Clive Davis Is 'Feeling Keenly the Loss' of Whitney Houston

02/08/2013 at 07:55 AM EST

Whitney Houston: Clive Davis Feels Her Loss
Clive Davis and Whitney Houston
Larry Busacca/WireImage
As the music community mourns Whitney Houston one year after her death at 48, her mentor and confidante, Clive Davis is "feeling keenly the loss" of the superstar, he told PEOPLE on Thursday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Gearing up for his annual pre-Grammy gala that centered last year on Houston's memorial, Davis, 80, says at Saturday's big event, he is "going to do something to remind everybody that her talent lived among us and in so many people."

On the same night as his event, a special is airing on CBS, dedicated to the fallen diva.

"I wanted her special to be meaningful and touching," Davis says. "I wanted everyone to remember why she was the greatest in her generation. I'm a great believer in carrying the torch and making sure that her legacy is as glittering as it should be. I'm very involved in that, emotionally and musically."





Asked for his all-time favorite memories from the start of his galas to the present, Davis said without hesitation, "I think Whitney's performances stand out as being special."

And while he won't give away much else about the highly anticipated evening, he would say, teasingly, "It's a different kind of opening. The opening has never been done before, with the kind of music that's unprecedented."

The 55th annual Grammys will air Sunday, Feb. 10, on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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