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Last updated: Thu. Sep. 06, 2012 - 05:11 am EDT

Former Fort Wayne resident Heather Headley to release new CD, star in stage version of 'The Bodyguard'

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For more about Heather Headley's new CD, "Only One in the World," due out Sept. 25, or her role in “The Bodyguard: A New Musical,” go to www.heatherheadley.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeatherHeadley or @HHTeamOfficial.

Song list

These are the songs on Headley's new CD:

"Only One In The World"

"The Reason"

"Because You Need Me"

"Bring Him Back"

"Run To You"

"A Little While"

"River Deep Mountain High"

"One Last Cry"

"Superwoman"

"Hey Mama"

"I Wish"

"Home"

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It was going to be difficult enough playing a role made famous by pop music great Whitney Houston.

But after Houston's death in February, former Fort Wayne resident and music-and-stage star Heather Headley said she feels 'added pressure” playing the pop diva character in “The Bodyguard: A New Musical,” a stage adaptation of the film opening later this year in London.

Headley, her husband, former N.Y. Jets football player Brian Musso, and their son, John David, planned to fly tonight from Chicago, where they live, to London so she can begin rehearsals Monday, she said in a phone interview. She expects to perform in the show for nearly a year.

The musical will make its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London, with preview shows beginning Nov. 6 and an official opening Dec. 5, it says on the show's website, http://thebodyguardmusical.com. You can go to the website now to see and listen to a video of Headley singing a song from the show, “I Have Nothing.”

“The Bodyguard” film, a hit, 1992 romance story, starred Houston as a superstar pop singer being followed by a stalker and Kevin Costner as a former Secret Service agent hired to protect her. British actor Lloyd Owen will play the Costner role in the stage version.

Headley had been looking for a show to get back to performing on Broadway in New York. She thought “The Bodyguard” may make that jump, and she signed a contract to play the female lead about a year ago.

If Houston had died before she had signed, she may have reconsidered doing the show, she said.

“It is a little awkward,” Headley explained. “However, I have to emphasize that I am not playing her.”

She hopes the musical will preserve the legacy of Houston's and Costner's performances in the film.

But just doing the music will be difficult enough, Headley noted. She will have to sing 11 or 12 songs a night — all songs made famous by Houston.

“You are trying to repeat a Picasso,” she said of the challenge.

“Keep us in your prayers,” she asked fans. “This is a hard thing.”

Headley — a Grammy Award-winning singer as well as a Tony Award-winning actress — also has been busy with release of a new CD, “Only One in the World,” a collection of R& B hits, inspirational songs and original tunes due out Sept. 25, said a news release from in:cite Media, which is helping her release the CD.

She originally planned to put the CD on hold until after she and her family returned from London. But her husband was listening to some of the music, including the title song, and thought the tunes sounded good enough she should release them now.

After listening to the title song again, she knew he was right.

“It is kind of for the fans,” she said. “People have been writing me: When are you going to do something? When are you going to do something?”

Songs on the CD have links to her family still living in Fort Wayne — her mother, Hannah Headley, and her brother, Iric Headley Jr.

The song “A Little While” speaks of Headley's admiration for her mother and her handling of a difficult family situation. Heather and Iric teamed up vocally on “Hey Mama,” which Iric wrote and also produced here at his studio in Fort Wayne.

He had sent her some songs, Heather said, and “Hey Mama” jumped out at her.

She came to town a few weeks ago, and they recorded the song in a day or so.

“He's on the album because he did an amazing job,” she said. “He did a great job as a writer, and he did a great job as a producer.”

She said it occasionally was tough taking direction from her little brother while in the recording studio. But she quickly realized how talented he is.

"We are kind of proud to introduce him to the world," she said.

kkilbane@news-sentinel.com


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