Is that really appropriate Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose and Britney Spears are far from demure as they party at hotel where Whitney Houston died just hours earlier
In Hollywood, they say the show must go on.
And last night not even the death of one of the music industry's biggest names was enough to halt a pre-Grammy's party in Hollywood.
Clive Davis decided to press ahead with his annual soiree at the Beverly Hilton Hotel despite the fact his protege Whitney Houston died in the same establishment, mere hours earlier.
Flashing the flesh: Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose and Britney Spears arrived on the red carpet in very revealing outfits at the Clive Davis and the Recording Academy's 2012 Pre-GRAMMY Gala at the
Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Whitney Houston was found dead just hours earlier
Distasteful: Britney and Kim look animated as they engaged in conversation inside the venue
The scene could not have been more
dramatic or bizarre – as the guests made their red carpet arrival
downstairs, Whitney's body remained upstairs in her fourth-floor suite
while the authorities investigated the death scene.
Poignantly Houston – who was found
dead in the bathtub – was supposed to appear at the gala and was
expected to perform after rehearsing for the show on Thursday with Brady
Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and
Amber Rose were among the stars who were arriving on the red carpet
while the police investigation carried on upstairs.
The young Hollywood starlets didn't
bother with subdued mourning attire in light of the tragedy and instead
turned up in low-cut and very daring dresses.
The show must go on: Davis decided to continue with the party, despite his protege's tragic passing. Kim seen right with actress Jane Fonda and, right, Diana Ross with Berry Gordy
Hollywood starlets: Kim and Britney pose with Sir Richard Branson, one of Saturday night's honourees at the gala
Some celebrities decided to skip the event out of respect for the late singer, who died at just 48.
Kelly Osbourne tweeted: 'Not going to any pre grammy parties as i dont feel it is appropriate!'
Her mother Sharon agreed, writing: 'Can't celebrate tonight when one of the greatest voices ever is dead.'
Miley Cyrus also decided to avoid the party scene, tweeting: 'Just gonna stay @ home & listen 2 her records.'
Other attendees included Diana Ross,
actress Jane Fonda, media mogul Sir Richard Branson – who was among the
honourees at the event – and former Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland.
Inside the party, Davis – Houston's
mentor, producer, champion and longtime friend – addressed party guests
after a moment of silence.
Pressing ahead: Singer Ross wore a full-length black gown while Kelly Rowland, centre, slipped into a glittering blue dress as Tennis star Venus Williams opted for green
Comfort in a time of need: Singer Alicia Keys comforts Houston's long-time mentor Clive Davis, also the Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainmen
Sombre: Keys with husband, producer Swizz Beatz, left, along with Sean 'Diddy' Combs and singer Cassie
A somber Davis, reading from a sheet
of paper, said: 'I personally devastated by the loss of someone who has
meant so much to me. She was full of life, looking forward for tonight.
She loved music and she loved this night that celebrated music.'
He added: 'Whitney was a beautiful
person and she had a talent beyond compare. She graced this stage … so
many times. So simply put: Whitney would have wanted the music to go
He dedicated the evening to her and
asked for a moment of silence as a photo of the 48-year-old, hands wide
open, looking to the sky, appeared on the screen.
Then, he said with excitement: 'Now ladies and gentlemen, let the music begin.'
Tony Bennett, the evening's first
performer, recounted other recent big-name deaths in the music industry.
'First it was Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, now the magnificent
Whitney Houston. Let's legalize drugs, like Amsterdam, it's a very sane
Hand in hand: Actor Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, left, and, right, rapper Wiz Khalifa with girlfriend Amber
Remembering a musical icon: Clive Davis's wife Barbara, left, presenter Gayle King and singer Toni Braxton
He added that Winehouse was 'the greatest singer I've ever heard in my life.'
The scene was somewhat surreal given
Houston's shocking death only earlier in the day. But Grammy President
and CEO Neil Portnow, who called Houston a friend, said 'canceling the
party was never an option.'
'A lot of us holding hands tonight, on
each other's shoulders … We'll be celebrating,' he said. 'The legacy
she left will be here forever.'
He announced that Jennifer Hudson would perform a tribute to Houston at Sunday's Grammys.
Earlier in the evening, India.Arie said Houston 'set the standard for what it is to be a great female artist.'
Producer Jimmy Jam said her death was a
'bittersweet irony' given that Davis heralded Houston as a great talent
to watch when he had her perform at his party in her youth.
VIPs: Actress Kathy Griffin, left, Motown singer Gladys Knight, centre, and Gossip Girl actress Michelle Trachtenberg, right
Dapper: From left, Branson, Glee actor Matthew Morrison, music producer Dr. Dre and singer Tony Bennett
'The fact that it happened on this
day, this event is where Clive Davis introduced Whitney to the world. We
said hello to Whitney at the Clive Davis (gala), it may be appropriate
we're saying our first goodbyes to Whitney at a Clive Davis event.
'In a weird way it's appropriate, the
show must go on. I think Whitney would have wanted that to happen. …
Tonight I think we begin to celebrate and remember.'
Police received a 911 call from hotel
security about Houston at 3:43 pm local time today. Paramedics who were
already at the hotel because of a Grammy party unsuccessfully tried to
resuscitate the singer, he said.
Houston's end came on the eve of music's biggest night – the Grammy Awards.
Mentor: Clive Davis said he was 'personally devastated' by Whitney's death as he addressed his guests at the event
Remembering the greats: Tony Bennett also spoke
out about the deaths of Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse as he took to
the stage at the pre-Grammys event
At her peak, Houston was the golden
girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she
was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with
effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black
church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like 'The Bodyguard' and 'Waiting to Exhale.'
But by the end of her career, Houston
became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album
sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was
shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She
confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine
voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had
during her prime.
'The biggest devil is me. I'm either
my best friend or my worst enemy,' Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an
infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
Houston has a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 18, from her tumultous relationship with her ex husband Bobby Brown.
Minute's silence: Guests at the event pay their respects as a screen shows an image of Houston
Dramatic scene: Tonight party carried on as planned at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where Whitney died earlier today