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Whitney Houston Honored Posthumously With 2012 Billboard Millennium Award at 2012 Billboard Music Awards

Pat Houston and Bobbi Kristina Brown
Kevin Mazur, WireImage

Although the 2012 Billboard Music Awards were all about honoring artists for their chart-topping achievements, the show would be remiss if they didn’t honor their biggest chart queen of them all Whitney Houston. The late pop icon was posthumously honored with the Millennium Award at the BMAs on Sunday (May 20), which was followed by a beautiful tribute.

Presenter Whoopi Goldberg was on hand to kick off the tribute as she told a funny story about meeting Houston for the first time.

Afterward, a hush descended over the crowd as John Legend, seated in front of a piano, performed Houston’s remake of the George Benson song ‘Greatest Love of All.’ The inspiring tune spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1986. During Legend’s performance, the audience raised their lighters in the sky while others waved their hands back and forth.

Then, the lovely Jordin Sparks was given the task to sing Houston’s most-popular song of all time, ‘I Will Always Love You.’ The Dolly Parton-penned ballad spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1992.

The R&B songbird dazzled in her black leather bustiere and long blue velvet dress. Sparks was able to hit all the high notes beautifully and effortlessly. Houston and Bobby Brown‘s daughter Bobbi Kristina was shown crying uncontrollably during Sparks’ performance as her reported boyfriend Nick Gordon tried to console her. It was a touching moment to see on television.

Afterward, sister-in-law and manager Pat Houston and Bobbi Kristina appeared together onstage together and graciously accepted the Millennium Award on behalf of Whitney. Despite TMZ reporting that Pat and Kristina were fighting behind the scenes over who would accept the trophy, it seems that everything was settled between the two as they embraced each other during their acceptance speech.

“This is truly an honor for Whitney,” said Pat who was teary-eyed and humbled by the audience’s reception. “We want to thank you (the audience), Billboard, Whoopi, Jordin and John.”

Pat then graciously passed the honor to her niece Bobbi Kristina, who wore a picture of her mother on her beautiful gown. Houston’s daughter was also tearing up, but was able to compose herself and thanked everyone for their love and support.

“I’m just blessed to have been in such an incredible woman’s life and there will never be another one, ever,” she said. “And I thank you, all of you, fans, everyone, thank you so much.”

Thank you, Whitney Houston. We will always love you. May you rest in peace.

Watch Whitney Houston’s Tribute at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards

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