There's no way around it, said LL Cool J, host of the 54th annual Grammy Awards show. We've had a death in our family.
It was a direct approach to an evening of music overshadowed by the death of Whitney Houston just one night prior. Following the matter-of-fact opening lines, LL Cool J led the crowd through a prayer.
The prayer was followed by a short video tribute to Houston's Grammy performance of her hit single from The Bodyguard, I Will Always Love You. But, in true Grammy fashion, they saved the best for last.
Jennifer Hudson went on to perform I Will Always Love You, which was popularized by Houston in 1992.
Hudson performed the song after a video montage played featuring all the artists that had passed away during the past year including personalities such as Amy Winehouse and Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs.
Hudson stood in the middle of pitch-black stage in front of a microphone. A beaming light poured down from the ceiling above Hudson as she belted all the high notes of the song, showing off her vocal range. A visibly emotional Hudson bowed several times to a standing ovation before leaving the stage.
To watch one of Hudson's tributes to Whitney Houston, click on the video below:
To Watch Jennifer Hudson sing I Will Always Love You at the 2012 Grammy Awards, watch the video below:
Jennifer Hudson arrives at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 13, 2011. Grammy Awards 2012: Watch Jennifer Hudson Tribute to Whitney Houston [VIDEO] REUTERS