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<br />Whitney Houston’s ex pays tribute on stage

As news of the death of Whitney Houston spread throughout the Landers Center arena in Southaven, Miss., Saturday night, fans gathered for the New Edition Reunion Tour wondered if band member Bobby Brown would appear.

by Sonya Young
Special to the Tri-State Defender

The question of the night was, “Will he or won’t he?”

As news of the death of legendary pop diva Whitney Houston spread throughout the Landers Center arena in Southaven, Miss., Saturday night, fans gathered for the New Edition Reunion Tour wondered if band member Bobby Brown would appear. Brown married Houston in 1992 and the couple has a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 18.

 
Whitney Houston (Courtesy photo)

According to Reuters.com, Houston, 48, was found unresponsive in her room at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. CNN reported that she was unresponsive to resuscitation efforts and was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.

The concert chugged along with local radio personality Stan Bell keeping the crowd entertained until the headliners appeared. Bell told The New Tri-State Defender that his heart was heavy.

“Whitney did so much for the (music) industry,” said Bell. “Prayers go out to the family.”

New Edition initially took the stage minus Brown, but two songs in he appeared to thunderous applause from the audience.

“It’s hard to come out here,” Brown said. “You paid your money. You came to see us. After 29 some years, we’re giving you what you asked for.”

Brown’s mood seemed good considering, and he performed well, even singing one line of his hit, “Tenderonie” to his former wife as he pointed to the sky. Fans cheered him on, chanting “Bobby” and offered applause.

Brown held his composure until the end, leaving the stage during the group’s final song. His band mates called him “a strong black man” and shared their love for their “sis.”

Member Johnny Gill offered encouragement.

“God doesn’t make mistakes,” said Gill, leading the audience in a short praise for “God’s goodness.”

Brown ended the evening by asking for prayers for his daughter and for Houston’s mother. And, he said, for him, “…if you find some time.”

Bell said that he’d be heading to the radio station to put together a musical tribute for Houston to air on his station, V101.1, Monday afternoon.

 

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