Whitney Houston: 'I Feel Great'

All eyes are on the singer who steps out looking stunning at a Beverly Hills ball

Photo: Matt Baron/Beimages

In her first high-profile public appearance since her recent split from husband Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston was the belle of the ball Saturday night at a stellar benefit in Beverly Hills that raised more than $70 million for juvenile diabetes research.

“I feel great,” said Houston, basking in the attention.

The singer, 43, was escorted to the 17th Carousel of Hope Ball by one of the evening’s honorees, her record producer Clive Davis, who told USA Today of the woman at his side: “She’s been through emotional trauma, and everybody’s rooting for her.”

Davis also told PEOPLE: “We’re going to make a killer album.”

Fellow music producer (and the event’s other honoree) Quincy Jones, who has known Houston since she was 16, said Houston seems to have turned a corner, telling USA Today, “She’s looking at the light, instead of darkness.”

Houston sat at the main table with Halle Berry – who herself is a diabetic – and the actress’s boyfriend Gabriel Aubry. Elsewhere at the gala, which was hosted by Jay Leno, were Brooke Shields, Teri Hatcher, Hilary Duff, Kristin Davis, Sharon Stone, Minnie Driver, Sidney Poitier and couple Warren Beatty and Annette Bening.

Houston did not sing at the event, but her attendance prompted the evening’s entertainer Katharine McPhee to drop her signature number, “Over the Rainbow,” in favor of Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Houston acknowledged the tribute by nodding at this season’s American Idol runner-up during the performance, the newspaper reports.

“It’s her first big appearance since the breakup,” McPhee, 22, said on the arrivals carpet about Houston. “I would love to sing with her, but unfortunately all eyes are on me.”

Two weeks ago, Houston filed for divorce from Brown after 14 years of marriage. The couple had separated on Sept. 8.

In the separation papers, Houston asked for custody of the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, and that Brown, 37, be allowed visitation rights.

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