Houston had been due to attend last year’s event, but died hours before it took place.
R&B singer and actress Brandy said: “She was the greatest voice of all time and nobody will ever come close to touching her. I will never forget her.”
Miguel, who received a Grammy for best R&B song on Sunday night, added: “Whitney’s voice was powerful. She was dynamic. I would like her to be remembered for her voice and smile. I think she’d want to be celebrated.”
Honoree Antonio ‘L A’ Reid onstage at Clive Davis’ 2013 Pre-Grammy Gala
Contemporary soul singer Janelle Monae said she wanted to keep Houston’s “vision” alive.
“The ‘regalness’ that she had, the class that she had. That’s something that I value.”
Record executive and US X Factor judge Antonio “LA” Reid, who was being honoured at the event, worked with Houston on the soundtrack to her hit movie The Bodyguard.
He said he liked to remember the more personal moments he had with the star.
“I can’t sing, but I used to sing with Whitney, just for fun,” he said. “Just that beautiful spirit and warm personality and that amazing voice.”
American Idol judge Randy Jackson said she would be remembered “as one of the greatest ever to grace a microphone. Greatest ever – that’s big”.
Johnny Depp, Sting, Ne-Yo, Quincy Jones and Patti Smith also attended the event at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, which was held in honour of Houston.
The singer accidentally drowned in her hotel bathroom. A coroner ruled that chronic cocaine use abuse and heart disease were also factors.
Her death sent shockwaves around the music industry, which was gathered in Los Angeles for the annual Grammy ceremony.
A last-minute tribute was arranged for the 2012 show, with singer Jennifer Hudson performing the star’s biggest-selling single, I Will Always Love You.