Whitney Houston’s mother gets emotional during Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction

Whitney Houston in 2011
Whitney Houston, seen in 2011, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press )

We will always love you, Whitney Houston.

Grammy winner Alicia Keys inducted the late pop legend into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony broadcast Saturday on HBO.

“Whitney Houston is one of one. There is no one like her, and there never will be,” Keys said. “This golden voice with range and runs and power like none and a face and a presence like royalty. She was every little girl’s admiration.

“We all know what a miraculous singer Whitney was — perhaps the greatest voice of our time,” Keys continued. “We all know how her unprecedented success brought Black women into the absolute highest reaches of the music industry’s pantheon. We all know her music will live forever.”


Houston, who died at age 48 in 2012, joined the Doobie Brothers, Notorious B.I.G., Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode and T. Rex in the rock hall’s 2020 class.

“I’m so very, very proud that Whitney’s being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” her mother, Cissy Houston, said during the ceremony. “She wanted to be something, not anything. She worked hard at it too.”

Whitney Houston grew up surrounded by strong female voices: Her mother was a gospel singer and back-up vocalist who worked alongside the likes of Otis Redding. Singers Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick were Whitney’s cousins. And fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darlene Love was her godmother.

Whitney Houston was hailed as the “greatest singer of her generation.” Her mother and manager accepted her 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction on her behalf.

“This is something that Whitney always wanted,” said Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager. “I remember, in 2009, we were in London and Whitney looked at me, and she said, ‘This is really special, but there’s only one thing missing: I’ve got to get the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.’”

“Yeah, she did it,” Cissy chimed in with a laugh.

Rapper MC Hammer joined in on the praise on Sunday morning, tweeting, “My friend was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Last Night !!!!” with a dusting of crown emojis.

Reaching the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was the cherry on top of a cornucopia of awards and achievements for Houston. The six-time Grammy winner holds the Guinness World Record as the most awarded female artist of all time.

Never far from the headlines, Houston surfaced again on social media on Thursday, the 28-year anniversary of her “I Will Always Love You” cover. On Saturday, singer-songwriter Charlie Puth recommended her 1991 rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” to celebrate the results of the presidential election.

“This moment right now proves it all: That there’s only one, matchless Whitney Houston,” Pat Houston said in the induction acceptance speech. “And tonight, she would be very proud and honored to receive this award.”

“I’m proud of who she was,” Cissy Houston said. “What can I say now? If I talk too long, I’ll cry. I don’t want to cry. So thank you!”