[artist id="1158"]Whitney Houston[/artist] struggled through Monday's Brisbane, Australia, stop on her Nothing But Love Tour. The performance was her first in the country after more than 21 years, but it was not a happy homecoming.
"She couldn't entertain a dead rat," one concertgoer told AsianCorrespondent.com outside the show.
According to reports, Houston was winded and hoarse during her performance and had to take several breaks, the first after performing just two songs. The singer then brought out her brother, background singer Gary Houston, to sing instead. While Whitney rested, the band and background singers performed a lively rendition of her "Bodyguard" hit "Queen of the Night."
Houston eventually returned to the stage to sing a throaty version of "I Will Always Love You," pausing just before belting her highest note to reach for a gulp of water.
The show was so disappointing that fans not only left early but are now demanding their money back from promoter Andrew McManus.
"I thought Australians would embrace Whitney Houston for the fact she's out there giving it a red hot go, warts and all," McManus told Australia's Herald Sun.
Still, McManus defended Houston's rocky presentation.
"It was not a train wreck," McManus later told AFP. "She was hitting most of the notes; yes, her throat was a little croaky. Her health is fine, but she's also not 22 years of age anymore."