One year after Whitney Houston's death, Clive Davis Gala presses on

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Sony Music Entertainment CCO Clive Davis speaks onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring L.A. Reid held at The Beverly Hilton on February 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)
Larry Busacca

A year after Whitney Houston's death, music executive Clive Davis remembered her in words -- and video.

Houston died last year at the age of 48 just hours before the annual Clive Davis Gala was set to start. On Saturday, Davis said his world continues "to be so shattered by her passing" and that Houston's death still feels "unreal."

At the gala, Davis played what he called a rare performance of Houston belting "All The Man That I Need" at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Houston's brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Pat Houston, attended the gala, where Davis thanked them "for being here tonight." He also called Houston the "greatest, greatest singer of our lifetime."

Dutch electronic artist Afrojack kicked off the performances with a DJ set, but it was Gladys Knight who got the crowd up out of their seats with a closing number featuring renditions of "Neither One of Us" and "Midnight Train to Georgia."

Usher, too, brought R&B flavor to the stage when he performed some of "Burn" and "Climax," which featured the acoustic guitar.

The pre-Grammy event also featured performances by Patti Smith, Scottish singer Emeli Sande, best new artist nominees the Lumineers, song of the year nominee Miguel, and Jennifer Hudson, who paid tribute to Knight and performed with the singing veteran.

The event was full of A-listers there to enjoy the live music: Johnny Depp, Quincy Jones, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Diddy, Miley Cyrus, Frank Ocean, Dave Grohl, Magic Johnson and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick were in attendance as well as Ne-Yo, Carly Rae Jepsen, Brandy, David Guetta, Babyface, Wiz Khalifa, Jordin Sparks, Tyra Banks and dozens of others.