The music industry took the opportunity Sunday night to honor one of its most prominent stars, Whitney Houston, after the announcement of her death came as a shock Saturday. Though many performers chose to mention the famed singer within their sets, Jennifer Hudson opted to pay a full tribute, singing one of Houston's most famous songs.
The Grammy Awards opened up Sunday night with a prayer by LL Cool J. "We've had a death in our family," the host said before he began the night in an opening prayer for Whitney Houston.
Whitney Houston was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel Saturday. Although an autopsy report has been completed, the results have been put on hold pending the investigation and no cause of death has been officially announced. It has, however, been reported that she was found in her hotel room bath tub, with prescription drugs nearby, in what appears to be a tragic accident.
Many of the performing artists Sunday night chose to dedicate their songs to Houston, some even singing small parts to her honor. When Rihanna took the stage to sing "We Found Love" with Coldplay, she added "Make some noise for Whitney." Alicia Keys and Bonney Raitt also honored the famed singer in song.
Houston was clearly the star of the night. Her largest tribute came from Jennifer Hudson who took the stage to sing "I Will Always Love You."
Hudson, who was an American Idol finalist and also took home a Golden Globe award for "Dream Girls" in 2006, took the stage in an elegant black gown and though she may not have been Houston herself, fans applauded her efforts and emotions while singing the song. "I found it was admirable that she held it togther; she was obviously struggling not to cry. I thought it was wonderful," Tom Rockland wrote on the Entertainment Weekly music blog.
Hudson chose not to sing the last trademark note of the song, but instead sang "I will always love you. Whitney, we love you."