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2017 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - Day 3

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty


Gospel tributes have become a unique tradition for Essence Fest. This year, they continued on with the Sunday show to honor the legendary Cissy Houston.

Younger fans might know her as Whitney Houston’s mother, but the Grammy Award-winning soul and gospel singer also sang backup for Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin with the Sweet Inspirations before diving into her solo career.

Remember “The Lord Is My Shepherd” on The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack with Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir? Cissy was on that, too! Her feature on “I Know Him So Well” from Whitney Houston’s self-titled album (1987) became a global fav as well.

Cissy Houston, who was at a loss for words upon accepting her honor at Essence Fest 2017, asked for an A-flat and broke out into song instead to express her gratitude. Also on stage to recognize her awesomeness with singing tributes were Jekalyn Carr, PJ Morton, Gene Moore Jr., JJ Hairston, Kelly Price, Chante Moore, CeCe Winans and more.

Watch the full tribute below!

Press play and keep scrolling afterwards to view exclusive photos…

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Watch: Kelly Price, CeCe Winans, JJ Hairston & More Sing Tribute to Cissy Houston at ESSENCE Fest 2017 was originally published on

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