Entertainment Music

Saturday 16 December 2017

Show will go on after Whitney takes the boat

Grainne Cunningham

Singer Whitney Houston was forced to ditch the trappings of stardom in favour of a car ferry across the Irish Sea to perform in Dublin.

The 46-year-old star, who is in the middle of her 'Nothing But Love' world tour, said she opted for the boat after the volcanic ash plume shut down airports across Ireland and the UK.

She is due to play the first of three nights at The O2 tonight.

"When Whitney was made aware of the airport closures due to the volcanic ash, she made the decision to drive from Birmingham to Dublin via the ferry so that she would not disappoint her Irish fans," promoters said.

Ferry firm Stenaline said it received a booking for Houston's entourage on the Nordica superferry into Dublin Port. The boat ride takes about three hours and 15 minutes.

A Stena spokeswoman said she was unaware of any special treatment for the star, but added that she had the option of upgrading to the Plus lounge or visiting the relaxation area, observation deck, cinema, restaurant, or enjoying onboard shopping.

It is understood Houston left Birmingham, where the European leg of the tour began this week, travelling by car to Holyhead in North Wales.

The singer, who is playing Dublin tonight, tomorrow and Tuesday, urged her record company to publicise her travel arrangements to ease concerns among fans that the shows may be cancelled.

She was forced to postpone three concerts at the start of the tour's UK leg after being diagnosed with an respiratory infection by doctors in Paris last week.

Meanwhile, the revered R&B diva's performance in Birmingham, England last week met with mixed reaction from the audience.

The singer spoke in a raspy voice throughout and disappeared for a lengthy costume change while leaving her back-up singers to fill dead air. Houston's comeback reportedly left some concert-goers booing and others demanding their money back.

Irish Independent

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