By Kate Ward
February 12, 2012 at 05:23 PM EST
Larry Busacca/

Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammys party was an unusually somber affair this year. Following news of Whitney Houston‘s death, Davis announced to a crowd of guests Saturday that the singer would have wanted the ceremony to go on. Said Davis on Saturday, according to People: “Whitney was so full of life. She was so looking forward to tonight … She loved music and loved this night that celebrated music.”

The gala’s guests also commemorated the singer, with Alicia Keys dedicating “No One” to Houston and Tony Bennett singing “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” Said Bennett, who insisted that the government legalize drugs following some high-profile deaths, “First Michael Jackson, then Amy Winehouse, and now Whitney.” Diddy attempted to brighten the mood by remembering the best about Houston: “Whenever you saw Whitney, she hit you with that beautiful smile … If we truly believe in God, then we should celebrate the life of Whitney Houston tonight.”

Some celebrities didn’t even make it to Davis’ party after hearing news of Houston — Sharon Osbourne, for one, tweeted that she would not attend because she couldn’t celebrate “when one of the greatest voices ever is dead.”

Read more:

EW Special Coverage: Whitney Houston dies

Whitney Houston, superstar of records, films, dies

Grammys: Jennifer Hudson will pay tribute to Whitney Houston

Celebs react to Whitney Houston death: ‘Please tell me it’s not true’

Photo Gallery: Whitney Houston’s Highs and Lows