Bobby Brown took to the stage just hours after Whitney Houston's death, amid reports that the late singer's ex-husband was devastated by the news of her passing.
Brown was scheduled to perform in Mississippi as part of New Edition. The controversial R&B star was said to be in "crying fits" over the news, and broke down shortly after taking the stage.
"First of all, I want to tell you that I love you all,” he said to the crowd according to the AP (via Entertainment Weekly). "Second, I would like to say, 'I love you Whitney.' The hardest thing for me to do is come on this stage."
In another mini-tribute during an intermission in the show, Houston's 1985 single "You Give Good Love" blared over the speakers.
Brown and Houston were married for 14 years, and the relationship's turbulent moments played themselves out in the public eye. Brown was charged with misdemeanor battery after a 2003 incident. Houston appeared in court with a bruise on her neck but stayed by Brown's side.
In a later interview with Oprah, Houston described Brown as her "drug," explaining that "whatever we did, we did it together." (Brown has often been portrayed as a corrupting influence on Houston, who fought a long battle with substance abuse).
Houston's self-titled debut album, released in 1985, sold 25 million copies worldwide. In total, she released seven albums and three film soundtracks; a winner of six Grammys, Houston sold over 200 million albums and singles worldwide. She earned 30 Billboard Awards, 22 American Music Awards and two Emmy Awards.
Video of her last performance has appeared online. Houston sang "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" with Kelly Price just one day before she was found unresponsive in a hotel room at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
For more on her sudden passing, head over to HuffPost Celeb's comprehensive live blog.
Stars react to Whitney Houston's death:
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