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LAS VEGAS, NV ? SEPTEMBER 15: Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

After being delayed for months due to the coronavirus, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held its annual induction ceremony earlier tonight. Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G. were both part of the induction class. For the first time, it was held virtually, with pretaped speeches from presenters and inductees, and no performances. As in past ceremonies, there was a film documenting the career of each inductee.  Other inductees included Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, T. Rex and the Doobie Brothers. The show aired on HBO.

Sean “Diddy” Combs presented his late friend and collaborator, the Notorious B.I.G., saying, “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him…They say that time heals all wounds, I kind of wait for that day. I also think that time doesn’t heal some wounds. Some things you have to live with.”

He added, “Nobody has come close to the way Biggie sounds, the way he raps, the frequency that he hits.”

The mini-documentary featured Diddy as well as Nas, Jay-Z and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Jay-Z said, “B.I.G. was a brilliant song writer. He just made movies almost like Hitchcock. There were these tales that were disturbing, but they all had a purpose.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda said, “He had this incredible, deep bass voice, but he wielded it like a virtuoso, and he could paint a picture with as few words as possible and sets the entire scene.”

Nas said, “He represented the Black experience. When they tell him, ‘No, your hair doesn’t work, you can’t dress like that, you can’t talk like that, you can’t be,’ he said, ‘F— that. Not only am I gonna be, I’m gonna be the best.'”

Biggie’s children, Tyanna Wallace and CJ Wallace, accepted on his behalf. Tyanna noted that “His music transcneded the hip-hop industry,” while CJ added, “He helped revolutionize hip-hop.”

Whitney Houston was the final inductee of the night; Alicia Keys presented her, saying, “Whitney Houston is one of one. There is no one like her, and there never will be. I remember growing up listening to her music and dancing around the house and jumping on my bed, singing her songs into my hairbrush. This golden voice with range and runs and power like none other with a face and presence like royalty.”

“We all know how her unprecedented success brought Black women into the highest reaches of the music industry’s pantheon. We all know that her music will live forever. That music, that everlasting voice, is her final, generous gift to us.”

Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, said, “I’m so very very proud that Whitney’s being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

Her sister-in-law/manger Pat Houston said, “This is something that Whitney always wanted. I remember in 2009 we were in London and Whitney looked at me and said, ‘There’s only one thing missing: I got to get the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.’ This moment proves it: that there’s only one, matchless Whitney Houston. And tonight, she would’ve been very proud and honored to receive this award.”

Her mother concluded, “What can I say? If I talk too long, I’ll cry, and I don’t wanna cry. So thank you!”

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