few lines. He entreated the audience to applaud and then led her towards the stage exit stairs. As she departed, she yelled ‘Go Whitney’ down the mic and with a humble nod Prince seemed to think things over. 

At later shows, Houston would show up in the front row once more and Prince apparently was not too fond of her “over-enthusiastic” dancing with her daughter Bobbi Kristina. According to TMZ, Houston then proceeded to badger the star and demanded that his security team let her on stage, but this was bluntly refused. This prompted rumours after the performance that Prince had decided to launch a banning order against the star to ensure that she did not disrupt the rest of his tour. 

However, when Prince became aware of the reports that were circulating at the time, he quickly released his own statement. He denied the rumours of a ban and said “She’s always welcome 4 all of eternity”. Whether or not any ban was actually in place remains debated to this day. What’s for certain is that Prince and Houston were two trailblazing talent behemoths with an undoubted diva sting in their tails.