Despite the loss of a dear friend, the show reluctantly went on for Clive Davis and the hundreds of guests at his annual pre-Grammys party. News of Whitney Houston's death, which occured just hours before she was set to attend and perform at the gala, put a somber tone on the event where music's biggest stars--including Diddy, Kim Kardashian and Mary J. Blige--were gathered.
"So, by now sadly, we have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney's passing. I don't have to mask my emotions. Not in front of this room full of so many dear friends," Davis told the audience at the Beverly Hilton, openly crying on stage.
"I have a very heavy heart and I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who meant so much to me for so many years,” he went on. "Whitney was so full of life, she was so looking forward to tonight."
Davis' relationship with Houston goes back three decades, to the time when he discovered the now iconic singer at a nightclub, and onward as he guided her throughout her remarkable career. Even when Houston's career took a back seat to her turbulent personal life, they remained the closest of friends. Houston had been a staple at Davis's annual party.
Davis also expressed his condolences to Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown and the “extended family who loved and cherished her and her spirit.”
“Simply put, Whitney would have wanted that we go on and her family asked that we carry on,” Davis said, before asking the audience to join him in a moment of silence honoring Houston.
With Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan reportedly already planning a musical tribute to Houston, this Sunday's Grammy Awards are likely to include many more thoughts and shows of respect to the multiple award-winning singer.
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