The premiere week of the Oprah Show will feature interviews with two of the biggest selling musical artists of all time. Oprah spent hours with Whitney Houston for her revealing and candid, no-holds-barred interview, the first in seven years. And she also went into the vault for an encore presentation from her interview with the late Michael Jackson.
"The truth is, Cheryl, I was very nervous during that interview. I was really nervous, and I'm never nervous during interviews. That's the first time I've ever been nervous and, actually, last time," Oprah said.
In 1993, Oprah interviewed the man she calls the greatest entertainer in the world. It was a rare chat fest, the King of Pop and the Queen of Talk, and it was broadcast live around the world.
"My knees started to shake because I realized, 'Oh my God, this is really real.' And I have some questions in my head, but if he doesn't answer those, I don't have a plan B.' So, I was really, really, really nervous, not sure what he was going to do and sat down and that was my first question, 'Are you nervous?'" Oprah said.
The talk show host says it was the exact opposite when she sat down with Whitney Houston in New York. She says she made a real connection with the singing sensation.
"I think it's one of the best interviews of my career. It's a dance, as you know, and she came to the party. She came to dance," said Oprah.
Houston, the entertainer nicknamed 'The Voice,' talked about the Oprah interview during her performance on Good Morning America earlier this month. Houston discussed everything, including her self-proclaimed hiatus, drugs, rehabilitation, her marriage to R and B singer Bobby Brown and how her family saved her life, including how her mother staged an intervention.
"She walks in with the sheriffs, and she says, 'I have a court junction here. Either you do it my way, or we're just not going to do this at all. If you move Bobby, they're going to take you down,'" Houston said.
"She didn't tell me everything she knows, but she toldl me a lot. I mean, at one point she says, 'I could tell you even more.' But my jaw, literally a couple times, I was like, 'whoa,'" Oprah said.
Oprah Winfrey has interviewed some of the most sought-after subjects over the past 23 years on her top-rated show. So, what keeps her motivated?
"I feel like we still have a place in this culture and that we still have something to say to our audience that is inspirational, that allows them to be entertained in a way that only way we can do, and that's why I keep coming back," she said.
And what is there left for Oprah to do as she nears a quarter-century of delving into the lives of the rich, famous and just ordinary citizens?
"You can expect a level of energy, which is hard to maintain after 24 years. I've gotta tell you, it's harder in the 24th year than certainly it was in the fourth, or fifth, or sixth year, when we're like, 'Oh, I'm on TV! I can't believe it!' Now, it gets harder, and I'm really excited that I'm still excited about doing it," she said.
Whitney Houston will sing two songs during the two-day exclusive. Other details ABC7 Chicago has learned: this season, the show will go on the road more than it has in the past, and later this week, Oprah will introduce her book club.
Oprah says she has to decide by the end of the year whether she will continue her show pass the 2011 season.