February 11th, 2013
02:31 PM ET

Remembering Whitney: An industry reflects

On February 11, 2012, music lost one of its most iconic voices with the death of Whitney Houston.

Her unexpected passing at the Beverly Hilton, right ahead of the 54th Grammy Awards, sent shockwaves through the music community and created a tone of mourning on music's biggest night.

Never-seen photos of young Whitney Houston

On the one-year anniversary of her death, Houston's contemporaries are still coming to terms with her death and her legacy. Here's what some in the industry expressed to CNN at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy bash on Saturday:

  •  Recording Academy President Neil Portnow on moving forward after her death: "It was very difficult news to get, especially for those of us that knew Whitney personally. ... Clive and I knew for certain that Whitney would be saying, 'Guys, the show must go on. We’re here to celebrate music.' We did that. We did it in a way that was respectful and that was honest and heartfelt."
  • Brandy on still feeling Houston's presence: "It’s definitely tough. It was a tough day for me last year and it’s tough now. ... Whitney was everything to me, she always will be, and I’m so glad I had a chance to speak to her and all of that before she passed. And tell her how I feel about her. She is here in spirit. She lives in me; she lives in all of us."
  • Gladys Knight on making Houston proud: "I think, and I think a lot of people may think like this, I’m happy that she’s at peace ... The other thing is Whitney loved what she did. She loved to sing, she loved the entertainment business. And the fact that we’re still here doing it, I think [she would be] really happy about it."
  • L.A. Reid on honoring her memory: "It was a very sad evening when we lost the sweet Whitney Houston. We managed to muster up a celebration even though we lost Whitney. And today we just remember her and we honor her. She left us her great music, she left us her great voice, and what more can we ask?"
  • Ciara on her legacy: "I still feel like to this day, it doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel like that really happened. Unfortunately, time has to move on. I feel like us as the young generation are going to try our best to make sure we keep her legacy alive and continue to tell our peers and people about Whitney and how much she meant to music. There’s no one that can do what she has done."

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. kashonia

    Have found a wonderful book on Whitney and her addiction and the demons that began in her childhood and which led her to live an abusive drug and alcohol fueled lifestyle to numb the pain during her search for love. Written by husband and wife psychology team Judith Sherven, PhD and Jim Sniechowski, PhD. Find out more at http://whatreallykilledwhitneyhouston.com/

    December 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. with all the facilities whitney went into she still never overcame the addictions.

    shame RIP Whit

    April 30, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. with all the facilities whitney went she still never overcame the addictions.

    shame RIP Whit

    April 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. In Touch Entertainment

    This is something special to share..recently there has been a recent cover tribute release for honoring Whitney Houston I Look to You Click or Copy & Paste link HERE http://youtu.be/MDZaYd4i8BA

    April 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hot Chocolate

    I wonder if someone ate her out if they would get high from it?

    February 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rose

    is charlie here...

    February 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Monique

    Comments like FredErick's above ought to be blocked! It's so ignorant. Whitney Houston was a talented singer in her prime. Don't know another singer who can even touch her vocal ability. Please save the negative comments and honor Ms. Houston as she should be honored.

    February 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. FredErick

    Whitney's final tour in Australia as well as her live appearance upon the XFactor in the UK speaks for itself. She was nothing in the end other than a shadow of her former talent. She was reduced to having back up vocalists cover up for her lack of vocal range. Drugs killed her and destroyed her voice. History will forever remembered her as nothing more than a typical big mouth CRACK HO cause we all know that "Whitney do no crack"!!! yeah right!

    February 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. karen

    addiction is a horrible thing. talent is a wonderful thing. Go Whitney!

    February 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |

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