Feb. 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM ET
She was on everyone’s mind from the start, but with so much expectation, the question remains as to whether Whitney Houston received her due respect on last night’s Grammy Awards telecast. Though producers acknowledged beforehand they would only be holding a brief memoriam to the artist, in a world spellbound by Houston’s music, it simply wasn’t enough for many.
Powerhouse singer Jennifer Hudson sang the late pop icon’s classic, “I Will Always Love You,” flanked by a white light and set to an accompanying piano part. Brought to tears, Hudson, who's known tragedy and grief in her own young life, kept it modest and sentimental.
Additionally, Houston was mentioned countless times throughout the night, from LL Cool J opening the show with a prayer in her honor, to fellow friends and artists dedicating their own performances to the diva’s divine presence.
But in a lengthy broadcast with tremendous sets from the likes of Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars, and Adele, Houston was but a brief interlude in the mix.
For some, it was about the placement of Hudson’s tribute, falling somewhere mid-show. Others felt the act was too short-lived, that even radio stations handled it more appropriately.
Fan Michelle Brown tweeted, “They just did a longer Whitney tribute on Power 106 than at the Grammys.”
The mission to produce a perfect honor to the singer might have been near unattainable with such little time to plan Hudson was given the daunting task only a night before the show, and her original duet partner, Chaka Khan, backed out at the last minute.
Khan explained on her Twitter page, “As I grieve for the loss of my friend and 'little sister,' I don’t feel it appropriate to perform at this time. Continue to pray for the family.”
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