The late music icons Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G. are among the artists inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year during a pre-recorded HBO special that aired Saturday.
Alicia Keys, who inducted Whitney, talked about her transition from Houston’s biggest fan to dear friend. She first met Houston at one of legendary producer Clive Davis‘ famous pre-Grammy parties, where she says Whitney declared: “You are going to write a song for me.”
“I couldn’t believe it had the greatest voice of all time, just demanded that of little ol’ me,” said Keys. “I was shocked and completely overjoyed and slightly scared, and thus began a beautiful friendship that was so genuine and sincere.”
Alicia said they grew to become “instant sisters” and worked on “Million Dollar Bill,” a track from I Look to You, Houston’s last album to be released before her passing in 2012.
“We all know what a miraculous singer Whitney was, perhaps the greatest voice of our time,” Keys said of the woman whose “music will live forever” as “her final generous gift to us.”
The Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was the only rapper to be inducted at this year’s virtual ceremony, where Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jay-Z and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda spoke on the impact of one of the greatest rappers of all time.
“His voice first and foremost was something so unique and his style, his mental approach was like, ‘Oh my god’ I found something rare,” said Diddy, who signed Biggie to his Bad Boy Record label in 1993.
Jay-Z also said he was “worried for himself as an artist” after listening to Biggie’s “incredible” Life After Death demo, Biggie’s last album to be released before his death in 1997.
By Rachel George
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