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The NAACP had more lead time than the Grammys to honor the late Whitney Houston at their annual Image Awards on Friday night.
Six days after the singer’s sudden death — and on the eve of her funeral — the show pulled a similar move to the Grammys by acknowledging her at the top of the two-hour broadcast and saving the full tribute for near the end of the show.
Houston’s was the last name to appear last on the “in memoriam” reel, which featured Elizabeth Taylor and Don Cornelius among many others, before hosts Sanaa Lathan and Anthony Mackie introduced a clip package of Houston’s most memorable moments at the Image Awards.
They showed her getting the 1995’s “Entertainer of the Year” award, accepting “Best Actress” for The Preacher’s Wife and being serenaded by mother Cissy Houston.
Finally, Yolanda Adams took the stage. Backed by a full Baptist choir, she sang “I Love the Lord” to a rapt crowd of visibly tearful guests at the Shrine Auditorium.
After Adams’ standing ovation, gospel singer Kirk Franklin began his own show-concluding number with a rendition of “The Greatest Love of All.”
Watch the NAACP’s salute to Whitney Houston and Adam’s performance below:
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