LL Cool J: Jennifer Hudson is the Closest Thing We Have To Whitney Houston

February 13, 2012 By:
LL Cool J: Jennifer Hudson is the Closest Thing We Have To Whitney Houston
Jennifer Hudson was tapped at the last minute to perform a "respectful music tribute" to the late Whitney Houston at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.

Hudson showed up for rehearsals in Los Angeles Sunday morning to sing Whitney's most famous balled, 'I Will Always Love You.' Sadly, Hudson reportedly "began sobbing hysterically" backstage during the rehearsal.

"She had to restart [the song] several times before making it through," a source said.


Grammy Host LL Cool J called Jennifer "the closest thing we have now to what Whitney was."

The rapper said that since learning about Houston's death on Saturday, the focus of the show has been on "how we can be respectful and show her the love and appreciation she deserves and that her life warrants and merits."

The source added that production staffers were crying as well. Chaka Khan is also set to perform at the Grammys, and Khan used to be a backup singer for Houston.

"All stars have been accommodating," the source said. "No one has batted an eye or been a diva...People are trying to be upbeat."

Ken Erhlich, the Executive Producer of the Grammys, told the Los Angeles Times:

"It's too fresh in everyone's memory to do more at this time, but we would be remiss if we didn't recognize Whitney's remarkable contribution to music fans in general, and, in particular, her close ties with the Grammy telecast and her Grammy wins and nominations over the years."