Artists at the Grammys remember Whitney Houston

February 12, 2012

The Associated Press

The Grammys got under way on Sunday, with the Recording Academy trying to focus on music's biggest night after of the death of one of music's biggest names — Whitney Houston.

Houston died on the eve of the Grammys at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy party. Her death cast a huge shadow over the event, and after Bruce Springsteen opened the show, host LL Cool J said: "There is no way around this. We've had a death in our family."

The actor-rapper then said a prayer for Houston as stars like Lady Gaga and Miranda Lambert bowed their heads in silence.

Then, LL Cool J introduced a clip of a glowing Houston singing one of her best-known songs, "I Will Always Love You."

LL Cool J then said: "Whitney, we will always love you."

Meantime, entertainers and others who knew Houston have been expressing their thoughts and feelings after learning of the singer's death.

Mariah Carey tweets she's heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of her friend. Carey says, "She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth."

Singer and songwriter Barry Manilow says he can't believe that Whitney is gone. He says his heart goes out to her family, to Clive Davis, and to everyone who knew and loved the "amazingly talented and beautiful artist." He added, "I will always love her."

Motown great Smokey Robinson says he's known Whitney since she was a little girl and loved her. As he puts it, "She was like family to me. I will miss her."

Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, says, "A light has been dimmed in our music community today, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, fans and all who have been touched by her beautiful voice."

And Saturday night was an emotional night for soul singer Bobby Brown as he performed hours after learning that his ex-wife Whitney Houston had died in Beverly Hills.

Brown took to a stage in Southhaven, Miss., near Memphis, on Saturday night and only made brief remarks about Houston's death at 48.

Before thousands of fans, Brown declared: "... I would like to say, 'I love you, Whitney.' The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage."

Later in the concert Bobby Brown appeared emotionally overcome as his group — New Edition — performed a ballad. When the song began, he joined in but his voice cracked and he walked off stage. The concert ended soon afterward.

Houston and Brown had a tumultuous 15-year marriage that ended in 2007.