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Posted at 02:17 AM ET, 02/13/2012

Whitney Houston’s greatest moments in D.C.: State dinner, HBO special — and a missing video

More on Whitney Houston: In the inevitable instant books written about her life, her appearances in the District deserve a few notable mentions.

Whitney Houston at the 2010 BET Honors at the Warner Theatre. (Juana Arias for The Washington Post)
The most recent was at the 2010 BET Honors, where she was in full diva mode (see video). A younger Houston — at the peak of her fame in October 1994 — was the star performer at a White House state dinner honoring South African president Nelson Mandela. In a tent set up in the Rose Garden, the star, in a shimmering silver gown, belted out “People” and “The Greatest Love of All” and got a huge hug from Mandela for her efforts. Three years later, she recorded “Classic Whitney, Live from Washington, D.C.” — two live concerts at Constitution Hall (the second was an HBO special) benefiting the Children’s Defense Fund.

But before she was a superstar, she sang at the Shoreham Hotel around 1985. Somewhere out there (probably in an old box on a shelf) there’s a video of a charity dinner with Mark Russell and the 22-year-old singer. Videographer Kit Slitor can’t remember which organization he made the tape for, but he recalled filming Houston. “She gave a top-notch performance,” he told us. Folks, check your archives.

(Video: Whitney Houston singing at White House state dinner, 1994)

Read earlier: Flashback: Whitney Houston at 2010 BET Honors (video); and full Washington Post coverage of the diva’s death

Read also: Disjointed Grammys honor Whitney Houston

Investigators seek answers to death of Whitney Houston

From pop music queen to erratic star, Whitney Houston dies on eve of Grammys

Click Track: The legacy of Whitney Houston

She the People: Whitney Houston, I will always love you

By  |  02:17 AM ET, 02/13/2012

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