Record producer and music industry executive Clive Davis has been the host of an annual pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for 35 years. Unforgettably, hours before last year’s gathering was to commence, news spread of the tragic and untimely demise of international superstar whitney houston just upstairs from where the gathering takes place.
Last year’s gathering certainly marked an unusual tone for obvious reasons. Likewise this year, inevitably coinciding with the one year anniversary of Houston’s death, will be unlike others in the past. Of the somewhat somber location of the traditional event, a publicist for Davis explained: “The party is at the Beverly Hilton. That’s where it always is.”
Davis was criticized by some of Houston’s most ardent fans — as well as at least on of her colleagues, Chaka Khan — for not cancelling last year’s event. One attendee last year described already driving to the event when she got news of Houston’s passing: “It would have been impossible to cancel because people were already en route. There was really no way he could have informed all the guests in time to cancel. The only other way would have been to turn guests away upon arrival.” She continues: “Most of the guests didn’t even know her body was still in the hotel. We didn’t know until after we left that they hadn’t even moved the body.” A PR spokesperson for the Beverly Hilton Hotel described: “Out of respect to the family and fans of Whitney, the guest room where she stayed was immediately taken out of inventory and all contents were removed.” Heightened security measures will also be in effect this year. The executive discovered Houston when she was still a teenager, and sculpted her into one of the world’s best selling artists of all time.