Grammy producers are scrambling to arrange a tribute to Whitney Houston in the wake of her sudden death at the Beverly Hilton hotel at age 48, and it appears that soulful songstress Jennifer Hudson will take the spotlight to honor her. Longtime Grammy telecast producer Ken Ehrlich confirmed Hudson’s appearance to CBS, the network that airs the show. Hudson memorably covered Houston’s “I Have Nothing” on American Idol, and the two share in Grammy history together. All of which means Hudson’s tribute will likely overshadow virtually any prize handed out Sunday night.
Even as the tribute plan comes together, Ehrlich seemed at a loss for how to react.
“It’s too fresh in everyone’s memory to do more at this time, but we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize Whitney’s remarkable contribution to music fans in general, and in particular her close ties with the Grammy telecast and her Grammy wins and nominations over the years,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
And if anyone might be suited to the role of mourner/celebrator of Houston’s life, it’s Hudson, who among other standout performances, showed off her pipes as a recent VH1 diva. Hudson covered one of Whitney’s soaring The Bodyguard ballads in the Top 8 round on Idol, though there’s no indication she’ll reprise that performance on the Grammys.
Jennifer Hudson — “I Have Nothing”
And Houston memorably announced Hudson as the winner of the Best R&B Album trophy at the 2009 Grammy ceremony.