Whitney Houston Tearfully Remembered at Clive Davis Bash
- Photo: Larry Busacca/WireImage1 of 17
- Photo: Invision/AP2 of 17
- Photo: L. Cohen/WireImage3 of 17
- Photo: Invision/AP4 of 17
- Photo: GC2/ZJE/WENN5 of 17
- Photo: Michael Wright/WENN6 of 17
- Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage7 of 17
- Photo: GC2/ZJE/WENN8 of 17
- Photo: NC1/WENN9 of 17
- Photo: GC2/ZJE/WENN10 of 17
- Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com11 of 17
- Photo: PN2/ARB/WENN12 of 17
- Photo: Sara De Boer/Retna Ltd.13 of 17
- Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP14 of 17
- Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP15 of 17
- Photo: Sara De Boer/Retna Ltd.16 of 17
The music stopped for a moment at Clive Davis' annual, star-packed Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton -- where, just a few hours before, Whitney Houston was pronounced dead at age 48.
The founder and former president of Arista Records, Davis, 79, discovered Houston at an NYC nightclub when she was just 20 years old, was instrumental in her record-breaking, chart-topping career, and stood by the star as she struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.
Davis reluctantly went ahead with the gala, co-hosted by the Recording Academy, but the star-studded affair -- Britney Spears, Miranda Lambert, Brandy, Tom Hanks, P Diddy, Kim Kardashian, Mary J. Blige, Jon Voight and Dr. Dre were just a few of the attendees -- had a noticeably somber tone.
"I have never seen a group of people so blank," an event staffer told Us Weekly. "Everyone is just walking around looking at each other but no one knows what to do. I am told the show must go on."
Davis himself opened the evening of performances, visibly crying onstage.
"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' tearful opening began.
"I do have a very heavy heart and I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years. Whitney was so full of life."
The music impresario added that his annual bash was one of Houston's favorites. "She was so looking forward to tonight...She loved music and she loved this night that celebrates music."
After extending his condolences to Houston's 18-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina, mother Cissy Houston and other family members, he added, "Whitney was a beautiful person and she had a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence so many times, giving so many memorable performances here over the years. So simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on. I ask you now to join me in a moment of silence as we dedicate this evening to Whitney."
After a moment of silence, the show continued with heart-wrenching performances by Diana Krall, Tony Bennett and Alicia Keys, among others.
MORE ON WONDERWALL
DIY Celeb Makeup
Find out how to get Jenna Dewan Tatum's long-lasting matte lip on DIY Celeb Makeup.Watch Video »
Check out the biggest celeb makeup mistakes.Watch Video »
Real 'RHOC' Dish
"Real Housewives of OC" star Shannon Beador dishes about her family, her relationship with Vicki Gunvalson and what to expect from the reunion!Watch Video »
Tats for Love
From Heidi Klum and Seal to Ryan Sweeting and Kaley Cuoco, see which stars got tattoos for love.Watch Video »
Perry in Peru
Check out Katy Perry's best posts from Peru during the South American leg of her Prismatic World Tour on this week's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
DIY Celeb Makeup
We show you how to get Taylor Swift's blue eye shadow look on "DIY Celeb Makeup."Watch Video »