*Madame Tussauds in London pulled out all the stops to reveal its touring wax figure of Whitney Houston.
The famous visitor attraction enlisted the help of a full gospel choir to unveil the satue earlier today (Oct. 21), which was created in the singer’s honor following her death in February 2012.
The likeness was originally unveiled at Madame Tussauds’ New York museum earlier this year by members of Whitney’s family – including her mother Cissy Houston – but it is now being exhibited outside of the US for the first time.
The figure – one of four capturing Nippy at various stages of her career – is inspired by her appearance in the promotional art for her 2009 comeback album “I Look to You.” It sees her adorned in a floor-length gown with her arms outstretched.
Madame Tussauds’ Nicole Fenner said: “We are very excited to be welcoming Whitney Houston on to our London music stage for the next eight weeks. “This is a very special figure as it was created after Whitney’s very sad and untimely death with the close co-operation of her family, who were delighted by the results.”
The wax figure’s debut was backed by a rousing performance from the London Gospel Factory Choir, and the group’s artistic director Colin Vassell was honored to be part of the special moment.
”Whitney Houston is one of the most talented singers of her – or any – generation and we were delighted to welcome her wax figure to London,” he said. ”She is a personal hero of mine so to get to stand alongside her and sing was a slightly surreal but awesome experience.
”We chose a song she performed in the film ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ because it is so uplifting and great fun to perform. We hope we did her justice.”
*Madame Tussauds has turned its attention to Whitney Houston, remembering the legendary singer who died last year with not one, but four separate wax figures.
“We were extremely honored when Madame Tussauds approached us about doing four figures of Whitney from different points in her 30-year career,” Houston’s manager and sister-in-law Pat Houston said in a statement on behalf of the family. “This is something we are excited to do for the fans.”
The unveiling marks the first time in 200 years that the museum has simultaneously created so many different figures of the same subject. While each took shape at the Tussauds studio in London, they will be displayed in separate cities.
Houston performing the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl is going to Washington, D.C.’s Tussauds; Hollywood will get her in her 1992 movie The Bodyguard; Las Vegas will display the young Houston as seen in her 1988 video for “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”; and New York will exhibit a more recent likeness of the singer, from a 2009 photo shoot for her final studio album.
“She was a true and rare talent, and we are exceedingly proud to be adding her wax likeness to our attractions in the United States,” said Rosemary Preta, director of marketing, Midway USA, Merlin Entertainment Group.
Houston’s wax figures will be unveiled in New York on Thursday, nearly a year after her passing.
Rihanna's wax figure as it is unveiled at Madame Tussauds in London. (Oct. 3, 2011)
*Rihanna has revealed via Facebook that the title of her upcoming album will be “Talk That Talk.”
The album, due Nov. 16, features the Calvin Harris-assisted first single “We Found Love,” which debuted at No. 16 on the Hot 100 last week.
The official video for “We Found Love,” which was shot in Northern Ireland, is also forthcoming, with Rihanna posting on Twitter last week, “I really can’t stop thinking about this video we just shot! EASILY the BEST video I’ve done thus far!”
Also today, Madame Tussauds unveiled its latest attraction – a wax figure of Rihanna sporting a black dress that’s slashed to the thigh, exposing her right butt cheek. It’s the same outfit she wore during her X Factor performance in London last year with winner Matt Cardle.
*The Madame Tussauds wax museum in Washington has a new resident.
A statue of R&B singer Rihanna was unveiled during a ceremony this morning that did not include the statue’s flesh-and-blood counterpart. However, a rep for the museum confirms Rihanna got a sneak peek at her likeness last week and gave her final approval, telling People.com that she “absolutely loved” her look-a-like. She even gave it a kiss…
Riri’s wax figure sports a black lace corset, fitted jacket, pants and black silk heels, modeled after the outfit she wore to French design house Balmain’s show during Paris Fashion Week last October.
Her bling includes a large glittering pin, sparkling gold-and-diamond ring, giant diamond earrings and tennis bracelet.
Beginning today through September 30, fans who stop by Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. and mention the word “umbrella” will receive a buy-one-get-one-free admission.