December 1 [14:45 EDT] -- Just an hour before she was due on stage, Whitney Houston canceled a Saturday performance at a mass wedding ceremony conducted by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
Houston was given a reported $1 million appearance fee to be a part of the event, but issued a statement saying she had a "sudden illness" that would keep her from performing. Houston's publicist had earlier claimed that the singer was unaware that she was singing for Moon's followers, who have been called a cult by some. A spokesperson for Moon's Unification church said it was impossible for Houston not to know, and that the singer did indeed show up for a Friday rehearsal.
Several other big names, including former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed and former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazhir Bhutto, also canceled their performances. Houston's cancellation marks her fourth high-profile no show in the past year. Houston previously missed appearances at the Essence Awards, a Children's Defense
Fund grant presentation, and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show."