The music world remembered Whitney Houston at the 2012 Bet Awards on Sunday (July 1, 2012) with Mariah Carey leading the tributes. A black and white image of the late singer was dropped from the ceiling at The Shrine Auditorium, with Carey walking out onto the stage with tears in her eyes.
Dressed in a shimmering gold outfit, Mariah told the gathered audience, "The first time I heard Whitney's voice, I was mesmerized like the rest of the world. Just an unknown, budding singer myself, I was captivated by the power in her range, the richness of her tone and her unique ability to wrap a lyric in emotion". Carey continued, joking about the first time the pair met backstage at the Grammy Awards, as well as their often talked about 'rift'. Though the pair were assumed to be rivals, they actually had a strong relationship, and worked together on the 'Prince of Egypt' soundtrack, winning an Academy Award for their efforts. Reflecting on the last time that she saw Houston, Mariah said the pair were in London together exactly a year ago, saying, "I miss my friend. I miss hearing her voice and laughter. But we'll always have the music.We'll always have that voice we all fell in love with. She inspired us all".
Later, Monica and Brandy took to the stage, performing 'I Love the Lord' and 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' respectively. Whitney's brother Gary Houston performed before introducing their mother Cissy Houston, who sang 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.