LL Cool J asks Grammys audience to say prayer for Whitney Houston
UPI News Service, 02/12/2012
LL Cool J asked the star-studded crowd at the Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles to join him in a prayer for singer Whitney Houston, who died Saturday.
"We've had a death in our family," the host told the audience at the start of Sunday night's ceremony. "So, at least for me, the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer for a woman who we loved, for our fallen sister -- Whitney Houston."
He then thanked God for "sharing our sister Whitney with us," and added, "although she is gone too soon, we remain truly blessed to have been touched by her beautiful spirit and to have her lasting legacy of music to cherish and share forever. Amen."
The emcee then introduced a video clip of Houston bringing down the house as she sang her signature song "I Will Always Love You" at a previous Grammys show. The crowd rose to their feet out of respect, as LL Cool J said, "Whitney, we will always love you."
The telecast's producers have said recording star Jennifer Hudson will perform a medley of Houston's biggest hits during the ceremony.
Houston died at the Beverly Hilton hotel at the age of 48 after a long battle with substance abuse.
As an autopsy was being conducted on Houston's remains Sunday to determine the cause of her death, Hudson was preparing to take the stage at music industry's biggest awards show.
"It was a big shock when the news hit," Grammy Awards ceremony executive producer Ken Ehrlich told USA Today. "We're definitely going to do something, but in some ways it's too fresh and too early to do a full-blown tribute."
Hudson is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist and Oscar-winning star of the movie musical "Dreamgirls."