The Billboard Awards honors recently deceased musicians Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Adam Yauch, and Whitney Houston.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, UNITED STATES ( BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS) -, With some big losses in the music world already this year, the 2012 Billboard Awards show on Sunday (May 20) featured numerous tributes to late artists.
Early in the show, hosts Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell paused to remember late Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb with a moment of silence. Gibb died at age 62 earlier in the day on Sunday after a long battle with cancer.
"Just a little over an hour ago, we received the very sad news that the music world lost another legend. So we wanted to take a moment to pause and remember Robin Gibb. His voice and the Music of The Bee Gees will live on forever," said Bowen, before a moment of silence for Gibb.
New Zealand artist Natasha Bedingfield paid tribute to late 'Disco Queen' Donna Summer, with a rendition of Summer's signature hit "Last Dance." Summer died earlier this week at age 62 after fighting lung cancer.
Cee Lo Green joined his hip hop band Goodie Mob to perform "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)," as a tribute to Beastie Boys member Adam "MCA" Yauch, who died in early May after a three year battle with throat cancer. Yauch was 47.
But by far, the biggest tribute of the night was for Whitney Houston, who died suddenly aged 48 in February this year. The late singer was posthumously given the Millennium award, while singers John Legend and Jordin Sparks led heartfelt renditions of "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You" against a backdrop of photographs of Houston. Houston's teenage daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown was seen in the audience crying and singing along during Spark's performance.
Later, Bobbi Kristina Brown and Houston's sister-in-law, Patricia Houston, accepted the award on the late singer's behalf.
"I just really want to say thank you to everyone who supported us through it all. Not just from when it was good, and when it was bad, to everything. Thank you so much for showing that much love because she deserved it. She did," said a tearful Bobbi Kristina Brown, accepting her mother's Millennium Award.
"I'm just blessed to have been in such an incredible woman's life. There will never be another one, ever. And I thank you, all of you, the fans, everyone, thank you so much," added Brown.
Houston, who had a history of drug addiction, was found dead on February 11 while staying at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills a day before the 2012 Grammy Awards. An autopsy in March determined she died of accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine and heart disease.
The Billboard Music Awards were held at the MGM Grand Casino Hotel.