Contact Us

Grammys 2013: Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Bash Remembers Whitney Houston

Getty Images

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – A year after Whitney Houston’s death, music executive Clive Davis remembered her in words – and video.

Houston died last year just hours before the annual Clive Davis Gala was to start. On Saturday, Davis said his world continues “to be so shattered by her passing” and that Houston’s death still feels “unreal.”

Then Davis played what he called a rare performance of Houston belting “All The Man That I Need” at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Houston’s brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Pat Houston, attended the gala, where Davis thanked them “for being here tonight.” He also called Houston the “greatest, greatest singer of our lifetime.”

Dutch electronic artist Afrojack kicked off the performances with a DJ set, but it was Gladys Knight who got the crowd up out of their seats with a closing number.

Her voice – still crisp and loud – felt at ease on “Neither One of Us” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

“You’ve been waiting here for a while and we all have to go, and I’m catching a train,” the 68-year-old singer said before going into her popular hit that had Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire dancing around his chair.

And Knight wasn’t the only performer to leave an impression during Davis’ nearly four-hour event.

Scottish singer Emeli Sande was well-received when hitting the right notes on “Heaven.” Miguel, who is nominated for five awards at Sunday’s Grammys, was energetic when he performed his R&B hit “Adorn.” He danced in the middle of the tables in the audience, and at one point sang to Taylor Hawkins’ wife Alison – as the Foo Fighters drummer watched on.

Usher, too, brought R&B flavor to the stage when he performed in honor of music executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who received the president’s merit award. Usher sang some of “Burn” and “Climax,” which featured the acoustic guitar.

The event was full of A-listers there to enjoy the live music: Johnny Depp, Quincy Jones, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Diddy, Miley Cyrus, Frank Ocean, Dave Grohl, Magic Johnson and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick were in the crowd.

“I’ve read the papers and I know who you’ve been spending time with,” Davis said when announcing that Katy Perry and John Mayer were in the audience.

Usher also drew laughs when he told an old story about Reid signing the then teen to his record label.

“If I never can thank you for anything, it would be for not letting me go with the name Cha Cha,” Usher said of his previous stage name.

The pre-Grammy event also featured performances by Patti Smith, best new artist nominees the Lumineers and Jennifer Hudson, who paid tribute to Knight and performed with the singing veteran.

Ne-Yo, Carly Rae Jepsen, Brandy, David Guetta, Babyface, Wiz Khalifa, Jordin Sparks, Tyra Banks and dozens of others attended Davis’ gala.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://theboombox.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on The Boombox quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on The Boombox quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!