UPDATE 10:59 PM EST: The party is currently live streaming on the Grammy website. In an interview from the red carpet, Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow commented on tomorrow night’s show, saying Whitney Houston would have said “the show must go on,” and that “the way we heal each other is with our music.” He went on to add that “Whitney has been a big part of why ‘We Are Music,’ referencing the theme for this year’s Grammy Awards.
The shocking news of Whitney Houston’s death has already affected the usual goings-on of the music industry, as Clive Davis has transformed his annual pre-Grammy party into an instant memorial, with close friends and family invited to share condolences on the loss of one of pop’s most legendary voices before “music’s biggest night”. “They are trying to pull together a memorial of sorts for grieving,” says a source of the Davis event. “But they are trying to turn away as many people as possible.”
The singer was expected to attend Davis’ gala this evening, though she was not scheduled to perform. She has performed many times at the annual industry affair throughout her career — including last year, where she sang “Walk On By”, “I Say A Little Prayer For You” and “That’s What Friends Are For” in honor of her cousin and longtime friend, Dionne Warwick.
Just a few days ago, Houston was spotted at a rehearsal for the music mogul’s party, sharing advice and words of encouragement to Brandy and Monica, who were tapped to perform. “When so many things were happening in my life that weren’t in favor of me reaching my full potential, she was always there, pushing me,” said Monica. “And I think it made it feel good when she was in the audience, just reminding us, helping us with sound, doing different things today… their expertise, her and Mr. Davis’, it can’t be found anywhere.”
Additional reporting by Maud Deitch.