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Whitney Houston’s mother Cissy provided the emotional highlight of Sunday’s ceremony when she sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in tribute to her late daughter.  She left audience members like Beyonce and Soulja Boy in tears.

Mariah Carey opened the tribute, and her voice wavered as she told stories about Houston. She recalled the last time she saw Houston last year, and how the two laughed and gossiped together.

“I miss my friend,” Carey said. “I miss hearing her voice and laughter.”

R&B singer Monica sang “I Love The Lord,” a gospel song once sang by Houston.

Close friend Brandy sang two upbeat Houston hits, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” Chaka Khan blazed the stage with “I’m Every Woman,” which Houston remade.

Gary Houston, Whitney’s brother, also performed.  Houston’s “Waiting to Exhale” cast mates, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon and Loretta Devine also honored the singer, but it was Cissy Houston’s soaring performance that brought the audience to their feet, and had many dabbing their eyes. The tribute came five months after Houston’s death. It defiantly was the emotional performance of the night!

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