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.

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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."