For 37 years, uber-producer Clive Davis has hosted a pre-Grammy Awards party. For many of those years, Whitney Houston — the singer Davis is credited with discovering and guiding to the top of the charts — was a central part of the event.
She was scheduled to be a part of it again, but as we all now know, she died in a hotel room at the Beverly Hills Hilton hours before the big soiree was scheduled to start downstairs. It initially appeared that Davis was going to cancel the party. But it went on as planned, adding a striking contrast to the television coverage about Houston’s passing; on CNN, insiders such as Lionel Richie spoke sadly about her death via telephone while aerial shots of a Hollywood fete-in-progress splashed across the screen.
Was it appropriate for Davis — who clearly was among those mourning the passing of one of the most recognizable and remarkable voices in pop music — to make sure the show went on?
The event, not surprisingly, turned into a partial tribute to Houston, with Davis leading a moment of silence for the “I Will Always Love You” hitmaker.
“Whitney was a beautiful person and a talent beyond compare,” he said in tribute to the woman he mentored, according to Billboard. “She graced this stage with her regal presence and gave so many memorable performances here over the years. Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on, and her family asked that we carry on.”
Tony Bennett then sang in her honor, as did Diana Krall.
If Houston’s family asked Davis to host the soiree as scheduled, it’s understandable that he decided to do so. But it’s equally understandable that some people might have felt that it was inappropriate to rub elbows with Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears while Houston’s body remained in a hotel room a few floors up from the revelry.
Monica and Brandy — the sister of Ray J, Houston’s on-again, off-again boyfriend — were scheduled to perform their new song at the party but were reportedly too distraught to do so. (As the video below shows, Houston provided support to the duo during rehearsals earlier this week.)
And still other celebrities decided that the only appropriate thing to do was stay home.
Kelly and Sharon Osbourne, among others, opted to do that.
Last night the younger Osbourne tweeted: “not going to any pre grammy parties as i dont feel it is appropriate!” She followed that up later with a tweet that simply said “#clivedavis #respect.”
What do you think? Was throwing the party and paying homage to Houston the appropriate course of action, or should the whole affair have been canceled in light of what had just transpired at the same hotel? Post a comment to share your thoughts.