Whitney Houston on GMA in 2009 by Asterio Tecson, CC licenseMusic producer Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy party is typically one of highlights of the week leading to the US music industry’s top awards, but this year’s event quickly turned into a tribute for Whitney Houston, who died that afternoon in the same hotel, the Beverly Hilton.

Inside the gala dinner, the mood among stars ranging from Sean Combs to Tony Bennett was initially sombre, but in opening remarks Davis, who had first discovered Houston and became a mentor to the singer, said it was time to celebrate her life.

“She always, she always hit you with that beautiful smile, she always hit you with that incredible energy,” said Combs.

Since her death Saturday, her songs and albums have quickly became top-sellers on iTunes. The Grammy awards show scheduled for tonight, has already shifted its lineup, with Jennifer Hudson scheduled to perform a tribute during the show.

READ the AP article about her surprising death, in the USA Today.

READ the story of Clive Davis party, with Video, in the Telegraph.

Photo of performance on GMA in 2009 by Asterio Tecson, CC license

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