Brandy's Saddest Birthday Ever: Cancels Pre-Grammy Performance After Whitney Houston's Death

Houston sat in on E! News interview with Brandy and Monica that taped Thursday, plus Brandy's brother Ray J was close to the late diva

By Natalie Finn Feb 13, 2012 12:10 AMTags
Whitney Houston, Brandy Norwood, Ray JBrenda Chase/Getty Images; Denise Truscello/WireImage

Brandy Norwood's birthday was one to remember for all the wrong reasons.

The singer, whose E! News sit-down with Monica on Thursday was memorably (and, now we know, momentously) crashed by Whitney Houston, turned 33 yesterday—but there was no celebrating following Houston's shocking death.

Eyewitnesses saw Houston hand the "In My Room" chanteuse a note or, possibly, a card when the longtime friends crossed paths on Thursday.

And while Brandy and Monica were too distraught to perform at Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party last night, Brandy wasn't the only Norwood overcome with grief.

The singer's little brother, Ray J, was often spotted in Houston's company in recent months—and initial reports pegged him as being the one who found the singer's body in her room at the Beverly Hilton (where Davis' party went on as scheduled, albeit more as an impromptu memorial to Houston).

Ray J's publicist unequivocally denied that he was anywhere near the hotel when Houston was found, and later it was learned that several members of the singer's entourage, including a bodyguard, were the ones who made the tragic discovery.

"This is a sad time for Ray J and everyone in the music business that has had the great pleasure of knowing Whitney and enjoying her as a wonderful person and outstanding music artist," a rep for the 30-year-old artist said in a statement to E! News.

"Although Ray J maintained a close relationship with Whitney, I cannot comment on any details other than he is mourning over this tremendous loss. Our condolences to her family. She will be missed."

Added Brandy: "My heart is destroyed. I lost my idol and dear friend. My prayers go out to Whitney's family and her millions of fans around the world.

"Whitney—the greatest voice of all time—you are my angel and I will always and forever love you."