MARIAH Carey struggled to hold back her tears as she paid a heartfelt tribute to her peer and friend Whitney Houston, saying “you couldn’t help but love her.”
Mariah, who became close with Whitney when the pair worked on the Academy Award winning Prince of Egypt soundtrack, said she would never forget the first time she heard Whitney sing, recalling the moment at last night’s Bet Awards.
She said: “The first time I heard Whitney’s voice, I was mesmerised 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,” the tearful singer said.
Far from claims made in the past, Mariah insisted that there was never any rivalry between the pair– despite admitting “One thing we all know is that Whitney was not to be toyed with.”
The 42-year-old singer, who once sang a duet with the tragic singer, laughed off the rumours, saying: “We really got to know each other as people. Not divas – okay, maybe occasionally it did get a little diva-ish – but that was just for laughs.”
The blonde singer fought to keep to keep her composure as she recalled her friend, describing her as “a hilarious person with a cutting sense of humour, she was real and she kept it real and that’s why we got along so well.”
Mariah, who last saw the infamous diva a year ago in London, added: “I miss my friend. I miss hearing her voice and laughter. But we’ll always have the music.”
Beyonce, who had earlier dedicated her Best R&B Female Artist award to “my angel Whitney Houston,” was spotted crying in the audience during a tribute performance that took place following Mariah’s speech.
Gospel legend Cissy Houston stole the show with an emotional rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, which left many audience members choking back tears.
Monica, Brandy and Whitney’s brother Gary were also among some of the other performers during the lengthy tribute.
The tragic super star drowned in her hotel bathtub after suffering a drug induced heart attack in February this year, she was only 48.
Source: Daily Express | tlnsntv @ YouTube