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WHITNEY HOUSTON

Waiting to Inhale

Whitney Houston sweated profusely at a recent concert, tripped while walking onstage and stopped mid-song to ask her husband for a glass of water.

Not exactly the rumor-stopper some had hoped for.

In her first gig since missing her Oscar-night performance (and promptly launching rumors about drug use), Houston put on a disjointed show Monday night for Arista Records' 25th anniversary tribute to her mentor, Clive Davis.

Attendees say Houston tried hard, but still struggled through a six-song, 20-minute medley of hits, before the crowd offered up a sympathetic standing ovation.

The 36-year-old singer sweated profusely and talked through lyrics instead of singing them, while back-up singers and her brother, Gary, kept the tunes moving.

She then stopped right before the powerful end to her hit, "I Will Always Love You," and asked offstage hubby Bobby Brown for a glass of water. Brown walked out with water and a towel, and dabbed it on her forehead. Houston took a sip, kissed her husband and laughed before launching back into the tune.

Brown also reportedly popped onstage again, jumping around wildly before grabbing his wife's mic and adding his own chorus.

Houston then finished up her performance with the cryptic message, "The record's not over yet, remember."

Typical diva behavior, or more fodder for drug rumors?

Houston and other Arista labelmates converged in Los Angeles to honor embattled label founder Davis--who first signed Houston when she was 19.

This follows a string of reportedly odd behavior and drug allegations.

According to a Hawaiian newspaper, the pop diva was busted carrying pot while at the Keahole-Kona International Airport. Security guards at the airport asked Houston to open her bag for routine inspection, and they discovered 15.2 grams of marijuana inside. Guards seized the bag and tried to detain the Grammy winner, but she got on her United Airlines flight to San Francisco anyway.

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