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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 13:06 GMT
Houston sells up to clear debts
Whitney Houston
Houston is estimated to have sold over 170m records
A large collection of clothes and instruments belonging to Whitney Houston are being sold to pay off a debt she owes to a storage company.

A court order forced the auction to go ahead, after the New Jersey storage company sued Houston, 43, for payment.

Her publicist, Nancy Seltzer, confirmed the auction would happen, adding it was "not unusual" that old equipment and costumes no longer needed were sold.

A transparent grand piano is one of 400 items that go on sale on 16 January.

Houston, 43, enjoyed global success in the 1980s and early '90s but has faced a fall in record sales, trouble with the police over drug use, and her pending divorce from singer Bobby Brown.

Other items in the sale include keyboards, a collection of bras by Dolce and Gabbana, evening dresses by Versace, and trousers and jackets by Fendi and Armani.

The auction, at the New Jersey storage facility where Houston kept her belongings, will be open only to bidding on the premises, with no telephone or e-mail bidding allowed.

It will be conducted strictly on a cash-in-hand basis, the auctioneers said.

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