It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the tragic death of Whitney Houston on the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Grammy producers scrambled in the 24 hours before the broadcast to pay tribute to the “I Will Always Love You” star, coming up with a show-stopping number from Jennifer Hudson that set off a year-long series of all-star celebrations of Whitney’s life and music.
Before Monday’s one-year anniversary of Houston’s passing, MTV News looks back at the artists and shows that have paid tribute to Houston.
Clive Davis Party
Music industry legend and Houston confidant Davis has held his pre-Grammy gala for 35 years, but the one that took place just hours after news of Houston’s death on the night before the big show was like no other. Davis delivered a moving eulogy for his close friend and greatest discovery, telling the star-studded crowd, “I don’t have to mask my emotions, not in front of this room filled with so many dear friends. I am personally devastated. Whitney was so full of life … she was a beautiful person with talent beyond compare. She graced the stage with a regal presence … and her family asked that the show go on.”
Then everyone from Britney Spears to Serena Williams, Adam Lambert and Diddy joined him in a moment of silence, followed by performances from Ne-Yo and Pitbull, Alicia Keys, Wiz Khalifa and Jessie J, all of whom celebrated Whitney’s influence and legacy.
In addition to Grammy host LL Cool J, who asked for a moment of silence in Houston’s honor, the night featured a soul-stirring performance by Jennifer Hudson, who did her best to channel Whitney’s spirit in her take on “I Will Always Love You.”
Beyoncé Pays Homage
In her first concert back after giving birth to Blue Ivy, Beyoncé played a two-hour set at Atlantic City’s Revel Resort that included a cover of “I Will Always Love You” as an intro to her song, “Halo.”
We Will Always Love You
Usher, Hudson, Celine Dion, CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams and Halle Berry were on hand for the CBS special “We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute To Whitney Houston,” which featured performances and testimonials from the singer’s friends and family.
“Divas” To Diva
At December’s VH1 Divas special, Brandy, Jordin Sparks, Ledisi and Melanie Fiona took on such titanic hits as “I’m Every Woman,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” and “How Will I Know.” Brandy kicked things off by recalling her first memories of the legendary singer. “The first concert I ever went to was a Whitney Houston show and I was determined to get close to her,” she told the crowd. “I talked my way through security until I finally made it backstage, but by then she was already gone. Years later, I finally got to meet her and even shared the ’VH1 Divas’ stage with her.”
A Death in the Family
The Recording Academy will extend the weekend’s Grammy activities with a one-hour special on Saturday titled “The Grammys Will Go On: A Death in the Family.” The show looks at how Grammy producers, hosts and musical artists made last-minute changes to the February 2012 program in the face of the death of Whitney Houston.
It will use never-before-seen rehearsal footage and behind-the-scenes interviews with artists and the Grammy production team to look at the 48 hours leading up to last year’s show, which was thrown into turmoil with Houston’s passing 24 hours before the telecast. Among those giving their personal accounts are: Clive Davis, Dave Grohl, Jennifer Hudson, host LL Cool J, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift.