Every year Clive Davis throws a pre-Grammy party celebrating a year of musical talent, but on Saturday night the party payed tribute to one woman: Whitney Houston.
As celebrities including Alicia Keys, Pitbull and Tony Bennett were getting ready to attend the annual Clive Davis Grammy party, news came of Houston's sudden death. She was 48.
The legendary singer and producer's body was found in a bathtub in fifth-floor suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The cause of her death is unclear.
The shock and grief of her fans followed instantly. They gathered outside the Beverly Hilton holding a candlelit vigil for the singer.
Clive Davis considered canceling his party, according to MTV, but changed his mind after most people in attendance said Whitney would have wanted the party to go on.
By now, sadly, we've all learned of the unspeakable of our beloved Whitney's passing, Davis said, visibly shaken, according to MTV. 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.
Guests, including Richard Branson, Serena Williams, Britney Spears and Alicia Keys, all joined Davis in a moment of silence in Houston's memory.
Following the commemoration, Tony Bennett stepped up to the podium to note that Davis had signed Houston to Arista Records in the early 1980s. Clive, you finally got the greatest singer I ever heard in my life, he said before performing a rendition of Frank Sinatra's How Do You Keep the Music Playing?
Alicia Keys also stepped up to the podium remembering her childhood when she would sing I Want to Dance With Somebody in front of the mirror as a child. Referring to Houston as her sister, Keys spoke of her long friendship with the singer, before stepping to the stage to perform No One in tribute.
Houston ruled over the charts for more than a decade with 170 million albums sold, according to CNN. She won many awards, including Emmys, Grammys and Billboard music awards.