06/09/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
Performing with her husband, Bobby Brown, at May 22's VH1 Divas Duets concert was important for Whitney Houston. The couple's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 10, was watching from the front row. "She was proud of us," Houston told PEOPLE. "There's so much love in her, and that's what me and Bobby are—we're love."
They're certainly not dull. Houston—who admitted her past drug use to Diane Sawyer last year—sparked a stir with reports of hearty partying while in town and emerged from a Las Vegas hospital before the concert with a bandaged nose (it-was, says a rep, a device to keep her vocal cords moist). Three days later, Houston, Brown and Bobbi Kristina winged off to their next stop: Israel. Saying she was on a "spiritual retreat," she headed to the city of Dimona to visit the Black Hebrews, an African-American sect whose customs include polygamy and vegetarianism. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon greeted the singer. "It's home," said Houston, who is Christian. "It's a friendship I've never had with any other country."