Oprah Winfrey is turning back to her long running talk show to pay tribute to Whitney Houston -- and the OWN network mogul probably won't have to "beg" for viewers to tune in. That's because OWN is planning to rebroadcast Winfrey's famous 2009 two-hour interview with the late superstar.
While Oprah was called on the carpet earlier this week after she tweeted a plea to her fans to tune into her show "Oprah's Next Chapter' instead of the Grammy Awards ceremony ("Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Nielsen box," she wrote via Twitter, before she deleted the tweet and issued an apology), Thursday's powerful Whitney Houston interview is must-see TV for fans of the late singer.
Back in 2009, when Oprah sat down for the two-part interview with Houston, she called it "the best interview I've ever done" and added, "I can't think of a moment, ever, when I had a stronger connection to the person I was interviewing."
The interview was Oprah's season 24 premiere and, according to a press release for the premiere, Oprah's goal was "to not be judgmental in any way and not to go in trying to get her to say things to make a 'moment.'" Oprah even said that on the day of the interview, she prayed about it all day long.
"I just wanted a connection between the two of us. And that is what happened. And that is why I believe it's one of the most, if not the most, powerful interviews I've ever done," she later said.
The interview detailed Whitney Houston's personal struggles with drugs and alcohol, her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown and her reaction to the death of Michael Jackson, a reflection that may seem chilling now.
But Thursday's rerun of the interview will also include some new additions.
According to an OWN press release, the special will be called "Remembering Whitney: The Oprah Interview," and will include Oprah's personal reflections and memories of the superstar.
Earlier this week, Oprah took to Twitter to express her sorrow over the sudden death of Houston, tweeting, "To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang. Heart is heavy, spirit grateful for the GIFT of her."
After one of her Twitter followers called her a hypocrite for condoning "illicit drug use" Oprah quickly replied with, "What I know for sure: God is Love. Love does not condemn. I didn't know God was in the drug law business."
"Remembering Whitney: The Oprah Interview" will air on Thursday, February 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.
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- Whitney Houston