As was reported earlier, it appears that Whitney Houston passed away by drowning yesterday afternoon just hours before she was scheduled to appear and reportedly perform at The Recording Academy and Clive Davis Annual Pre-Grammy Party that famously takes place annually each night before the Grammy Awards. Because the event was so beloved by Whitney, her mentor and friend Clive Davis decided that the show would go on despite her death and would, instead, be turned into an impromptu memorial for the late Whitney Houston. Clive Davis opened the show last night with remarks about Whitney‘s passing and then led the assembled audience in a respectful moment of silence … and then the party got underway. Click below to see photos and watch video from last night’s somber yet celebratory event.
The death of Whitney Houston has rocked the industry on the eve of music’s biggest night, but the show must go on – it’s what she would have wanted, music mogul Clive Davis said Saturday night. “Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight,” he told those gathered Saturday night at The Recording Academy and Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy gala, which she was due to attend (although she was not scheduled to perform, he said, as previously reported). “She loved music and loved this night that celebrated music,” he continued of the late singer, whose death is currently under investigation. “Whitney would have asked that the music go on. And her family said the show should go on.” With “a very heavy heart,” Davis also asked party goers to join him in a moment of silence. “Now ladies and gentlemen,” he said after, “let the music begin.” As the party started, Houston’s body was still in the Beverly Hilton hotel. First to take the stage: Tony Bennett, who sang “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” “First Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse and now Whitney,” he said before advocating that the government legalizes drugs. Bennett was followed by Diana Krall. Then it was Diddy who tried to push the event from somber to celebratory. “Whenever you saw Whitney, she hit you with that beautiful smile,” he said. “If we truly believe in God, then we should celebrate the life of Whitney Houston tonight.” When Alicia Keys performed, she dedicated part of “No One” to Houston.
I am WELL aware of the old adage that The Show Must Go On but I, personally, feel it was weird to carry on with this event so shortly after Whitney‘s death. The woman had died only hours before the show took place … IN THE VERY SAME HOTEL. I dunno, to me, it would’ve been more respectful if they had canceled the party element and just mourned her death instead. As for Clive‘s assertion that Whitney was not “scheduled” to perform, well, if past years are any indication … Whitney never needed any scheduling plan to jump up on stage at this event and sing her heart out for the assembled audience. I know absolutely that had Whitney been able to attend last night’s show, she would’ve performed. In regards to Tony Bennett‘s remarks about the “legalization of drugs” … I mean … I’m going to just interpret those remarks as something said in the heat of the moment because it just seems incredibly odd that he would even go there with his remarks … just, odd. Here are some photos of some of the celebs who attended Clive Davis‘s party last night:
As fabulous as it is to see Britney Spears look so lovely on the red carpet, I can’t help feel that it just looks so wrong for everyone to look so happy on the red carpet when we all know that mere hours before, Whitney Houston had died in that same hotel. Maybe I’m being a bit too dramatic but … I dunno, it just seems wrong to me. Clive Davis did take on a somber tone to open the party last night, here is video of his remarks:
In the end, the event did prove to be a way for some of Whitney‘s friends to celebrate her life so soon after it ended … and maybe that is how some people need to heal. I’m well aware of the fact that people mourn in their own way. No matter, we’ve all suffered a great loss … and last night’s tribute was only the first in a series of tributes to come. I understand the Grammy Awards tonight will pay homage to Whitney’s memory and memorials are starting to be announced all over the country. It’s just sad for me to think that last night was the first Clive Davis Grammy Party without Whitney Houston in many, many years ;(
[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source, Source]