Brandy took the stage to perform “I want To Dance With Somebody” while Monica and Chaka Khan also honored Houston in song.
Mariah Carey spoke about Houston during the Awards show. She told the audience how she last saw Houston in London about a year ago and explained that it was “jokes galore.”
“I miss my friend,” she said and took a break from talking to compose herself after becoming emotional. She continued, “but will always have the music, we’ll always have that voice.”
But by far, the most moving moment during the Houston tribute was when her mother took the stage to perform. Cissy Houston, an accomplished singer herself, took the stage as the crowd stood and applauded, to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
“When you’re weary and feeling small, when tears are in your eyes I will dry them all, I’m on your side when times get rough and friends just can’t be found, like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down,” Cissy sang as the crowd grew emotional. Beyonce and Soulja Boy were just two stars that shed tears as Cissy performed.
“Sail on silver girl, sail on by, your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way,” she sang. “See how they shine, if you need a friend, I’m sailing right behind, like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind.”
Houston died in February, when she was found submerged in a Beverly Hilton Hotel bathtub in Los Angeles. The 48-year-old singer was pronounced dead on the scene, hours before she was set to perform at a pre-Grammy party. The official cause of death was “drowning and effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use,” according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Houston was buried days later in New Jersey. She left behind Bobbi Kirstina Brown, her daughter with singer and Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown.
Check out the performance: