Remembering a Diva: Whitney Houston's 50th Birthday

Whitney Houston would be celebrating her 50th birthday today. Sadly, one of the greatest voices of our time died tragically on February 11, 2012. Since her untimely passing, Houston's legacy has been celebrated and upheld all over the world. She is indeed gone but not forgotten. From Glee to the Grammys, Oprah to the Obamas, here's how the world has paid tribute to Whitney Houston since her death.

ESSENCE.COM Aug, 09, 2013

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A month before her passing, new posters for Sparkle showed Whitney at her finest. She would describe the movie, which she helped produce, as one of her passions.

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Two days after Houston’s sudden death President Obama sent his “thoughts and prayers to the Houston family, especially Bobbi Kristina.”

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Host LL Cool J opened the 54th Annual Grammy Awards with an intimate prayer for Whitney Houston.

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Hudson sang “I Will Always Love You” in an emotional tribute to Houston at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. Hudson was visibly emotional during the performance — Houston had presented her with a Grammy in 2008.

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Three days after her death, Aretha Franklin performed a tribute to her goddaughter by singing her own, piano-driven, version of “I Will Always Love You.”

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A few days after Houston’s death Glee’s Amber Riley (playing the character Mercedes) also has a go at covering “I Will Always Love You”.

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Oprah Winfrey paid tribute to her late friend a week after her death with a two-hour tribute called “Remembering Whitney: The Oprah Interview.” In addition to re-airing a revealing interview of Houston from 2009, Winfrey shared her own memories of the singing legend.

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Gospel singer Yolanda Adams performed an emotional tribute to Whitney at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards on February 17, 2012.

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Houston’s close celebrity friends, including Alicia Keys (pictured), and family laid her to rest in a home going service held at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey on February 18, 2012, seven days after her death.

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Stevie Wonder (pictured) was among the many celebrities who laid Houston to rest at her home going service.

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Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown caused a stir when he left her funeral early. He would later release a statement explaining that he had felt mistreated by Houston’s family and that he was “distraught” over what had happened.

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The Gospel singer penned an open letter to Whitney that was placed in the program of her home going service. “Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter,” she wrote.

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ESSENCE celebrated Whitney’s life and legacy by placing her on the cover of the April 2012 issue.

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In an interview in the April issue of ESSENCE, Warwick described Whitney as “the daughter I never had.”

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A month after her death Whitney made Billboard history by becoming the first woman in history to have three albums in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart.

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Brandy (pictured with Whitney and Bobby Brown at the premiere of the TV movie, Cinderella in 1997) announced she would name her sixth studio album Two Eleven in honor of her own birthday and the day that Whitney passed away.

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On March 11, Oprah sat down with Bobbi Kristina Brown, Pat and Gary Houston for an intimate interview about Whitney Houston’s life. A total of 3.5 million viewers tuned in — a record for Oprah’s network.

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On March 28, some 400 movie theaters across the nation honored Whitney by screening The Bodyguard for one night only. It was also the movie’s 20th anniversary.

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Pat Houston and Bobbi Kristina Houston-Brown accepted the Millennium Award on behalf of Whitney Houston onstage at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards on May 20, 2012.

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Sparks performed a tribute to Whitney at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards. Sparks later called the tribute “the scariest moment” of her life.

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Brandy joined Monica, Chaka Khan and Mariah Carey in honoring Whitney at the BET Awards.

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Cissy Houston left few dry eyes in the room during her emotional tribute to Whitney at the 2012 BET Awards.

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TVOne’s R&B Divas stars Monifah, Nicci Gilbert, Syleena Johnson, Faith Evans and Keke Wyatt paid tribute to Whitney and other artists who have passed away in the past year.

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This month the Grammy Museum pays tribute to one of it’s finest stars with the “Whitney! Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Whitney Houston,” exhibit, opening August 15. The exhibit features some of the singer’s most celebrated memorabilia.

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On August 9, Whitney would have been celebrating her 49th birthday. Happy birthday to one of the sweetest voices we have ever heard. Rest in peace, Whitney.