Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
At the end of the Grammys' annual memorial montage, which finished with a clip of a young Houston singing "Saving All My Love," Hudson appeared on stage in complete silhouette, crooning the first notes of the song a cappella. Dressed in black, the emotional Hudson performed a stripped down version of Houston's No. 1 ballad, with the piano accompaniment starting during the first chorus. Watch it below.
Houston's signature song from The Bodyguard soundtrack (an R&B remake of a 1974 Dolly Parton track) is notoriously difficult to perform, but Hudson's homage was flawless and filled with obvious feeling.
Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hills Hotel room's bathtub the afternoon of Feb. 11, a few hours before the 48-year-old Grammy winner was scheduled to appear at her friend and mentor Clive Davis' annual party.
As host LL Cool J said at the beginning of the Grammy Awards broadcast, the music industry had lost one of its own.
"There's no way around it," the rapper told the crowd. "We've had a death in our family... For me, the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer for a woman who we love, for our fallen sister, Whitney Houston."
At the end of Hudson's tribute, immediately after she hit that memorably climactic note, she ended the song with an extra line: "Whitney, we love you."