Hudson, whose self-titled debut album was released in September, won the award for Best R&B Album -- the first award presented during CBS' live broadcast of the ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Upon receiving the award from Whitney Houston, the third-season Idol finalist reacted with shock and tears before thanking her family.
"I don't really know what to say! First of all I got Whitney Houston presenting to me and, wow, I'm just in awe right now," Hudson said. "I first would like to thank God, who has brought me through. I would like to thank my family -- [those] in heaven and those who are here today."
The award marked Hudson's first Grammy win and also capped her return to the public eye following the October murders of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.
("Love You I Do," which Hudson performed in the film Dreamgirls, won the Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media award at last year's ceremony, however the category is considered a songwriter award.)
Hudson lost the other two categories she was nominated for: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Spotlight" and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "I'm Only His Woman" her duet with Fantasia Barrino, her former fellow third-season Idol competitor.
Alicia Keys' performance of "Superwoman" won the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance award while Al Green and John Legend's performance of "Stay With Me (By The Sea)" won the Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals honor.
Hudson also performed at the ceremony, as did Underwood, who won a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her performance of "Last Name" off of her album Carnival Ride, the only award she was nominated for.
American Idol's presence at the awards ceremony was rounded out by sixth-season champion Jordin Sparks, who was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals along with Chris Brown for their performance of "No Air," which was featured on Sparks' self-titled debut album.
However, Sparks and Brown lost the category to Robert Plant & Allison Krauss for their performance of "Rich Woman" from the album Raising Sand, which also took home the ceremony's Album of the Year award.