Whoopi Goldberg introduced a moving tribute to the diva’s life and career. John Legend gave a tender performance of ‘The Greatest Love Of All’ and Jordin Sparks ended with Whitney’s signature song ‘I Will Always Love You’ to a backdrop of Whitney’s life in pictures.
After much speculation, Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Kristina accepted the award alongside her guardian and Whitney’s manager Pat Houston.
"The one person that should be accepting this award is the one person that Whitney loved most and treasured most her daughter Bobbi,” Pat said.
Bobbi gave a moving, mature speech thanking all of Whitney’s fans throughout her career.
"I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported us through it all not just from when it was good, but when it was bad, just everything. Thank you so much for showing that much love, 'cos she deserved it," she said.
"I'm just blessed to have been in such an incredible woman's life. There will never be another one, ever, and I thank you all of you, fans, everyone. Thank you so much."
In pics: 2012 Billboard Music Awards
Before Whitney’s tribute, singer Katy Perry had a landmark win being the second person in Billboard’s history to receive the Spotlight award, the first being Michael Jackson. Katy achieved five number one hits over the last year, and was the first female artist to ever receive the award.
Check out our slideshow of highlights from the 2012 Billboard Music Awards: