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Mariah Carey introduced the segment by noting the perceived rivalry between the two singers, who collaborated on “When You Believe,” their Oscar-winning song from the 1998 animated film The Prince of Egypt.
“We got to spend a lot of time together as we promoted it, and we really got to know each other as people, not divas,” she said, noting that Houston was “a hilarious person, with a cutting sense of humor. She was real and kept it real, and that’s why we got along so well. If you really knew Whitney, you coudln’t help but love her.”
She said the last time she was with Houston was in London about a year ago, and people were still surprised to see the two together and getting along.
Carey also became emotional toward the end of her remarks.
“I miss my friend, and I miss hearing her voice and laughter, but we’ll always have the music,” she said.
Monica then took the stage at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, followed by Brandy, who co-starred with Houston in the 1997 TV movie Cinderella. Brandy performed a melody that featured Houston’s hits “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”
Houston’s brother Gary also performed, followed by Cissy Houston, the late singer’s mother, who sang “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
“She was more than a singer: She was an actress, a mother, a daughter, a sister. … She truly was every woman,” Devine said. That led into a performance of Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman,” which Houston remade into her own hit single, by Khan herself.
Houston was 48 when she died in the Beverly Hilton. The coroner’s report showed that she had cocaine in her system, and her body was found face down in the bathtub with a “bloody purge coming from her nose.”
Lifetime has ordered 10 hourlong episodes of The Houston Family Chronicles, a docuseries revolving around the lives of the late singer’s family members.
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