Singer Whitney Houston Memorialized at Pre-Grammy Awards Gala

Posted February 12th, 2012 at 6:30 am (UTC-5)
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The music industry has celebrated the life of Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Whitney Houston at the Los Angeles hotel where she was found dead hours earlier.

Houston's mentor, producer and longtime friend, Clive Davis, memorialized her Saturday night at his pre-Grammy Gala, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

A somber Davis said, “Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on.” Each performer paid individual tributes to Houston.

Several hundred miles away in Mississippi, the Associated Press quotes Houston's ex-husband, singer Bobby Brown, as saying before a performance Saturday, “I would like to say, I love you Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage.”

Police say Houston was pronounced dead late Saturday afternoon in her fourth floor room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Beverly Hills police spokesman Mark Rosen says officers and medical personnel were at Houston's room within minutes after getting a call for an emergency.

Officials say an attempt was made to resuscitate Houston by the emergency personnel who rushed to her room. Police say the cause of her death has not been determined. They have said there was no obvious sign of criminal intent.

Houston's death comes on the eve of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where the six-time Grammy winner had gathered with hundreds of artists for Sunday's program.

The organizers of the Grammys said that Grammy award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson will pay tribute to Houston during Sunday's broadcast.

Reactions to Whitney Houston's death continue to pour in. Music producer Jimmy Jam said it is ironic Houston's death occurred before the Grammys.

“You remember the first time you saw Whitney on stage singing was probably at this event. And so the irony of that is just it's tragic.”

Legendary singer Tony Bennett said Houston was the “greatest singer I ever heard.”

Another singing legend, Smokey Robinson, told CNN Houston was “one of the greatest singers to ever open her mouth.”

Condolences and reactions from celebrities and everyday fans are also pouring in to social network sites.

Houston sold over 170 million albums and singles, making her one of the world's best-selling artists. Her self-titled debut album, released in 1985, sold 25 million copies worldwide.

Her talent took her from music to movies, where she starred in hits like The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale.

In recent years, she struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.

She was married to singer Bobby Brown from 1992 to 2007. They have a daughter. Houston often blamed her troubled marriage on her husband, who was charged with domestic abuse in 1993.

Whitney Houston's musical prowess was not a fluke. She was inspired by a host of singers, including her mother, Cissy Houston, cousin Dionne Warwick and godmother Aretha Franklin, who expressed shock at Whitney Houston's death.