Whitney Houston visits Israel for Christmas album inspiration

AP, May 27, 2003

JERUSALEM (AP) — Singer Whitney Houston is in Israel looking for inspiration for her upcoming Christmas album. Houston arrived Sunday for her stay with the Black Hebrews, a group of nearly 2,000 black Americans who followed a Chicago bus driver to Israel decades ago and believe they are descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israelites.

Their religious customs include a vegan diet and polygamy. Houston spent her first day at their compound in the desert town of Dimona receiving massages, relaxing, and meeting with the Black Hebrews, who call each other saints.

“She is loving it,” said Patricia Houston, the singer’s spokeswoman and sister-in-law. “She is a spiritual woman and wanted to come here and touch the land and be around the saints of Dimona.” Whitney Houston is accompanied by a group of relatives, including her husband, singer Bobby Brown, and their daughter.

Patricia Houston said the singer had planned to come earlier, but her trip had been postponed a number of times because of security concerns.

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