The tears flowed freely at the BET Awards when Cissy Houston took to the stage to honor her daughter Whitney by singing a rousing, incredibly powerful and moving version of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”
As the cameras panned the crowd, the celebrities were clearly moved by the moment. Beyonce cried openly, as did Melonie Fiona and Vanessa L. Williams.
First Mariah Carey talked about spending time with Whitney shortly before she died, then Whitney’s brother Gary Houston sang Whitney’s song “Where You Are” for his sister as the screen behind him flashed images of him and his sister together. Gary introduced his mother, gospel great Cissy Houston. As she came on the stage, Cissy said, “This is for you, Nip.” Whitney’s family nickname was Nippy.
With closeups of hardened rappers like Kanye West, who lost his mother prematurely, fighting off the tears, Houston slowly built into a rousing climax, the emotion bolstering her every note. It was indeed a highlight of the night.
The Whitney tribute continued when Chaka Khan, wearing a body hugging gold dress showing off her newly slim figure, sang “I’m Every Woman.”