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Thursday, 16 May 1996

Nickelodeon's 9th Annual Kids' Choice Awards | Whitney Houston | Hostess With The Mostest | Ooze News | May 1996

Ooze News - May 1996

Hostess with the Mostest

Whitney Houston hosts Nickelodeon's 9th Annual Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, May 11.* NICKELODEON MAGAZINE spoke with Whitney about singing, stage fright, and sandwiches.

Nickelodeon Magazine: How old were you when you knew you wanted to become a professional singer?
Whitney Houston: I was about twelve or thirteen. I'd been singing in church since I was five years old, so it was always something I did. My mother was a professional singer, and she guided me after I decided this was what I was going to do.

NM: What was the first song you learned to sing?
WH: A gospel song, "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah."

NM: Have you ever forgotten the words to a song during a concert?
WH: Yes.

NM: What does that feel like?
WH: You just feel kind of silly. I add some aahhs and ummms to cover it.

NM: Have you ever had stage fright?
WH: Yes. The first time I had it, I was about fourteen. I was performing with my mother in New York City, at a place called Alice Tully Hall. It was the first time I was performing in front of a large crowd of people, and I got so scared I almost went to the bathroom on myself.

NM: When you are performing, what do you look at or do you just zone out?
WH: People.

NM: When people leave a concert, they often say that the singer looked right at them.
WH: Yeah, sometimes we do. I can see the first four rows, but after the fifth and sixth, it starts to get dim.

NM: Do you sing in the shower?
WH: Yes.

NM: Where do you keep your awards?
WH: In a large case in the basement.

NM: What was the first award you won?
WH: I was in an all-state talent competition when I was in seventh grade. I came in second. It's funny because the winner sang "The Greatest Love of All." I sang "Evergreen."

NM: Where did you grow up?
WH: I was born in Newark, New Jersey, and I grew up there and in East Orange, New Jersey. And I still live in New Jersey.

NM: Do you have any sisters or brothers?
WH: I have two older brothers.

NM: Was it tough being a little sister?
WH: Yes!

NM: Do your big brothers still pick on you?
WH: Yeah, sometimes.

NM: What's the worst outfit you wore as a kid?
WH: A purple chiffon gown with a white organza top. I was sixteen years old.

NM: What were your favorite clothes as a kid?
WH: Blue jeans and sneakers.

NM: Did you have a nickname as a kid?
WH: Nippy. My father gave me that name. I don't know why. He said he liked the name. People close to me still call me that.

NM: Did you have any heroes as a kid?
WH: My parents. I had great parents. They made themselves examples for me and my brothers.

NM: How many people tour with you?
WH: About 120, including the band members, dancers, wardrobe people, and hairstylists.

NM: Do you travel by bus when you're on tour?
WH: Yes. I love the bus. It has a place to cook food and a little bunk bed. It's not fancy, just convenient.

NM: Do you ever get bus-sick?
WH: No.

NM: Now that you're famous, what can you do that you couldn't do before?
WH: Get into places without waiting.

NM: If there were a Whitney Houston sandwich, what would it be?
WH: Peanut butter and jelly. I love peanut butter and jelly. On wholewheat bread. It's quick. It's tasty. With a glass of milk-mmm, great.

NM: Do you eat all your vegetables?
WH: Not all the time. I love asparagus. I love spinach. I love greens and kale.

NM: If you could be any animal, which would you choose?
WH: A bird. I love doves. I'd like to fly.

NM: What music groups did you listen to as a kid?
WH: Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and the Jackson 5.

NM: What did your parents think of the music you listened to when you were a kid?
WH: We all liked the same music, but not always at the same volume.


Birthday: August 9, 1963

Middle name: Elizabeth

Pets: Two cats and three dogs

Favorite home-cooked meal: Fried chicken, pork and beans, and a salad

Favorite dessert: Sweet potato pie

Favorite TV shows: Living Single, Martin, Family Matters, and Step by Step

Highest note she can hit: A high C

*Show airs at 8 PM, eastern and Pacific time; at 7 PM central time. Check local listings for details.

Choosing Favorites

Nickelodeon's 9th Annual Kids' Choice Awards airs on Saturday, May 11, at 8 PM.* Tune in to find out who kids chose as their favorite celebrities, athletes, and more.

Before the show starts, mark your own choices on this viewer's guide. Then watch the show to see if you picked the winners.

The nominees in each category are:

Jim Carrey [*]
Tom Hanks
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Robin Williams

Kirstie Alley
Nicole Kidman
Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen [*]
Alicia Silverstone

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls [*]
Batman Forever
Toy Story

Tim Allen [*]
Martin Lawrence
Will Smith
Jaleel White

Tatyana M. Ali
Tia & Tamera Mowry [*]
Queen Latifah

Family Matters
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Home Improvement [*]
Sister, Sister

Janet Jackson
Michael Jackson

Boyz II Men
Green Day

"Baby" (Brandy)
"Gangsta's Paradise" (Coolio)
"One Sweet Day" (Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men)
"Waterfalls" (TLC)

Troy Aikman
Michael Jordan
Shaquille O'Neal
Emmitt Smith

Nicole Bobek
Nancy Kerrigan
Shannon Miller
Kristi Yamaguchi

Atlanta Braves
Dallas Cowboys
Orlando Magic
San Francisco 49ers

Rugrats [*]
The Simpsons

Amy the Gorilla (Congo)
Babe the Pig (Babe)
Marcel the Monkey (Friends)
Willy the Whale (Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home) [*]

Donkey Kong Country [*]
Ms. Pac-Man
Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose

The Baby-Sitter IV by R.L. Stine
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Pocahontas Illustrated Classic adapted by Gina Ingoglia
Tales to Give You Goosebumps: Special Edition #1 by R.L. Stine

Tim Allen [*]
Whoopi Goldberg
Whitney Houston
Janet Jackson

[Winners of Nickelodeon 1996 Kids' Choice Awards are marked with a *]

The show airs at 7 PM in the central time zone. Check your local listing for details.

Bonus article: Nickelodeon Magazine's exclusive interview with Animaniacs voice actors Jess Harnell (Wakko) and Tress MacNeille (Dot):

Nickelodeon Magazine: How can kids get better at doing voices?
Jess Harnell: Imitate everyone. Imitate your brothers, imitate your aunts, imitate people on TV. Even if your imitation isn't good, then you've just invented a new voice. But I always tell kids that whatever their talent is-whether it's voices or drawing or anything-they have to practice.

NM: As a kid, did you think you'd get paid to make voices?
JH: I had a feeling I would. I always did voices. When I was twelve, I saw a behind-the-scenes taping of a cartoon. I remember watching the actors do their parts.

NM: Do you recommend your line of work to kids?
JH: Absolutely. Rob Paulsen [the voice of Yakko] says that we're getting paid to do the stuff that used to get us in trouble at school.

Dot's All
Tress MacNeille is the voice of Dot.

Nickelodeon Magazine: Are you anything like Dot?
Tress MacNeille: Very much. I'm adorable and assertive. I sometimes lose my temper. I understand Dot because I know girls need to speak up and make their wishes known.

NM: Is Dot the cutest character you've ever played?
TM:  Female cartoon characters usually are adorable. Either that or they're evil. But Dot is absolutely the cutest. She's smart, too.

NM: Is her voice based on anyone you know?
TM: Not really. I was shown a drawing of Dot. So the voice had to be right for someone small and cute in a flounced skirt.

NM: Will Dot ever catch Mel Gibson?
TM: She has hopes. But it's all about the chase. Once he's caught, she might get bored.

NM: When you were a kid, did you ever imagine you'd be doing this for a living?
TM: I wanted to very much, ever since I was about ten. I've realized my life's ambition.

NM: Did you have brothers like Yakko and Wakko?
TM: Yes, I had five brothers and two sisters, and there was a lot of yakkin' and a lot of wackiness.