While many of music’s biggest stars remembered Whitney Houston at the decidedly somber Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday night, Bobby Brown was onstage with New Edition in Mississippi, tearfully dedicating his show to his ex-wife. TMZ reported that Brown was “in and out of crying fits” after hearing the news of Houston’s death before the show, but he still went on with his performance. “First of all, I want to tell you that I love you all,” he told fans, according to The Associated Press. “Second, I would like to say, ‘I love you, Whitney.’ The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage.”
Back in Beverly Hills, as fans held a vigil for Houston outside the hotel, Davis asked his guests for a moment of silence. “I do have a heavy heart, and I am personally devastated by someone so close to me for so many years,” he said. “My heart goes out to her daughter Bobbi Kristina and her mother, Cissy.” Everyone from Tony Bennett to Diddy to Alicia Keys shared their memories of Houston at the party, MTV News reports.
Grammy Awards producer Ken Erlich told reporters that tonight’s event will now include a tribute to Houston sung by Jennifer Hudson. He said the ceremony will “recognize Whitney’s remarkable contribution to music fans in general, and in particular her close ties with the Grammy telecast and her Grammy wins and nominations over the years.”
And on Twitter, many in the industry publicly mourned the vocal powerhouse who had both inspired and mentored them. “Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston,” Mariah Carey wrote. “My heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.”
Kelly Rowland wrote: “I am beyond heartbroken. Whitney Houston was undoubtedly one of the greatest singers & performers of all time & such a huge influence on me. … She embraced me when I first started out with Destiny’s Child, with love, with encouragement and with that powerhouse voice. … My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to her daughter, her mother and to all of her loved ones.”
Houston’s death had personal meaning for those who hadn’t worked with her, as well. “Today is my Moms birthday and her Hero just passed away we feel like she was a part of our family. RIP Whitney we Love u,” model Amber Rose wrote, echoing the thoughts of millions.
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