Honouring an icon: Jennifer Hudson breaks down after paying homage to Whitney Houston with searing rendition of I Will Always Love You
Jennifer Hudson honoured Whitney Houston's life with the best tribute of all tonight.
The 30-year-old singer took the stage at tonight's 54th Annual Grammy Awards to sing an an a cappella of Houston's hit I Will Always Love You.
A lone spotlight beamed down on the American Idol alum after the artists and music industry executives who have passed away in the last year were paid their respects in a video montage.
Scroll down for video and a list of the winners…
Emotional moment: Jennifer Hudson reacts on stage after performing Whitney Houston's hit 'I Will Always Love You' tonight at the Grammys
After musical luminaries like Amy
Winehouse, rapper Heavy D and Etta James were showcased, Houston was
shown wearing a red dress.
Thunderous applause rang through the audience before the room went dark and Hudson's first clear, strong notes rang out.
Hudson stood there looking lovely and svelte in a stunning in a black dress with a black and white striped top.
She sang what could be considered the songbird's most famous hit, written by Dolly Parton for The Bodyguard soundtrack.
A true professional: The American Idol alum seemed to be channeling Houston's 1992 Grammy performance
Her rendition of the tune was above and beyond perfect, as if Hudson was channeling the recently deceased singer herself.
Indeed, her version was an exact replica of Houston's own performance at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards twenty years ago.
Throughout the song she appeared to
be blinking back tears, and when she finished, she finally caved in to
her overwhelming emotion.
The audience, of course, went wild.
Houston was found dead in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel yesterday at the age of 48.
Overcome with emotion: The 30-year-old singer held back the tears until the end of her song
Her passing left the music industry in complete shock, especially as a party she was meant to attend carried on downstairs.
At Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy fete, musicians like Alicia Keys, Tony Bennett and Diddy all gave tribute to the superstar.
The stars have all been vocal about the tragedy that is Houston's passing.
X-Factor UK judge Kelly Rowland said: 'We lost our hero. I would not be standing here today if it was
not for her.'
She told E Entertainment: 'My prayers go
to her mother and her daughter. If we feel this loss I can only
imagine how heavy their loss is.'
Kelly Osbourne also remembered Houston,
telling her E Entertainment co-hosts that the I Will Always Love You
star was always kind to her.
She told the American Idol presenter Ryan Seacrest: 'I knew her personally and she really was a lovely woman.'
Just like Whitney: Hudson gave a performance to rival Houston's
The evening's host, LL Cool J, said: 'I hope that Whitney Houston's family and friends
appreciate what we do.'
Kelly Price, the R&B artist who
was the last person to perform with the singer, broke down as she gave a
red carpet interview about seeing star for the last time on Thursday
Price said: 'I was having a pre-Grammy party for the nominations [sic].
'I invited Whitney to come…
The lone spotlight: Hudson sang a cappella alone on the Grammy stage
I will always love you: Houston died yesterday at the age of 48
'We had a great time Thursday night. She came out. We hung out. We danced…
'I wasn’t expecting her to sing….She just walked up on the stage. We embraced each other and she said: “Give me the mike…”'
Price added: 'Singing with Whitney has always been to me just an honour.'
The artist also talked about the moment she found out her friend was dead.
She said: 'In my heart I was praying it was an internet hoax…and to realise it wasn’t I just don’t know how to explain it.'
GRAMMY AWARDS 2012: THE WINNERS
Record of the Year – Rolling In The Deep, Adele
Album of the Year – 21, Adele
Song of the Year – Rolling In The Deep, Adele
Best New Artist – Bon Iver
Best Pop Solo Performance –Someone Like You, Adele
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – Body And Soul , Tony
Bennett & Amy Winehouse
Best Pop Vocal Album – 21, Adele
Best Dance Recording – Scary Monsters and Nice
Best Dance/ Electronica Album – Scary Monsters and Nice
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – Duets II, Tony Bennett
& Various Artists
Best Rock Performance – Walk, Foo Fighters
Best Rock Song – Walk, Foo Fighters
Best Rock Album – Waiting Light, Foo Fighters
Best R&B Performance – Is This Love, Corinne Bailey Rae
Best R&B Song – Fool For You
Best R&B Album – F.A.M.E., Chris Brown
Best Rap Performance – Otis, Jay-Z and Kanye West
Best Country Solo Performance – Mean, Taylor Swift
Best Country Song – Mean, Taylor Swift
Best Short Form Music Video – Adele