After the unexpected death of Whitney Houston the night before the 2012 Grammy Awards, Jennifer Hudson stepped in to honor the diva’s passing. In a new documentary, the singer explains how it all came together in less than 24 hours.
A Death in the Family: The Show Must Go On, takes a look behind-the-scenes of this year’s Grammy performances from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s opening number to Paul McCartney’s star-studded finale. But it was the unannounced Whitney tribute from Hudson that became the story of the night.
In the 28-minute documentary the producers of the show reveal that they found out about Whitney’s tragic demise during Adele’s rehearsal of “Rolling in the Deep.” From that moment on, they needed to figure out how they would handle her death with less than 24 hours before the live show.
JHud was always the show’s first choice to honor Houston. She had even performed at the 2009 Grammy’s after the tragic killing of her mother, brother and nephew so the producers knew she could handle the pressure. But the singer wasn’t quite as sure.
“I would do anything for Whitney, anything to honor her memory,” she said. “But I didn’t know if I could get through it.“
In footage from her rehearsal of Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” Hudson breaks down while singing the emotional song for a second time. For the live show though, Jennifer was able to pull herself together and honor her hero with a moving performance that had everyone on their feet.
Watch the documentary to hear more about Jennifer’s performance plus see footage from her and Adele’s rehearsals here.
–Shannon Carlin, CBS Local