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ARTIST NEWS: Newcomer Lambert's Debut Tops Country Chart & Whitney Houston Enters Rehab Again

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

With this week's #1 debut on the country chart of Miranda Lambert's first album, "Kerosene," which sold 40,390 copies, Sony Music Nashville has claimed the title as the only country record label in history to have three debut albums by new artists to enter the country album chart in the coveted #1 spot. Since taking over the reins of Sony Music Nashville in 2003, President John Grady and his team have had an impressive string of new artists debut at #1 on the country chart, including Buddy Jewell in 2003, Gretchen Wilson in 2004 and, most recently, Lambert.

She joins an elite club also consisting of Wynonna (1992), Billy Ray Cyrus (1992) and LeAnn Rimes (1996).

"When my manager called with the news I was driving home from the gym and I had to tell him to hang on because my truck had just died," laughs Lambert. "I had to pull over to the side of the road – I'd like to say it was just because of the shock I was feeling, but my truck really wouldn't start. It's an old beat up Ford and it's always doing that but it picked the perfect moment. Of course, the first thing I did when I got home was call my band and they all started crying. This weekend we're doing a show in Gulfport at a Casino so we'll leave the celebration to your imagination."

"In a field where breaking new artists is a very important part of what we do, along with further building the careers of our superstars, this week's #1 album by Miranda Lambert marks yet another high point for one of the most creative teams in Nashville today," commented Don Ienner, president and CEO, Sony Music Label Group, U.S. "During his two years with the company, John Grady has taken chances on some very talented artists that didn't necessarily fit the mold. He has combined a dedication to artistry with a strong understanding of the marketplace, and in the process he's brought real success to Gretchen Wilson, Buddy Jewell and now Miranda Lambert. They are doing a great job, and with the Van Zant debut coming soon, they're set to do it again."

"I am so proud of Miranda and all of the artists we work with at Sony," stated Grady. "When we started working here, Mark Wright and I said, the one business condition we could change around here, is the music we have and the artists we sign. It seems that our consumer base agrees with our A & R decisions."

"A Number One debut for a new artist is a major feat and is a testament to Miranda's solid talent as a singer, songwriter and performer. All of us at Epic are extremely proud of Miranda," said Mark Wright, executive vice president, A&R, Sony Music Nashville. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Whitney Houston Enters Rehab Again

NEW YORK (AP) — A year after her first reported stay in rehab, Whitney Houston has again checked into a rehabilitation facility. "Whitney Houston has re-entered a rehabilitation facility today," her publicist, Nancy Seltzer, told The Associated Press Wednesday. She declined to provide details.

The news was first reported by syndicated entertainment TV show "Access Hollywood."

In March 2004, Houston checked herself into an undisclosed rehabilitation center.

After years of denying drug use, the pop diva said she had used cocaine, marijuana and pills in an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Primetime" in 2002.

She has said she was using the power of prayer to help her get over drugs.

In January 2000, Houston left behind a bag at an airport in Hawaii that allegedly held less than half an ounce of marijuana and three partially smoked marijuana cigarettes; a petty misdemeanor drug charge was dismissed when a counselor said Houston didn't need treatment for substance abuse.

Houston, 41, has been working with producer Clive Davis on a comeback album.

The Grammy-winning singer is known for her rendition of "I Will Always Love You" and her role in the 1992 film "The Bodyguard." Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown have been married since 1992 and have an 12-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina.

Brown has a history of drug and alcohol arrests.

The couple live near Alpharetta, a suburb north of Atlanta.