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The GRAMMYS are a celebration of the best music from the past year. However this weekend, it will be impossible to look back without also remembering the life of Whitney Houston. Last year during the award show weekend, the singer passed away at the age of 48, just mere hours before she was scheduled to attend Clive Davis’ annual Pre-GRAMMY Gala inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Jordin Sparks, who had grown close to the legend while filming the re-make of the 1976 movie “Sparkle,” said that on Thursday night, it finally hit her that a year had gone by.

“I was doing this event called ‘For The Love of R&B’ and it was an event that started last year, and it was one of the last places Whitney performed,” Sparks said. “I sang one of her songs… and that is when it hit me.”

The “American Idol” winner tackled Houston’s classic, “I Have Nothing,” for her first time.

“All of the sudden I just had these uncontrollable shakes,” Sparks said. “I realized how much I really miss her.”

Sparks credits Houston with her growth as both a musician and a person.

“Whitney really inspired me to be myself and to be okay with that,” she said. “I’ve always been OK with who I am, but to be able to just speak freely and be like, ‘You know what, this is me and that’s OK.’”

The singer said Houston’s energy is definitely reflected on the new music that she’s currently writing. Sparks revealed we could hear a first single from her forthcoming album as soon as the end of this month.


InTouch Weekly Senior Editor Kim Serafin recapped Bobby Brown’s “Today” interview in which he claimed that he was not responsible for Whitney Houston’s drug abuse.

Serafin also talked about the new global campaign that Pepsi is set to launch with Michael Jackson’s name, likeness, and music.

Amy Heidemann idolized Whitney Houston as a child. She can remember singing along to Houston’s hits, attempting to mimic those massive vocal runs. The Berklee graduate dreamt that one day she could become as famous as the icon.

Little did Heidemann know as a child growing up in Nebraska that a weird twist of fate would prevent her from ever meeting Houston. Yet, this same twist would position the superstar uniquely in her fan’s career and life.


Heidemann and fiancé Nick Noonan have gained fame as the duo Karmin. First, it was their cover of Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.” The video went viral on YouTube to the tune of over 60 million views. An appearance on “Ellen” and a national media tour followed, and then Epic Records called. Now Karmin is touring the country to promote its single, “Brokenhearted,” which is off the group’s debut album, due out this spring.

The night of February 11, Karmin was preparing to perform “Brokenhearted” on “Saturday Night Live.” About two hours prior to show time in New York, news broke from Los Angeles that Houston had been found dead in her hotel room. Heidemann revealed on “The Ralphie Radio Show” that before the show, there was talk backstage about the duo paying tribute to the fallen star by covering one of her songs, as they had done with so many other artists on the band’s YouTube channel.

“[Houston’s] like covering Adele, or The Beatles; it’s really difficult to tackle something like that,” she explained. “We decided not to in the end of it.”

Heidemann clarified that when Karmin does attempt to perform a tough song, it usually comes with modifications.

“I mean, we did a couple of [Adele’s], but we changed them so much,” she said. “We weren’t like karaoke Adele; we changed the arrangement to fit our style.”

Karmin’s style is captivating fans worldwide. The group’s break out original single, “Brokenhearted,” is receiving airplay on radio stations across the country. It is an up-tempo track with a bittersweet plot.

“I was in the studio and I’m talking about taking Patron shots, alone, waiting for the phone to ring,” Heidemann recalled of the recording session for the single. “It’s tense, and all of the sudden, [the producers] were like, ‘Just improvise on this next take.’ And I was like, ‘Uh, cheerio!’”

Alas, a catchphrase which would be used throughout the entire song was born. Thankfully for Heidemann, the only thing she has to wait for in her personal life is to set a wedding date with Noonan. Perhaps not so thankfully for him, Noonan’s fiancée is actually quite the fan of tequila (“in responsible amounts” she insists). Cheerio.


Life & Style Weekly reports in the magazine’s latest edition that Kris Humphries doesn’t want people to think he’s a gold digger. Senior News Editor Jordi Lippe spoke with Kim Kardashian’s ex for magazine. She also talked about Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Christina and Fergie’s possible gig with “The X Factor” on “The Ralphie Radio Show.”

I attended New Edition’s show at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT hours after Whitney Houston’s “Home-Going” ceremony in Newark, NJ. I talked about Bobby Brown’s performance and the video I shot on site with A.J. Hammer on HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight.”

Thanks to Mark Goldman of Goldman & McCormick PR.

In the first report I’ve ever filed for MTV News, I recapped New Edition’s show and reaction to it on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

The show took place hours after Whitney Houston’s funeral service in Newark, NJ. Click here to read the full article.

Bobby Brown attempted to attend Whitney Houston’s “Home-Going” in Newark, NJ on Saturday. Later in the evening, he attended his own homecoming in New England. Hours after the world paid its final goodbye to Houston, Boston’s New Edition performed in front of a sold-out crowd of over 7,000 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

Brown took a planned absence from the night’s first three songs, then entered stage right for “Hit Me Off.” As the band introduced themselves one by one before “Jealous Girl,” Brown acknowledged the woman he was married to for almost 15 years.

“I want to give blessings to my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. I love you,” Brown said, motioning towards the sky. “I want to give a lot of blessings to my kids, my fiancée, my brothers, and all of you.”

By “brothers,” Brown was referring to his New Edition band-mates. The sextet powered through a set that lasted almost two hours. Songs performed Saturday evening spanned from New Edition’s 1983 Candy Girl debut to Brown’s 1988 solo smash “My Prerogative” to Bell Biv DeVoe’s 1990 hit, “Poison.” Michael Bivens and Ricky Bell founded New Edition with Brown. Ronnie DeVoe joined a few years later.

With Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill also on board, the group had the crowd inside Mohegan Sun on their feet for most of the evening. As the night wound down, the six members sat on stools while the group’s lead singer addressed the crowd again.

“I lost three great people in my life, in the last year,” Brown told the audience of over 7,000 before New Edition wrapped with “Home Again.” “But, nothing makes me happier than to be right here, right now.”

Brown’s brothers were happy to have him there, and had his back. Bivens recognized the emotions that everyone was feeling due to the funeral. The singer said that Bell was “like a bull in a china shop,” watching TV coverage of the event.

“I told (Bell), hit them with your voice, not your fist,” Bivens said to the crowd.

Some New Edition fans, like Lisa Pollock of Bridgeport, Conn., were simply happy just to see Houston’s ex-husband in the building.

“(New Edition) just held it together. I can’t imagine what today was like for them,” Pollock said after the concert. “For them to come and do a show for all of us, definitely exceeded my expectations.”

Pollock thought that in the wake of Houston’s death, Brown is being portrayed unfairly by the media.

“We all have free will in this world,” she said, a nod to the notion that Brown was the direct reason for Houston’s eventual demise. “I’m not going to say what people did or did not do, but he’s his own person (Houston) was her own person.”

Serita Outlow of Norwich, Conn. also attended the show unsure if Brown would make it.

“I think he did an excellent job considering what he must have been feeling,” she said. “I don’t know what he went through with his voice today but I think he still pulled it off. I’m very proud of him.”

I talked about Whitney Houston’s death and some of the details allegedly surrounding it on HLN with anchor Mike Galanos. Houston died on February 11 at age 48 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As I mention during the segment, I believe Houston was clean of illegal drugs prior to her passing.

Thanks to Mark Goldman of Goldman and McCormick PR.

To probably few people’s surprise, Adele owned the 54th Grammy Awards. The once heart-broken songstress swept the ceremony with her album 21 – a perfect six for six in categories she was nominated for. What makes her feat even more impressive is that the Brit took home the three most prestigious awards of the night: Record, Song, and Album of the Year.

The trophies alone could have been enough, but there was more to this narrative, which actually kicked off before the ceremony. In a special segment on “60 Minutes,” reporter Anderson Cooper traveled to Adele’s home overseas for a 15 minute piece on the artist and her rapid rise to international fame. The report commenced shooting in the fall of 2011, prior to the surgery performed on the singer to remove a polyp from her vocal cord. The final parts were filmed earlier this year.

During her sit-down with Cooper, Adele admitted to experiencing “paralyzing stage fright,” which at times included “projectile vomiting.” While she dismissed the notion that she would be nervous about her voice at The Grammy’s, the noted that she would be concerned with if others thought her voice sounded okay. Adele, who clearly has little-to-no filter during the interview, said that she would “sh*t myself” beforehand.

There were no reports of any accidents before or during her live performance of “Rolling in the Deep,” but the singer started off a bit shaky, and wasn’t able to fully hit the higher notes in the track. Adele told Cooper that when she first experienced her throat problems, she completely lost the upper range in her voice. But, by the end of the song, Adele sounded like 2011’s best-selling artist. If nothing else, she gave her U.S. fans something to look forward to, as her American arena tour will kick off later this year.

While The Grammy’s may have been Adele’s night, the show did not belong to her alone. Many minds and hearts were focused on the death of Whitney Houston. The actress, singer, and mother was found dead in her Beverly Hilton hotel room Saturday evening. Houston was 48 years old. An autopsy was completed Sunday, but the coroner’s office is holding back results pending both the death investigation and the toxicology results.

With the six-time Grammy Award winner’s passing, producers were left scrambling with 24 hours to pay tribute to the fallen star. Show host LL Cool J followed opening act Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band with a prayer. Later in the evening, the Academy commissioned Jennifer Hudson to cover Houston’s version of, “I Will Always Love You.” The song was originally released in the 70’s by country singer Dolly Parton – but was then covered by Houston for the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard.” While Hudson’s rendition received a standing ovation and positive reviews, it also served as a solemn reminder that there will only be one Whitney Houston.

In one of many bizarre twists on the evening, the Houston tribute was followed by a medley of electronic dance music, which featured Chris Brown. This was Brown’s first invite to The Grammy’s since 2009. Back in ’09, Brown and then-girlfriend Rihanna were scheduled to perform at the show, but a physical altercation on the eve of the event forced both to cancel. Chris Breezy returned this year and picked up a Grammy for “Best R&B Album.” Earlier in the evening, the crooner performed his new single, “Turn Up the Music,” and then “Beautiful People.” Later, he joined David Guetta and Lil Wayne for “I Can Only Imagine.”

Other interesting moments from Sunday’s show: Bon Iver wins “Best New Artist,” and takes his sweet time during his acceptance speech; Nicki Minaj’s bizarre exorcism-themed performance; the Foo Fighters score five trophies, and after accepting “Best Rock Performance,” would not leave the stage. The delay forced the show announcer to introduce the next presenter, Ryan Seacrest, twice.

Whitney Houston, one of the best vocalists of her generation, passed away Saturday night. She was 48.

I joined Fox News to begin the network’s coverage of Houston’s passing at 10 p.m. with different insight and reactions from people across the world.

Big thanks to Mark Goldman of Goldman & McCormick PR.