Backbeat: Remembering Whitney Houston on the Red Carpet of Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Gala
Justino Aguila

Above, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president Neil Portnow on the red carpet

The red carpet was buzzing with industry artists and executives at the Clive Davis and the Recording Academy's pre-Grammy Gala which celebrated the nominees, remembered Whitney Houston and honored Antonio "L.A." Reid.

See All of Our Grammy 2013 Coverage Right Here

Those who walked the red carpet shared their fondest memories of Houston who died one year ago this month.

For NARAS President Neil Portnow it was all about Houston's voice and presence.

"The thing I remember the most vividly is the first meeting," Portnow says. "I first heard her voice on cassette that Clive had sent. When I saw her and met her, everything else matched up with the music and you could tell she was someone very special."

See Our Grammy Party Schedule Right Here

Similar sentiments where echoed through the night on Saturday from the red carpet from artist/executive Ne-Yo, music veteran Sylvia Rhone, "American Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe, music icon Quincy Jones, TV host/producer Ryan Seacrest, music producer Afrojack and Katy Perry, among others.


Ne-Yo walks the red carpet at the Clive Davis Gala at the Beverly Hilton. The artist/executive talked about his latest album, touring and remembering Whitey Houston (Justino Aguila)

"I never got to meet her, but it's beautiful to see her friends care so much about her," said Afrojack, who is currently working with Jennifer Lopez on a new album. "To see her life being celebrated is touching."

Rhone said that seeing Whitney on a Grammy show is a memory that has stayed with her.


Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, walked the Clive Davis Gala red carpet and was later introduced by Davis during the event along Sting, Joni Mitchell and Johnny Depp, among others (Justino Aguila)

"My fondest memories are of her in that Grammy moment where she sang in a white gorgeous white gown and just sang her ass off," Rhone said. "She's an icon, a treasure and sorely missed."

For Miguel, who is nominated or five Grammys including song of the year, remembering Houston is something that has inspired him personally.

"Whitney's voice was powerful," Miguel said. "She was dynamic. I would like her to be remembered for her voice and smile. I think she'd want to be celebrated."

Miguel said that one of the highlights of the gala was to see Reid honored for his contributions to music.

"You're talking about a real musician who became an amazing executive behind arguably the most impactful R&B label, LaFace Records," Miguel said.

During a red carpet interview, Reid said that he still has much to accomplish.

"I just saw Quincy Jones walk down the carpet. This is a man who produced Thriller. This is a man who produced the greatest artist maybe of all time," Reid said. "When I think about it all, all I think is to look forward and aspire to do something and be mentioned in the same sentence as Quincy. That's what I'd like to see happen. I don't know that I've done much yet. But I plan to."