There was a high probability of showers (of tears) during the 2012 BET Awards, during the tribute for Whitney Houston. And the late singer got ’em, with presentations and performances from a round-up of Mariah Carey, Brandy, Monica, Chaka Khan and Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston.
Carey stepped out in a surprise appearance at the ceremony, recounting how she and Houston were rumored to be in a “rivalry” throughout their career. Carey kept it classy, speaking of the last time they lunched together. And then came the crying. Monica Brown — aka Monica — and her previously so-called rival Brandy then came out, the former taking on gospel-drenched “I Love the Lord” and the latter killing it on “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
Then everybody went, “Oh, yeah, Gary Houston.”
And then there was Cissy Houston. Houston’s mother, who was influential and essential to Whitney’s rise, development and cadence in fame, has maintained a strong presence in the media since Houston’s passing in February. Since that time, Cissy announced she was releasing new gospel tunes (four of them, in May) and that she was writing a memoir about Whitney’s “true story,” That book will arrive next February, undoubtedly close to Whitney’s death-date.
Cissy Houston was obviously still grieving and celebrating her daughter’s life as she sang a lengthy version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” during the broadcast. But, with all Cissy’s activity, and for the aching (and, at times, excruciating) performance she gave, it also felt like she and BET were taking advantage of the grief. It was not a shining moment, despite Soulja Boy’s open weeping. It was a mixed television moment.
In a moment where we were all waiting to exhale, out came Whitney Houston’s co-stars from “Waiting to Exhale,” and onto Chaka Khan performing the hit that put both her and the late pop star on the map “I’m Every Woman.”
The Whitney Houston tribute performances weren’t the only mention of her name at the 2012 award show. Kanye West dropped Houston’s name in a verse from his fresh “New God Flow.” Beyonce also thanked Whitney in her acceptance speech for Best Female R&B Artist, calling her “my angel.”
What did you think of the Whitney Houston tribute at the BET Awards?