The end of Whitney Houston's long and winding comeback trail appears to be in sight.
Looking to put her own tumultuous personal life behind her, Houston has been working on a new album for more than a year. Now, her longtime mentor, BMG chairman Clive Davis, says the as-yet-untitled project is indeed coming out later this year.
"We're on track for a holiday release," he said during Billboard's Music & Money Symposium in New York Thursday.
Davis blames the delay on the creative process, saying he and Houston were unwilling to rush out an album of substandard tracks.
"We're not going to compromise who she is to fit into today's hip-hop radio market. The public wants Whitney material."
But the album is entering the home stretch. Four songs have already been completed and, per Davis, the 44-year-old Grammy-winning diva will record four more later this month.
Details on the tracks have not yet been revealed, though Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am, R&B singer Akon and producer and songwriter Sean Garrett have either written or produced tunes for the disc.
Houston herself has been working on the new project, her seventh studio album, at her Atlanta home base since early last year. Word of her return to the recording booth first surfaced in October 2006, when she began making the social rounds with Davis following her stints in rehab and the end of her volatile marriage to Bobby Brown.
The highly anticipated comeback album will be Houston's first release of original material since Just Whitney debuted at number nine back in December 2002. That disc was four years in the making, a follow-up to 1998's My Love Is Your Love.