Whitney Houston had a fitting final send off at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday (May 20) as Jordin Sparks and John Legend took to the stage at the Mgm Grand Garden Arena to honour the late superstar. That was the highlight performance of the show. You can watch all the performances after the jump.
Legend opened the tribute with a powerful rendition of “The Greatest Love of All” and Sparks, who played the singer’s onscreen daughter in what will be her final movie, Sparkle, stunned the crowd with an emotional cover of Houston’s signature tune “I Will Always Love You.”
Cameras at the ceremony, which was aired live on America’s East Coast, caught the tragic star’s daughter Bobbi Kristina smiling with pride, wiping tears away and clapping as Sparks hit the high notes of her mother’s song.
Comedienne Whoopi Goldberg introduced the tribute with a funny story about her late friend, recalling, “The first time I met Whitney Houston, she saved my life; we were in London at the Free Nelson Mandela concert when two giant black men, her security guards, grabbed me because apparently I was in the way. I then heard a magnificent voice say, ‘Stop, that’s Whoopi. Put her down!’… So I owe Whitney a lot.”
Goldberg then joined Sparks and Legend to present Bobbi Kristina and her aunt Pat Houston – Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager – with the late diva’s Millennium Award.
Pat said, “This is truly an honour. We thank you for honouring Whitney with the Millennium Award.”
Bobbi Kristina then took centre stage and, fighting back tears, she added, “I just wanna say thank you to everyone who supported us through it all. Not just from when it was good… Thank you so much for showing that much love because she deserved it.
“I’m just blessed to have been in such an incredible woman’s life. There will never be another one, ever.”
After the tribute, Sparks revealed it was a thrill to finally get to meet her movie mother’s real life daughter.
The singer said, “I never got to meet Bobbi Kristina. It was really emotional to see her. Whitney had talked to her about me and she told me about her and so we felt a connection.”
Which was your favorite performance? Let us know if the comments below.