Whitney Houston says she is "drug-free"

LOS ANGELES Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:56pm EDT

Whitney Houston thanks the crowd at the conclusion of her performance at the 2009 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons event, honoring Clive Davis in Beverly Hills, California February 7, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Whitney Houston thanks the crowd at the conclusion of her performance at the 2009 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons event, honoring Clive Davis in Beverly Hills, California February 7, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Whitney Houston said in an interview aired on Tuesday that she is drug-free as she embarks on a career comeback, and that her faith guides her through her ongoing fight to stay clean.

Houston, 46, one of the top selling U.S. female vocalists of all time, made the remarks to Oprah Winfrey in the last of a two-part interview with the TV chat show host.

The singer, who has her roots in gospel music, told Winfrey that at the darkest moments in her battle against an addiction to marijuana mixed with cocaine base, she feared that she had lost the "spirit" to sing.

When Winfrey asked Houston if she is drug free, the singer said that she is.

"Yes, ma'am," Houston said in the television interview. "I mean, you know, don't think I don't have desires for it."

Houston, who had her greatest hits in the 1980s and '90s with songs such as "Didn't We Almost Have It All" and "I Will Always Love You," said she has to "pray it away" when she desires drugs, and that she occasionally drinks alcohol.

When asked about the temptation to use again, Houston said, "Oprah, I can only take today, one day at a time."

In the interview that aired on Tuesday, Houston also detailed her separation and 2007 divorce from husband Bobby Brown, who is also a singer. In the years before the divorce, Houston was the subject of blaring headlines about her drug use, and she was photographed looking thin and frail.

The singer credited music producer Clive Davis, the man who discovered her in 1983 and has long guided her career, with helping her overcome her reluctance to record again.

"He told me I could do it," Houston said in the interview.

"I was really afraid of going back into that world called the music industry, you know, what I'm saying? But the music still lives in me. It's alive," she said.

Houston two weeks ago released "I Look to You," her first studio album in seven years, and it topped the charts in the United States and several other countries.

Over her entire career, Houston's worldwide sales of albums, singles and videos stands at 170 million units, said her label Arista Records.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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