Wednesday, November 12, 1997 8:50 AM
Whitney Houston Shoots for the Moonies

For those of you who were stuck listening to the "Hokie-Pokie" at your wedding, we have some bad news. The Washington Post reports that on November 29, when the followers of Reverend Sun Myung Moon come together at R.F.K. stadium in Washington, D.C., for the Unification Church's largest mass wedding to date, the entertainment will be provided by none other than Whitney Houston. The thirty-four-year-old pop star will reportedly receive in the "low seven figures" to perform for forty-five minutes at the event, dubbed True Love Day at R.F.K. Around D.C., Moonies are recruiting couples to attend the wedding by standing under hand-painted signs emblazoned, "Whitney Houston!"

Houston claims she didn't know she was agreeing to a Moon-sponsored event when she accepted the lucrative deal from the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. "It was presented to her as the World Culture and Sports Festival," her spokeswoman, Lois Smith, tells the paper. "She is prone to accept invitations that are family-oriented." Why are the Moonies such Houston fans? According to the Post, the singer, unlike Reverend Moon, is a "guaranteed draw," and the church, which has been having recruiting problems, needs to fill the stadium. Smith says Houston will have only one thing in mind when she attends the event: "Get on the stage, sing, go home."

This latest bit of Houston news is tame compared to what's been going on in the temperamental singer's life. This summer, her face was mysteriously cut while she was vacationing off the coast of Italy with her husband, Bobby Brown. On October 5, she had a very public meltdown, physically and emotionally, during a live concert that was to be broadcast on HBO. One reviewer called the performance a "tape-delayed near-death experience." October was capped off with a last-minute no-show on the Rosie O'Donnell Show. Houston was scheduled to plug Cinderella, which she starred in and produced, but an hour before showtime, she called and canceled, leaving the producers scrambling to fill the vacated spot. (Cinderella co-star Paolo Montalban, who was only supposed to sing with fellow guest Brandy on Rosie's show, ended up sitting down for a chat.) Rosie was not happy, telling the crowd, "Whitney is not here—she's ill," adding, "I hope she's very ill." But that night, Houston, apparently recovered from her illness, attended a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman, where hubby Brown was performing. Is Houston having a personal and/or career crisis, or is this just typical diva behavior? Stay tuned.