Whitney Inks $100 Million Deal

ByABC News
August 7, 2001, 6:52 PM

August 3 -- Whitney Houston will always love Arista for at least eight more albums, that is.

The pop diva has signed a new $100 million deal with Arista Records, which is believed to be the biggest recording deal in the history of the music biz, Variety reports.

Houston had been rumored to be leaving Arista, which has been her home for 18 years, to follow her mentor, Arista founder Clive Davis, to his new label, J Records.

The terms of the deal call for at least six albums and two greatest-hits compilations. She is expected to head into the studio within weeks to begin work on her first LP under the new deal.

Houston's deal eclipses Mariah Carey's reported $80 million deal with EMI's Virgin Records, made in April to lure Carey from Sony Records. That transaction is being questioned within the industry due to lackluster sales of the singer's first release under the deal, the soundtrack to her upcoming film, Glitter. The poor sales and Carey's go-go schedule are said to have contributed to her recent high-profile breakdown.

As for Houston, her new deal represents a major bet on the part of Arista parent BMG Entertainment, which is facing a $150 million loss for the year and planning to lay off hundreds of employees worldwide, Variety reports.

Houston is one of the biggest-selling solo artists of all time, moving more than 140 million albums, singles, and videos. Her most recent release, a double-CD greatest-hits compilation that bowed in April 2000, has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.

Reuters/Variety contributed to this story.