Clive Davis, mentor and long-time friend of Whitney Houston, stood before the glittering crowd at his annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and spoke extremely moving words to honor the young girl he signed on the spot in a New York nightclub in 1983:
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By now you have all learned of the unspeakably tragic news of our beloved Whitney's passing. I don't have to mask my emotion in front of a room full of so many dear friends. I am personally devastated by the loss of someone who has meant so much to me for so many years.
Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight even though she wasn't scheduled to perform. She loved music and she loved this night that celebrates music.
Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on.
I ask that you join me in a moment of silence as we dedicate this evening to Whitney.