Big stars gathered at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on October 11 to say their final goodbye to one of the greatest talents in music industry, Whitney Houston. Arranged by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the gig featured live performances by the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Usher and Celine Dion among others.
J-Hud kicked off the gig by singing a medley of "I'm Every Woman", "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". She channeled the late singer by wearing a big hair do from the 1980s. Usher rocked the stage with "I Believe in You and Me". Dion couldn't make it, but she took time to tape a rendition of "The Greatest Love of All" in Canada for the televised event.
Jordin Sparks, who shared screen with Whitney in the New Jersey singer's final film "Sparkle", took the stage as well. The "American Idol" alum sang the title track of the movie soundtrack. The other performers were gospel singers Cece Winans and Yolanda Adams. They brought many audience members to tears with their performance of "Count On Me".
Whitney's most iconic song "I Will Always Love You" was covered by no one but the late singer herself. The organizers chose to display footage of her performance from 1994 Grammy Awards. The night of celebration continued as a tape of her famously singing the National Anthem, "Star-Spangled Banner", at the 1991 Super Bowl was shown as well.
That night was truly a celebration of Whitney's legacy and career achievements. There was no mention about her personal woes including her drug abuse. The guests of honor that night was Whitney's only daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and her fiance Nick Gordon. Aunt Pat Houston was there as well, but grandmother Cissy and uncle Gary were absent.
Britney Spears took the stage to share her memory of Whitney. She remembered annoying her little brother with her cover of "I Have Nothing" which helped her score a record deal. Halle Berry sang similar praise for the late singer, "She inspired a generation of little girls and women to believe in their own dream and to know that they had within themselves the greatest gift of all. I was one of those little girls who then became a woman who never ever, ever, stopped loving Whitney Houston."
Dubbed "We Will Always Love You: A GRAMMY Salute to Whitney Houston", the concert will air on November 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS as part of a one-hour special.