LEGENDARY soul diva Dionne Warwick will tour Australia in November, bringing her granddaughter and recent reality television contestant Cheyenne Elliott to sing with her.
The Walk On By superstar supported the talented family member who she first brought on stage during her ill-fated bid to win reality singing show The Four earlier this year.
“She’s doing exceptionally well,” Warwick said of her granddaughter.
“Having her perform with me in Australia is very special, believe me.”
Warwick’s family was shocked by revelations in a new documentary that her sister Dee Dee, who died in 2008, had molested her niece Whitney Houston when she was a child.
Dionne and Houston’s mother Cissy have denied the allegations which surfaced in the Whitney film.
While questions about the film were off-limits when Houston spoke about her upcoming Australian tour, she addresses them in a Larry King special to be aired on Hulu on August 15.
“I have tried to refrain from responding to that,” the 77-year-old singer has told King.
“First of all, it’s totally hogwash. My sister would never, ever have done anything to do any harm to any child, especially within our family.
“And for those lies to be perpetuated in this so-called documentary film, I think it’s evil.”
While there has much been much commentary and celebration regarding the endurance of male rock stars including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan as they continue touring in their 70s, Warwick agreed her female peers rarely attract the same level of recognition for their continued excellence on the live stage.
Warwick said she spends six months each year on the road.
“Aretha, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, the list of great women on the stage is very long but for some reason, they don’t look at women the same way and I haven’t a clue why,” she said.
“It doesn’t bother me. I know what age I am, I know what I am doing and those guys are no older than I am and still doing it and I applaud them.”
The five-time Grammy winner became one of the world’s biggest pop stars in the 1960s when she linked with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
They enjoyed a string of hits which remain pop classics including Anyone Who Had A Heart, This Girl’s In Love With You and Do You Know The Way To San Jose.
Her reign on the charts continued through the 1980s with the Bee Gees-penned hit Heartbreaker and then with That’s What Friends Are For with Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight to raise money for AIDS-related charities.
Warwick was one of the first celebrities to spearhead the fight against the virus and continues her work today, recently launching a safe sex campaign aimed at the over 60s.
“We all have fans in that age group who are sexually active and they have to be as careful as anyone else,” she said.
A Frontier Touring pre-sale for Dionne Warwick’s Australian tour go on sale from Thursday, with general tickets available from August 13.
The tour opens at the Riverside Theatre, Perth on November 2,
Thebarton Theatre on November 3, Palais Theatre on November 4, Star Event Centre, Sydney on November 8 and The Star, Gold Coast on November 9.
Originally published as Soul diva Dionne Warwick books Aussie tour