Given the fact that they had such a small window of time to put it together, the Grammy Awards’ tribute to Whitney Houston, including a prayer led by LL Cool J, a couple of performance clips, countless shout-outs from peers in the industry, and a performance by Jennifer Hudson — was impressive.
Initially, Chaka Khan was set to join Hudson in singing for Whitney, but she pulled out after deciding that singing “I’m Every Woman” wasn’t appropriate so close to Whitney’s passing. Instead, Hudson took the stage alone.
She performed a somber but soaring rendition of “I Will Always
Love You” beneath a still frame shot of Houston in her brightest days.
The performance had no fanfare and Hudson wore a simple black dress. She
did a wonderful job and we have no criticism. We loved her change to the lyrics at the end, as she sang, “Whitney, we love you.”
The performance reminded
us, as it should have, that no one can do it like Whitney could do it.
We will say this, though: Given the magnitude of the loss felt by the industry, and the fact that several artists performed twice throughout the evening’s three-and-a-half hour ceremony, we expected a little more time to be allotted for Whitney. We’d have happily watched more performance clips from her many, many Grammy appearances.