CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all interrupted their regular programming moments after Houston’s death, devoting time to nonstop coverage of her death and the events leading up to it.
The channels featured live interviews with her peers and other people who knew her. On Sunday, February 12, MTV and VH1 interrupted their regular programming to air several Whitney Houston classics. MTV also featured news segments in between, with reactions from devastated fans and celebrities.
Clive Davis Pays Tribute to Whitney
Although she wasn’t scheduled to perform, Whitney would have been in attendance at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party on February 11, 2012, featuring some of the biggest stars in film and music. After the news of her death broke, the gathering turned into a Whitney Houston tribute.
A devastated Clive Davis addressed her death at the start of the evening and how she had meant so much to him for so long. Some artists, however, felt it was in bad taste to have the party and it should have been canceled out of respect for Whitney.
Fan and Industry Reactions
Fans grieved the untimely death of an incredible talent. Just one day after her death, Whitney’s catalog sold nearly one million copies. Her legacy lives on to this day. She was a trailblazer who paved the way for female artists by becoming the first female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard chart with her 1987 album, "Whitney." She was the first woman to receive two diamond awards.
For generations to come, every singer at the Super Bowl will face comparisons to Whitney, the singer who set an insanely high bar with her rendition of the national anthem.
Whitney's Memorial Is Attended by Loved Ones and Industry Peers
On February 18, 2012, Whitney's memorial service was held at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, by invitation only. The service was supposed to last two hours, but it went on for four — such was the outpouring of grief. Several great artists paid tribute to Whitney and performed during the funeral.
Stevie Wonder sang rewritten versions of "Ribbon in the Sky" and "Love's in Need of Love Today." CeCe Winans gave a powerful rendition of "Don't Cry" and "Jesus Loves Me," while Alicia Keys performed "Send Me an Angel."
Whitney Houston: The Legacy
Whitney Houston is considered a cultural icon bar none and among the greatest vocalists in music history. She was a trailblazer who put R&B on the map and became the genre's most influential performer. Her achievements redefined the landscape for black female artists in the mainstream music industry.
Whitney made music by black artists popular and aspirational at a time when discrimination plagued radio stations and television. Anita Baker said she would not have dreamed big if black female artists like Whitney and Sade had not paved the way.