EVERLY HILLS, Calif. — More than two decades ago, Clive Davis introduced a young woman with a scintillating voice to the music industry at his annual pre-Grammy soiree: Whitney Houston.
On Saturday night, hours after Houston’s death at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Davis – Houston’s mentor, producer, champion and longtime friend – memorialized her at this year’s gala, held downstairs from the same hotel where she died.
With celebrities ranging from Dr. Dre to Tony Bennett in attendance, a somber Davis, reading from a sheet of paper, said: “I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me. She was full of life, looking forward for tonight. She loved music and she loved this night that celebrated music.”
He added: “Whitney was a beautiful person and she had a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage … so many times. So simply put: Whitney would have wanted the music to go on.”
He dedicated the evening to her and asked for a moment of silence as a photo of the 48-year-old, hands wide open, looking to the sky, appeared on the screen.
Then, he said with excitement: “Now ladies and gentlemen, let the music begin.”
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