The I Have Nothing star joined music royalty for the ceremony, which aired on HBO on Saturday night and was presented by Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, during which she was inducted into the prestigious institution by Alicia Keys.
“We all know what a miraculous singer Whitney was, perhaps the greatest voice of our time,” gushed the star. “We all know how her unprecedented success brought black women into the absolute highest reaches of the music industry’s pantheon. We all know that her music will live forever. That music, that everlasting voice, is her final, generous gift to us.”
Accepting the honour on behalf of Whitney, who died in 2012 at the age of 48, Cissy said: “I’m so very, very proud that Whitney is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“She wanted to be something – not anything. She worked hard at it, too. I’m proud of who she was. What can I say now? If I talk too long, I’ll cry. I don’t want to cry. This is something Whitney always wanted.”
Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager added: “I remember in 2009, we were in London. Whitney looked at me and she said, ‘This is really special, but there’s only one thing missing: I’ve got to get the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’.
“This moment right now proves it all: There’s only one matchless Whitney Houston, and tonight, she would be very proud and honoured to receive this award.”
Rapper Notorious B.I.G also made the class of 2020 and his award was collected by his two adult kids, T’yanna and C.J., who paid tribute to their late dad, who was murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997.
T’yanna said: “When my dad passed away, I was only three years old. Even though I didn’t get to know him as well as I wanted, through his fans and our family, I was able to see with my own eyes that his music transcended the hip-hop industry. He was able to become not only the ‘King of New York,’ but the king of the culture.”
Other acts inducted include Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails and T. Rex, with Miley Cyrus, Billy Gibbons, Don Henley and Billy Idol among those performing during the ceremony.
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