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The 54th edition of the Grammy Awards was permeated by a sense of respect and sadness, due to the sudden death of the 48-year-old singer Whitney Houston.
The announcement of Whitney Houston’s death was given by her publicist on February 11. The pop singer died in her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Although the cause of death is not yet totally clarified, sources tell TMZ that a lethal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol could have led Whitney Houston to death.
The Grammy Awards responded to the shock generated by the loss of the late Diva, with a tribute paid by soul singer Jennifer Hudson. The 30-year-old singer gave an emotional performance of Houston’s signature song ‘I Will Always Love You,’ leading single of ‘The Bodyguard’ movie’s soundtrack.
As usual in this event, the show paid respect to the musicians and music executives passed away during the past years; the remembrance started showing 27-year-old British singer Amy Winehouse, while her music played. It then went on showing pictures and playing music belonging to many of those who enriched the music scene, as Motown executive Esther Gordy Edwards, soul-music architect Nick Ashford and rapper Heavy D, just to cite few.
This commemoration ended with an extract of Whitney Houston’s performance at the Grammy Awards in 1986, after winning her first award for the song ‘Saving All My Love For You’. As the image of the beloved singer faded away, a spotlight discovered a graceful Hudson.
The artist delivered the first a cappella lines of ‘I Will Always Love You’; Hudson then carried on the performance in an extremely elegant and respectful way. In the virtuosity of Hudson’s voice, all the influence of the late Whitney Houston could be retrieved.
Although Jennifer Hudson showed to comfortably go through the song, a certain sense of emotion appeared clear in her eyes. The performance ended with the appearance of all the photos of the music artists and executives at the back of a humble Hudson, who was standing in front of the audience’s standing ovation, and who then turned around to send a kiss to the late music people who passed away during last year.
Due to the timing of Houston’s death, no long planning was possible for her tribute during the show; this might have been one of the things that contributed to make the tribute so special. There was nothing fancy or extreme, but just a very elegant, sweet, but at the meantime full of music talent, commemoration. It was something great, without the need of exaggeration. It was exactly as Whitney Houston was: talented, elegant and graceful.
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