Bobbi Kristina with her aunt, Pat Houston (Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABC)It was an emotional night for Bobbi Kristina Brown at Sunday's Billboard Awards. The only daughter of the late Whitney Houston broke down in tears during the musical tribute to her mother and fought back emotions as she accepted the Millennium Award on her mother's behalf. It was also a milestone in her relationship with boyfriend Nick Gordon because they attended their first public event together.
There were plenty of tears flowing in the audience as John Legend and Whitney's "Sparkle" costar Jordin Sparks delivered powerful renditions of Houston hits "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You." Bobbi Kristina sat in the audience, with Gordon by her side, openly crying and sometimes singing along. As photos of her mother appeared on a screen, she blotted her eyes with a red handkerchief. When Sparks finished Whitney's "The Bodyguard" chart topper, Bobbi Kristina, in a curve-hugging champagne colored dress, was on her feet clapping her hands above her head.
Gordon escorted Bobbi Kristina to the stage to accept the award, while her aunt Pat Houston, who was Whitney's sister in law and manager, walked behind her. Pat spoke first then turned the microphone over to Bobbi Kristina, introducing her by saying, "The one person who should be accepting this award is the one person Whitney loved most and treasured the most, her daughter Bobbi."
As fans screamed, "We love you Bobbi," the 19-year-old aspiring actress gave a short speech. "I just want to say thank you to everyone who's supported us through it all," she said. "Not just from when it was good, but when it was bad, too. Just everything. Thank you so much for showing that much love, because she deserved it. She did. I'm just blessed to have been in such an incredible woman's life. There will never be another one, never, and I thank you, all of you, fans, everyone, thank you so much."
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Bobbi Kristina and Nick Gordon (Kevin Mazur/WireImage via ABC)This is the first of many public appearances Bobbi Kristina is expected to make because, following her mother's death, she announced she's pursuing a career in showbiz. In addition to a role in Tyler Perry's show "For Better or Worse," which returns for a second season on TBS in July, Bobbi Kristina, her aunt Pat and other family members will be filmed for a reality TV show that will appear on Lifetime. "In this series, the multi-generations of the Houston family will bravely reveal their lives as they bond together to heal, love, and grow," said the statement released by the network.
It will be interesting to get a glimpse into the life of the offspring of Houston and her ex-husband Bobby Brown. The teen struggled following her mother's death, reportedly disappearing for hours following Whitney's memorial service, and worrying her family. Then she raised eyebrows by her relationship with Gordon, who Houston informally adopted as a 12 year old and who was viewed by the family as Bobbi Kristina's sibling.
Last night Gordon was by Bobbi Kristina's side throughout the emotional experience. She often turned to him for support during the show. He walked her to the stage, keeping her steady on the stairs in front of the packed event. During the evening she was also wearing a very large diamond ring, which previously prompted rumors that they were engaged, though a family rep issued a denial.
Meanwhile, last week Bobbi Kristina's father, Bobby Brown, debuted a new song that he wrote about his late ex-wife titled "Don't Let Me Die." Bobby is also working on his own reality show, and reportedly was upset that Bobbi Kristina refused to be a part of it.